African Union Ebola Mission ends in Scandal in Sierra Leone

At the height of the Ebola disease in the country international organizations including international nongovernmental organizations surfaced in the country to contribute towards the eradication of the killer disease. One such organization whose presence was prominent is the African Union(AU) that dispatched medical doctors and health care experts to help rescue the citizens of this country as the disease was eating deep into the nation and causing untimely deaths among loved ones and many other nationals.

The African Union, like other international organizations made financial and moral contributions to achieve the same objective, but it is evident that the African Union mission in Sierra Leone is gradually becoming a big scandal that would greatly reflect on the parent body in Ethiopia-Addis Abba.

For the past three months that officials of the African Union have stayed in the country to help with the crisis, they have deliberately neglected one of their major responsibilities and that is, honouring their hotel and guesthouse bills in the country prior to their exit, thus causing operators of these institutions to run after them and calling them all sorts of names from “bad debtors to notorious international wheeler-dealers” that have shamelessly abandoned their hotel and guesthouse bills with no sign of remorse.

A Dr. John who acted as spokesman on behalf of the African Union disclosed to this medium in an interview that there has been a “slight delay” in the processing of payments to the various hotels and guesthouses to which they are indebted to since their arrival in the country.

Not only are the hotel and guesthouse operators been affected by nonpayment of their legitimate money, even transport operators whose vehicles they utilized during the period are equally left in limbo and frustrated as they feel there is no hope in sight for them to recover their money.

This deliberate attempt or ploy of starving operators of these establishments and vehicle owners that has been described as a “slight delay” in processing payments has suffocated the smooth operation and provision of adequate services to other incoming guests to these establishments due to lack of funds that they had expected to generate from African Union guests that had stayed in their facilities for the past three months.

The hotels and guesthouses include those in Kambia, Kabala, Bo, Kenema and in the Western area of Freetown.

Dr John, sources say has refused to communicate to the owners of these establishments and give them reason(s) for the delay. The owners have been informed that the guests will   quit their facilities this week as the Ebola fight has almost come to an end. If that is so who will pay their bills is the unanswered question.

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