Tripartite Committee Faces Criticism for Lack of Communication

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By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The much-anticipated Tripartite Committee, established to address electoral disputes and foster political reconciliation, is concluding its activities amidst significant public confusion and misinformation. Veteran politician, statesman, and journalist, Hon. I.B Kargbo, has voiced concerns over the Committee’s failure to communicate effectively with the public, exacerbating tensions and misunderstandings.

I.B Kargbo highlighted that the Committee’s deliberate exclusion of the media from its proceedings has created an atmosphere of secrecy, likening it to a clandestine ‘bondo bush’ affair. He furthered that the lack of transparency has left the public in the dark, fueling speculation and mistrust among supporters of the two main political parties, the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

“The Tripartite Committee’s silence has allowed each political party to interpret the Committee’s purpose and activities according to their own narratives,” he noted. “APC followers, convinced that the June 23 elections were rigged, are demanding a rerun, while the ruling SLPP maintains that the elections were legitimate, much to the frustration of APC youths.”

I.B Kargbo emphasized the critical role of communication in managing public expectations and maintaining national peace and security. He pointed out that the absence of clear information has led to a dangerous polarization, with social media becoming the primary platform for disseminating often misleading and inflammatory political content.

The situation has been further complicated by the outspoken American Ambassador to Sierra Leone, whose comments have preempted the Committee’s findings and heightened political tensions, he maintained. I.B Kargbo urged the Tripartite Committee to adopt a more transparent approach, suggesting regular public briefings to clarify its mandate and progress.

“The Committee’s failure to engage with the public has resulted in widespread speculation about its objectives, including rumors of a rerun election or the establishment of a Government of national unity,” I.B Kargbo asserted saying it is imperative for the Committee to clearly communicate its mandate to prevent further misunderstandings.

He also criticized the Committee for its restrictive definition of stakeholders, excluding key elders from the APC, SLPP, the Judiciary, SLAJ and the Labor Congress who possess valuable historical knowledge and play crucial mentorship roles.

Historically, Sierra Leone has successfully mediated international disputes, such as those between Sudan and Ethiopia and between Chad and Libya, with significant public communication efforts. I.B Kargbo stressed that similar public relations strategies are essential for the Tripartite Committee to succeed.

As the Committee’s June 19 deadline approaches, I.B Kargbo called for an urgent public education campaign to elucidate the Committee’s terms of reference and dispel ongoing speculation. He suggested forming an Information Secretariat within the Committee to handle communication and ensure transparency.

“The mandate of the Tripartite Committee is clear: to inquire into electoral disputes and propose solutions to prevent future issues,” he concluded. “Effective communication is essential to achieving these goals and maintaining public trust,” he maintained

The Tripartite Committee’s silence has left the public speculating about its outcomes, with both APC and SLPP supporters interpreting the Committee’s purpose to suit their political agendas. I.B Kargbo’s call for transparency and communication underscore the importance of public engagement in resolving Sierra Leone’s political disputes and ensuring a stable future.


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