Former President Koroma of Sierra Leone addresses AU elections observer team in Zambia

Office of Former President Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 August 2021:

The Head of the African Union Elections Observation Mission to Zambia, Former President Ernest Bai Koroma, has today welcomed and held a debriefing session with his team of observers ahead of their deployment in the country.

Former President Ernest Bai Koroma described the task ahead as demanding and hoped that the debriefing session would enable the observers to better appreciate the political context as well as the level of preparedness by Zambians to cast their votes in the August 12 general elections.

He reminded the team of experts about the COVID – 19 pandemic and encouraged them to adhere to all regulations in order to prevent themselves and the people they would be working with.

Former President Koroma also explained that the elections will be tightly contested and that the atmosphere leading to the forthcoming elections in Zambia has been characterised by tensions. (Photo: HoM in a Group photo with AU observers following the opening of the two- day orientation. Flanked by the Amb. Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace Security and other African Ambassadors who are part of the Mission.)

“I kindly request that as the AU observers, you apply strict neutralism, objectivity and professionalism, as well as adhere to the AU Code of Conduct for Election Observers throughout your stay in the Mission,” he stated.

The Head of Mission further urged his team to “particularly respect Zambia’s national laws, customs and traditions.”

President Koroma expressed optimism for a peaceful, credible, and acceptable outcome of the 12 August polls and wish his team of observers well in the field.

In another development, former president Koroma has kickstarted his engagement with stakeholders in a meeting of African Ambassadors and senior diplomatic officials accredited to the Republic of Zambia. They include Egypt, Botswana, Somalia, Namibia, Tanzania, Burundi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, DRC, Kenya and Malawi. (Photo: Group Photo of the AU HoM, H.E. Enerst Bai Koroma, with African Ambassadors and senior diplomatic officials accredited to the Republic of Zambia).

The diplomats provided a detailed briefing to the former president on the political/electoral context. The key message is that this election is being keenly contested and requires the collective efforts of everyone to ensure a peaceful, credible and acceptable outcome.

The diplomats applauded the AU on the choice of the Sierra Leonean statesman as head of this mission. They believe that his rich experience would be of immense value in achieving the AU objective, and indeed, everyone’s expectation that Zambia can pull this off with its historic democratic and peace credentials intact.

4 Comments

  1. Former President Earnest Koroma has cleverly presented different sides of himself to the outside world, particularly on our Continent. This should essentially explain why the African Union (AU) nowadays promptly turn to him first as the principal observer of elections. The former President did make a subtle effort to stand for a third term for the presidency, but the public outcry was too loud against it. But he did bow out a little less than gracefully, and his chosen successor (Samura Kamara) was floored by Maada Bio. He did not put up a fight over his loss, and this is what the international community sees.

    If the overall domestic record of Earnest were a a significant factor, other ex-presidents would have been repeatedly preferred. He led a corrupt government as revealed by COI. Ebola and mudslide funds disappeared under his watch ,while the down trodden perished in poverty. A large diamond disappeared between State House and Lungi Airport. The catalogue is quite lengthy. Compared to Bio however Earnest scores a D plus and that’s why the AU uses him, conveniently ignoring his tattered democratic credentials within the party that he leads.

  2. Some of the roles a former head of state should be involved in, to serve as political role models. As one of a rare breed of African modern day politicians to adhere to his term limits, I take my hat to you. More like this and make Sierra Leone a beacon to Africa and African politics.

  3. The only parody here is that the globetrotting election boss can’t implement free and fair process in the APC. Before he got to this task, like Sirleaf and other notables have been there. He is doing well though, but why can’t this man allow the APC to function without his absolute control is mind boggling. I’m APC, and this is the only grudge I bear for this fine man. Let him step down completely from all the leadership things and become an elder statesman who others could run to for consultations not competition.

  4. Is fomer president Bai Koroma the only retired head of sate in Africa? One would be tempted to think like that , if one is to look at his recent engagements in heading Africa’s elections monitoring group. Whether is in Somalia, Benin and now Zambia. There is a lot ridding on his shoulders. Being the head of African elections monitoring group, is not for the faint hearted. As Zambians goes to the polls on the 12th of August, tensions between the incumbent president Edgo Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front party, and opposition leaders Mr Hakainde Hichilema of the United party for National development are increasingly getting heated up.The two leaders have emerged as the front runners to beat in this year’s presidential, parliamentary, and District Council elections. In a recent interview the opposition leader Mr Hichilema was quoted of saying “He believe he will win in a free, fair and credible election, Lungu has no chance”.

    The Zambian government have used the Covid19 restrictions to ban public gathering especially in opposition strong holds. So if we go by the past, all bets are off. I hope not, but that is the nature of African politics. Exircising your right to vote and choosing your own representatives in national Parliaments is like life and death issues. That is why election observers credibility is vital. Credibility and credibility gap have two opposing meaning to different people with the same concept of your character.Mostly people are judged by the content of their character not their deeds. Your deeds can mean different things to different people. But your character will always remain the same. It all boils down to who is making the judgment and why they are making that judgement about your character. And if you are a fomer president of Sierra Leone, and you fall out of favour with the person that succeeded you,your character and misdemeanors or persive misdemeanors will be hung out to dry. But outside of Sierra Leone, the in refutable facts remains, your character and prestige is awlays held in high esteem.

    The former for which Bai Koroma fell can be acquired by practicing what you preach, quite simply “Do as I do” the latter is not hard to fathom. “Do as I say, but don’t do as I do. Is either my way or the high way “.That is the Gospel according president Bio. And he is surrounded by such characters. Fomer President Bai Koroma has set the bar high, in respecting election outcomes and by so doing won the admiration of his fellow African heads of governments. Since his exit from the Sierra Leone presidency he has become the African Union trouble shooter on monitoring elections out comes in some of the most truble spots in the African continent. The respect he deserves, which is never forthcoming from his fellow countrymen, is more than augmented by the red carpet treatment he gets from the rest of Africa. But being jealous of your fellow successful Sierra Leonean is a national disease that affects majority of Sierra Leoneans. Is just part of our DNA to bring down successful fellow Sierra-leoneans. Whether they are better dress than us, or have more in the wealth gap, we just can’t stomach it. And this is what I call the Sierra-Leonean man disease.

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