Members of the joint Public Accounts, Audit and Expenditure Committee of the Legislature have said that the continuous non-appearance of key witnesses from the Ministry of Commerce at Public Hearings on the 8,612.2722 metric tons of the 2008 Japan KR rice donation to Liberia will be considered proof of guilt. On Wednesday, February 8, the joint PAC Chairman, Representative Thomas Fallah, said the committee has written the Commerce Ministry on four different occasions to appear alongside the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to answer various claims levied against it as stated in the audit report. The Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly refused to honor the committee’s request with no justification, Rep. Fallah said.According to Fallah, who is also the Representative for Montserrado County District #5, the Commerce Ministry was written on May 6, 2016; May 19, 2016; June 2, 2016 and February 1, 2017, but failed to appear for all the hearings.The joint PAC of the Legislature examines reports produced by the Auditor General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and all anti-graft agencies on the value of money in compliance with Section 37.6 of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2009 and Rule 51 of the Interim Financial Management RulesIn the report, the then AG (John S. Morlu II) observed that the rice donated was not handled in line with the bilateral agreement and exchange of notes signed between the governments of Liberia and Japan, which caused the loss of US$831,624.09 from under-pricing, missing bags, and other irregular (unaccounted) transactions.Members of the committee, who were present during Wednesday’s hearing, included Reps. Garrison Yealue and Clarence Massaquoi, Senator Dallas A.V. Gueh, among others. The committee termed the action by the Ministry of Commerce as a “deliberate attempt to undermine the Public Accounts Committee and above all to diminish the work of the General Auditing Commission in the eyes of the public as a meaningless institution.”The irate lawmakers said there is a need to levy the necessary punitive action on the Commerce Ministry to serve as a deterrent to other ministries and agencies that may want to emulate its bad example.The lawmakers said the Commerce Ministry’s actions suggest that the ministry is guilty of the charges levied against it as enshrined in the GAC audit report.Following hours of debate on the matter, Representative Clarence Massaquoi made a motion for the committee to accept the GAC audit report on the Japanese grant. They also unanimously agreed that punitive actions be taken against the Commerce Ministry and that such recommendations should be communicated to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.It may be recalled that in 2008, the Government of Japan provided 8,612.2722 metric tons of KR rice as Japan Food Aid to Liberia. The donation was aimed at helping to stabilize the price of the country’s staple food on the Liberian market.The GAC’s audit report was commissioned by former Auditor General John S. Morlu II on May 1, 2010.There was an agreement through the exchange of notes that the minimum revenue to be generated from the sale of donated rice would be US$4,035,552.52 or its equivalent L$256,257,556 with exchange rate of L$3.60 to US$1.Given the quantity of rice supplied by the Government of Japan, the minimum price was set at US$14.12 per bag of rice. The Inter-Ministerial Committee, based on market conditions at the time, adjusted the price to US$11.50 without a written approval from the Government of Japan or an amendment to the bilateral agreement. This resulted in an overall under-pricing variance of US$734,046.59 and contributed significantly to the overall revenue loss of US$831,624.09. This loss in revenue was due to the purported damaged bags of rice, according to the AG report.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Stars were lucky to be level at 0-0 at the break after Madagascar themselves had a penalty, but keeper Patrick Matasi came to the rescue with a powerful left arm to ensure the boys stood a chance despite a poor first half.Off a swiftly executed counter, Madagascar were away and Metanire Romain sent Tsilavina Martin through into the box. Matasi came out to cover and in his outstretched arms brought down the lanky forward.From the resultant penalty, the keeper made amends, leaping to is right and his strong left hand parried Charles Andriamahitsinoro’s penalty onto the crossbar and out.Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe vies for the ball with Madagascar’s Charles Andriamahitsinoro during their friendly match at the Stade Robert Boban in Paris on June 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMadagascar who camped in Kenya’s half for most of the opening 45 minutes created more chances and should have been up by at least two or more goals, were they more clinical in the final third.They started knocking on the door early with Rayan providing the first danger with a curled ball that went just over when he cited Matasi a few yards off his line.In the 22nd minute, Andriamahitsinoro came inches close when his shot from inside the box was deflected onto the crossbar after Kenya struggled to clear the ball from a cutback on the left.Just before that effort, Kenya had survived another flow of attack, this time thanks to Musa Mohammed who made a great block after throwing his body on the floor to keep out a shot from Andriatsina Faneva.Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe moves ahead against a challenge from Madagascar’s Tsilavina Martin during their friendly match at the Stade Robert Boban in Paris on June 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluOn the half hour mark, Philemon Otieno almost turned the ball into his own net when he tried to block a cross from Romain with Matasi off his line but luckily for him the ball sailed inches wide.Andriamahitsinoro had another big chance when his freekick was swayed by the wind, but Matasi punched the ball away.Kenya’s best and probably only good chance of the game was off an Eric Johannah freekick that was fisted away by the keeper. Ayub Timbe was Kenya’s most colorful player, but most of his runs and dribbles couldn’t bring much of results.At the start of the second half, Migne made changes, Musa, Johannah and John Avire coming off for Joseph Okumu, Eric Ouma and Michael Olunga.Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga gallops upfield against Madagascar during their friendly match at the Stade Robert Boban in Paris on June 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe changes saw Kenya’s performance improve with Olunga proving a menace to the Madagascar backline. He showed his prowess within minutes, winning the ball from range but his shot went wide.The improved performance with the introduction of pace on the wing and some assured legs in attack saw Kenya get rewarded with the game’s opening goal.Timbe broke away on the left and his attempted cross was cut off by the arms of Norel Jeremy. Skipper Wanyama stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way.Stars were buoyed by the lead and hugely improved. Olunga came close when he picked up the ball at the edge of the box cutting off a Madagascar miss pass, but his curling effort went inches wide off target.Madagascar had two late chances on the other end, but both went begging as Stars held on for the victory.0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Victor Wanyama steps up to score the penalty against Madagascar in a friendly match at the Stade Robert Boban in Paris on June 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluPARIS, France, Jun 7 – Victor Wanyama’s 62nd minute penalty handed Kenya’s Harambee Stars a 1-0 win over Madagascar at the Stade Robert Bobin in Paris, France on Friday night in their first of two pre-African Cup of Nations (AFCON) build up matches.The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder slotted in the game’s lone goal in a second half that saw Stars show a much improved performance, commanding play better and creating scoring opportunities courtesy of three half time changes.