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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Probe into Alleged Looting Picks Momentum

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Probe into Alleged Looting Picks Momentum

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In an effort to ascertain the veracity of the information, the Deputy Minister of Tourism led a fact-finding visit to the Lungi International Hotel with a team comprising the Resident Minister Northwest, officials from Office of National Security, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, and the Board Chairman Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA) among others.

During the meeting, the Resident Minister Northwest, Hon. Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara explained her discoveries following an investigation, she mounted on rumors of looting public property at the Lungi International Hotel.

Madam Kamara called on the police to speed up the investigations into the alleged missing televisions, water heaters, air conditioners among others at the Government business establishment, Lungi International Hotel.

In his defense, the General Manager Lungi International Hotel, Rolandson Rhodes said he took over the hotel on 1st  February 2018 from Desmond Lewis and inherited the concerns raised by the Resident Minister Northwest but has managed to keep the hotel running while he continues to replace broken equipments he inherited from the last management.

Mr. Rhodes told the team that he inherited a huge quantity of scrap equipments after Desmond Lewis had given away part of the items to workers and community people. The Hotel he said still has all it takes to service local and international guests at all times regardless 

Desmond Lewis, a private hotel owner and 5% shareholder at the Lungi International Hotel explained the shares arrangement in which he said the former Resident Minister North, Alie D. Kamara has 55% shares and Invest Hotel, a foreign investment company that backed out of the business last year parted with 40% shares before it exited the business.

Mr. Lewis expressed his gratitude for what he called a timely visit of the Deputy Minister and team adding that Lungi International Hotel is his brain child and a springboard that took him into the tourism sector and would not afford to see it going down.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, William IK Robinson in his keynote address requested all to give a big kick to politics out of public interest. Mr. Robinson instructed the management that henceforth, nothing should be allowed out of the hotel and at the same time called on the hotel management to improve the security network in the hotel until the end of the tenure of the current management in September 2018.

However, several efforts made by this press to contact the former Resident Minister North, Alie D. Kamara for his own side to the allegations were futile. Many calls and texts to his private line did not produce any dividend. He had, however, at one point been informed about the meeting and had indicated that he was not averse but that he could not attend.

Investigations continue.

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