Elections in Sierra Leone – mortgaging the future of the nation to capture votes?

Mahmud Tim Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 January 2018:

The people of Sierra Leone will go to the polls on 7th March 2018. Already there are several questions being asked as to whether those elections will bring out the best in the people of Sierra Leone – in terms of the country’s democratic credentials, or will they  once again reveal the ugly face of human greed, dictatorship, and self-preservation – through violence, intimidation and serious electoral malpractices.

Local journalist – Mahmud Tim Kargbo, has also posed another question: “How do you obtain Billions of Leones (Hundreds of thousands of dollars) in mucky funds, required to bankroll the purchase of elective offices in a misrepresented democracy, such as monies to employ thugs and bribe election commission officials – before and during elections, and to purchase judgment in the event of losing at the polls?”

And this is Mahmud’s answer – based on what he regards as “a government led by an alliance of very deceitful people (APC and SLPP), determined to permanently glue the majority into abject poverty”:

They enrich ‘themselves’ with depraved, lucrative, ‘dying minutes emergency public contracts’ – concession agreements; then repurchase the same unauthentic concession agreements; get together the rubber-stamp of the now dissolved Parliament speedily and with all due claim to ‘urgency; approved a ‘supplementary budget proposal’ which allows the government to approach the capital market to obtain loans – further mortgaging the future of the nation, to once more ‘buyout’ the ‘leader. And pronto, you have enough funds to go into ‘selections’ or elections and capture the votes.

Put mildly, use the people’s money to buy power to rule over them: A strategy, which not even Abraham Lincoln would have foreseen, but will be regarded as a devilish translation of his enduring definition of democracy.

As elections approach, there will be a noticeable rush for various contrivances across government, as exemplified by the present dubious pursuit of the now dissolved Parliament in approving public contracts, without properly vetting them, having exhausted public funds on non-existent or white-elephant projects and to fill the personal accounts of the selected few; rush to the capital markets, and in some instances, international lending agencies for financial facilities tailored towards further slavery of an already impoverished and miserable population, simply to secure funds to prosecute electoral campaigns.

The absence of  effective governance and regulatory mechanisms in our land, exposes the people of our country to manipulation by those in power.

Fundamental questions therefore surface: Is it possible to have a democracy without effective regulatory mechanisms? Could this be why the concept of democracy has always seemed light years away in societies where regulatory mechanisms are non-existent or extremely weak?

Again, I call on the national authorities to exercise powers vested in it, so as to checkmate the obvious bare-faced criminality that is now going on at the State levels in the name of ‘governance’. The issue crops up: ‘’who checks financial excesses at political party level?’

An effective and efficient implementation of the governance rules will easily put those political criminals where they need to be – behind steel bars.

2 Comments

  1. The next government must check everyone who has been in the APC government how they got so easily rich and avoid the signing of contracts to devilish companies to sell the country just for some dollars to run for elections.

    Is there really anyone who can stand for Sierra Leone and her people. The rule and governance up till today reflect Stevens (Siaka). People have got much to lament.

    Someone should be elected to clean the country, ensuring that people who have ruled and participated in the governments of the APC be called to account for their wealth. No president or ministers have ever been fined or sent to prison for their acts.

    All these things have made me believe in Dr. Bio. He is capable of cleaning the country of her malaise. If he is not elected corruption will continue unabated. And Sierra Leoneans, especially the downtrodden will suffer the consequences. Everything is left to the voters.

  2. At no time in the political history of Sierra Leone has the opportunity risen to expose the monstrous intricacies which APC and SLPP have used for decades to deceive the people of Sierra Leone than now.

    It has taken this long because there is no glaring difference between the two major parties, ideologically or otherwise. When SLPP are in power APC lose their brain and power of speech and vise versa. It a scene of mutual understanding that while one of them is in power the other one should pay only leap service to the excesses being perpetrated in stifling the progress of the nation as its resources are being carted away, not to the Treasury, but to personal bank accounts at home and abroad, some of which is converted to the building of mansions and purchase of the latest version of certain make of the most expensive cars.

    Whoever disputes this should tell us in unambiguous terms the sustained opposition which SLPP have mounted against APC in the last ten years to make us feel that indeed SLPP are doing their job to keep us informed of the unmitigated kleptomania which the Koroma government is embroiled in.

    What aggression did Bernadette Lahai, the opposition leader, display over Ebola [“kasankay”] funds and the audit report pertaining to them? What did she say about the recent mudslide and the worldwide monetary donations which accompanied it, even as victims were being buried in mass graves? Is there such a thing as conscience?

    The lack of any difference between the two major parties is an echo whose resonance Kandeh Yumkella has heard clearly and ready to give more force to enable all Sierra Leoneans to hear it with enough bitterness and vitriol, for them to realise that they are on the saddle of change with the reins firmly in their hands.

    Not so long ago Kandeh fired two missiles to alert APC to the fact that there was a new dawn:”only in Sierra Leone does it cost $250,000 to fix a single street light”. The other missile carried with it the message that while the majority of us lived in abject poverty the politicians were moving around in their flashy cars.

    With Kandeh’s ability to tailor his messages to fit the audience he is facing, there is no doubt that he is keeping his most destructive bombs out of sight until the campaign heats up to boiling point. And this is the most worrying part for APC. Added to this is the real possibility that there are civil servants who have quietly defected to NGC, biding their time to release the most damaging information about APC to ensure an irrecoverable loss of balance on their part.

    In the beginning APC were sure that in Yumkella they were chasing a lame rabbit. They cornered it for the kill, only to discover, with horror, that it was never a rabbit, but a cheetah, the fastest land animal which had not eaten for weeks with cubs to feed as well.

    Well fellow Sierra Leoneans what do we have here? The hunter becoming the hunted? Our task now is to block all escape routes for our cheetah to devour both APC and SLPP.

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