Report 'links Wade daughter to $66m festival scandal'By TAMBA JEAN-MATTHEW in Dakar | Sunday, April 22 2012 at 15:04
An audit report has revealed $66 million was misappropriated by organisers of the third World Festival of Black Arts held in Dakar in December 2010, sources said Friday.
An article on Senegal’s most popular online publication Seneweb.com said that investigations were launched but left incomplete by the government of then President Abdoulaye Wade.
The story's source quoted reports published by the State Inspectorate General to which the new government delegated the responsibility of completing the investigations holding that ex-president Wade’s daughter Sindjely and her co-organiser Alioune Sow were the main culprits behind the financial mismanagement.
Mr Sow was a former spokesmen for the presidency and of the then ruling Parti Démocratique Sénégalais (pds).
But in her reaction Friday, Sindjely Wade acknowledged that she could only be held accountable for about 250 million cfa francs, approximately $125,000.
She pledged to refund the loss anytime.
The audit report indicated that the government of Senegal disbursed 78 billion francs (approximately $156 million) towards the hosting of the world event.
But the audit further revealed that an earlier amount of 15 billion francs ($30 million) was allocated by the national treasury for the project.
The online media report especially focused on the part of the audit report that touched on vehicle rents which indicated that 15 vehicles were contracted for the period of 20 days and the sum of three billion francs, $6 million, paid to hire them.
Furthermore, the audit revealed that another 15 billion francs obtained from the Islamic Development Bank were transferred into the account of a Mr Loum Diagne and was intended to pay debtors of the festival.
But instead, it said, the debtors were kept at bay with their dues accruing to several million dollars as Mr Loum labored to justify the use of the money which he finally said was used to set up a make-shift village for the festival.
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