School canteens: Smells of shenanigans in Baguinéda

The Public Prosecutor at the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Commune III in charge of the Economic and Financial Pole of Bamako has recently been seized of an anonymous denunciation relating to cases of embezzlement of funds. These are the financial resources intended for school canteens in several rural communes of Baguinéda.

Are concerned by this denunciation, the mayors of the 4 rural municipalities of the district of Baguinéda: Mountougoula, N’Gouraba, Baguinéda and Tielé. Other people are cited in the denunciation, in particular the director of the Educational Animation Center (Cap) of Baguinéda, the presidents of the school management committees (CGS) of the various schools concerned and a woman supplier.

These various municipal, administrative and local authorities involved in the management of the school are suspected of embezzling the money donated by donors to feed school canteens. According to their vocation, these school canteens are open to students who live in villages located far from their school and allow them to eat there to avoid dropping out of school.

The modus operandi of those who focus the whistleblower’s suspicion is based on two practices. First, they inflate the number of students in order to benefit from a lot of illegal money. There is also the system of false invoices. On this last chapter, a lady whose name is not mentioned (like the people denounced) and declared as the official supplier of the school canteens of Cap de Baguinéda, issues real false invoices for orders never delivered. The deal consists for her in receiving in return the 30% of the value of the amount of the real false order.

For the whistleblower who arouses the attention of the anti-corruption judge, these various embezzlements dangerously penalize children who live tens of kilometers from their establishments. The money of the school canteens of Cap de Baguinéda is unduly cashed by people a priori above suspicion and who are responsible for its management.

In addition, the mayor of N’Gouraba in addition to being involved in this scandal of the school canteen, is in the hot seat in another case. That of contracts awarded in his constituency without consultation or call for tenders. The same markets are subject to false invoicing. That is to say, the money is disbursed by means of an invoice, but there is no record of the materials purchased and supposed to be delivered.

The public prosecutor of Commune III in charge of the Economic and Financial Pole has some material to see where the money for the Baguinéda school canteen is going. This rural commune on the outskirts of Bamako is still mired in scandals, sometimes land, sometimes financial. The mayor, Salia Diarra always has a problem with the law. He is one of the loyal tenants of the Central Arrest House in Bamako.

Abdrahamane Dicko

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