From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Politics
Kadi Sesay & Alpha Timbo Commence Le50M Payments in Sierra Leone
By Dauda Koroma
Aug 9, 2010, 12:16

SLPP sources have confirmed over the weekend that two of the leading contestants for the SLPP Flagbearer position, Dr. Kadi Sesay and Lawyer Alpha Timbo, have both made their mandatory advance cash deposits of Le10Million of the required non-refundable Fifty Million Leones that all flagbearer aspirants should pay to the party’s coffers before they would be considered by the hierarchy as possible aspirant.


The SLPP, as a party in opposition but with a formidable chance of bouncing back to power in 2012 Elections, has seen a myriad of possible contestants vying for the position of the party’s Presidential Candidate. However, many of them are suspected to be unable to raise any capital to fund what will be a capital-intensive fight to unseat a powerful incumbent whose flow of finances is at an unrivalled state. The party has found itself faced in the past with nominating candidates who could then not proceed to run a proper campaign because of lack of finances. This has happened even for elections of Local Councilors which do not require much financial clout. For the Presidential race, the finances involved are astronomical and whoever emerges as flagbearer should not only be financially secure but should also be able to inspire others to pour in cash into his or her campaign.


It will be recalled that the SLPP nominated a Freetown Mayoral candidate in 2008 only for the candidate to later confess that he had no money to run a decent campaign. He lost woefully following which he published a pamphlet laying out a call for the SLPP not to ever repeat the mistake of nominating persons of little financial means. The party itself is financially insecure having lost power in September 2007 with no finances but only huge debts in the commercial banks.


It was against this backdrop and in order to avoid men and women of straw from crowding the contest field or going on to win the Presidential nomination only for the party to be unable to fund their campaigns, that it was decided that the fee of a non-refundable Le50M be levied on all aspirants. This, it was later agreed should be paid in instalments with an initial Le10M as 1st instalment.


At the current exchange rate, Le50million is only US$12,500 but as of last weekend, no other candidate but Kadi Sesay and Alpha Timbo had paid the initial non-refundable Le10M (ie: two thousand, five hundred dollars). The deadline for all initial payments is August 31st 2010 which is only three weeks away. The SLPP Secretariat has made it very clear in a recent Press Statement that any candidate who fails to pay the required Le10M initial deposit by the August 31st 2010 deadline will not be considered during the Party’s Nomination at the March 2011 Convention.


“Dr. Kadi Sesay and Lawyer Alpha Timbo have shown that they truly love the SLPP. We have been observing the others who also have lots of money and it is now clear that none of them think much of the party to the extent that even to pay to the party, a measly sum of $12,500 which is the cost of a second-hand Jeep, seems to be too much,” said Rosalyn Kai Mansaray, a party stalwart in Kenema.

 

Meanwhile, the payments from Kadi Sesay and Alpha Timbo have been banked in a Special Account. The two aspirants, who currently are members of SLPP’s National Executive, are expected to announce their resignations from the SLPP Executive any day from now.



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