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.