November 4, 2009 / 5:29 PM / in 10 years

Sierra Leone sacks two ministers in graft sweep

FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone’s government said on Wednesday it sacked two senior ministers for corruption, as the West African nation scarred by civil war ramps up efforts to root out high-level graft.

The sackings come two weeks before a high-profile donor and investment conference in London where President Ernest Bai Koroma hopes to showcase his country’s determination to put its troubled past behind it (

A government statement said the two sacked ministers were sacked were Minister of Health, Sheiku Tejan Koroma and Minister of State of the Vice President Leonard Balogun Kormoma.

“Both ministers are to face court action enforced by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on financial irregularities,” it said.

Minister of Health Tejan Koroma was indicted for reportedly mishandling a government medical supply contract, making him the first acting public official to be charged by the ACC since it was formed by the government in 2000.

Koroma “is also to face corruption charges,” the release said, without going into detail.

Sierra Leone, which emerged from a decade of civil war in 2002, has increased efforts to combat corruption, adopting new anti-graft legislation in 2008 to close loopholes.

The ACC recently charged the former acting executive director of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority, Sarah Finda Bendu, with corruption.

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