Sierra Leonean Labor Minister and three other government officials have been suspended from their posts, the government announced on Friday due to suspected corruption linked to a donation of Chinese rice.
The services of President Julius Maada Bio said in a statement that Minister Alpha Timbo, a former education minister, was suspected of « improper activities » linked to « a very large amount of rice » donated by Beijing.
Three officials from the Ministry of Education were also suspended.
Yusuf Sandi, a spokesman for President Bio, told AFP that the anti-corruption agency is investigating the case.
« We have to make sure that once again we restore the probity of governance in Sierra Leone, » he said.
Timbo was not immediately available to respond to his suspension.
Almost 20 years after a civil war that left some 120,000 people dead, Sierra Leone is still struggling to recover. The country is one of the poorest in the world.
The country, rich in diamonds, is ranked 129th out of 180 on Transparency International’s corruption perception index.