- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has clarified its position on allegations of possible bribery to one of its officials who was resident in Senegal, further saying the money has been returned to the poor West African government.
The cash gift which is said to have been approved and given by Senegalese president, Abdoulaye Wade was to the total of euros 100,000 and another US$ 50,000 and was intended by the outgoing IMF resident representative in Dakar, Alex Segura.
In a statement issued by the IMF, following the ordering of an investigation into the matter, the Fund also said the Senegalese president admitted to have given the money, saying it was "farewell gift".
"The President of Senegal confirmed to the IMF that he arranged to have a gift of money provided to Mr Segura. The President explained that the money was intended as a traditional farewell gift to Mr Segura in recognition of his contribution to Senegal, and was not in any way intended to influence either Mr Segura, who was leaving the country permanently, or the IMF. He acknowledged that the amount that was provided was a mistake," the statement by the IMF's ethics office said.
The embarassing mountain cash gift is said to have been given by Mr Wade following the farewell dinner on the evening of 25 September 25, the day that Mr Segura was scheduled to fly to Paris at the end of his 3-year tenure as Resident Representative in Senegal.
"He was asked to have dinner with President Wade of Senegal prior to his departure. After the dinner, Mr Segura was given a gift that the President described as a farewell present," the statement explained.
The IMF further explained that it was only when the official stopped briefly at the official residence to pick up his luggage that he discovered that the gift was a large sum of money.
"Upon arriving at his destination in Barcelona on 26 September, Mr Segura counted the money, and determined that it amounted to 100,000 euros and 50,000 US dollars. Mr Segura called IMF headquarters’ staff that day to report the incident. Discussions immediately began on how to return the money, in accordance with IMF policy," the statement explained.
The money, the IMF explained, has since been retrieved and transfered back to Senegal on 6 October, through the help of the Senegalese ambassador to Spain.
The Senegalese government was given recognition as one of the few African states that has never had a coup, and also boasting two peaceful transfers of power since independence in 1960.
However critics have said despite Senegal's commitment to economic freedom and, consequently, to poverty reduction, sustainable growth, the human rights situation has deteriorated since the country was deemed eligible for the US millennium grant programme. And now, it is the Dakar scandal...!
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