Former President of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has received commendations from across Africa for his effective leadership of an African Union Mission sent to observe a tensely contested presidential elections in Zambia. However, there has been down sides with some international commentators using the spotlighting of Koroma to recount of his undemocratic nature back home within the political party he is still leading in a restrictive and dictatorial manner.
As Zambians eagerly await the announcement of final results from the Zambia Electoral Commission (ECZ), there have however been congratulatory messages for the African Union Elections Observation Mission.
These are concomitant with some retorts against the Former President who is now noted as being dictatorial in his leadership of Sierra Leone’s main opposition party. It is a fact that for over a decade now, Koroma has led the All Peoples Congress (APC) party with an iron fist.
Koroma has not allowed internal democracy to exist within APC party. Worse of all, dissenting APC voices are subjected to very crude intimidation tactics by Koroma and his noted lieutenants.
This attitude of Koroma led to Mr. Jaime Hitchen, a famous white gentleman who is an analyst on African Affairs, to retort that Koroma was not really democratic.
Hitchen was reacting to another social media post that said Ernest Koroma engenders respect enough to counsel Zambians to be democratic.
Mr. Hitchen said he did not agree. He said of Ernest Koroma that “whilst he did stand down after 2 terms in 2018 there was a rumour he wanted ‘more time’”.
In a clanger that shows the antics of Koroma are being observed globally, Hitchen added that Former President Koroma was “also still clinging on to the chairmanship of his party” adding of the dictatorial traits of Koroma that “He’s found letting go hard!”
Meanwhile, aides of Koroma are excited at what they term as Koroma being “phenomenal in overseeing the peaceful conduct of an election in a potentially volatile environment.”
According to them, “Social media is abuzz with messages from prominent and ordinary citizens and groups in Africa and around the world, commending the AU team for a job well done.”
Meanwhile, one such commendation has come from Tanzanian Politician and activist, Zitto Zuberi Ruyagwa Kabwe who remarked on his tweeter handle: “Thank you so much President Koroma for your leadership and wisdom. You make us Africans proud”.
Also, a group of Zambian and International economic and political analysts looking at issues affecting the Zambian elections on its tweeter handle @Zambia Elections2021 also had this to say:
“Thank you for giving a fair analysis on the elections. People have criticized AU observations in the past, but you were fair in your job without fear or favour and you are a credit to the people of Sierra Leone”.
Of note is that President Ernest Bai Koroma has had his mandate extended by the AU Secretariat for few more days to continue his dialogue and mediation efforts that would guarantee a smooth transition in Zambia after the elections. So far, in spite of skirmishes earlier reported in some parts of the country, the process has been described as largely peaceful, transparent and credible.
Final election results are expected by today Monday 16th August 2021. As of last night, the Opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema has reportedly recorded a significant lead over incumbent President Edgar Lungu.