The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has expressed dismay over the looting of equipment and furniture of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) office after the announcement of the 2007 elections results.
Briefing a press conference at the PPRC office in Freetown over the weekend on the legal status for the verification and inspection of the political offices, Commissioner Roland A Caesar said the visit was in accordance with section 22(1&2) of the PPRC Act, 2002 which “mandates all political parties to periodically furnish the commission with particulars of their national and provincial offices”.
He added that the commission led by himself and a member of the Commission, Muctarr Williams conducted an inspection and verification exercise on the seven political parties in the Western Area on 30 and 31 January 2008.
In his statement Mr Mohamed Kemoh Mansaray, the registrar of PPRC, said in consonant with the PPRC Act and constitution “it is our right to ascertain and locate the offices of all political parties to know whether they are in existence.”
Reading a press statement, Paul Alieu Kamara, the PRO of PPRC, said the offices of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), ruling All People’s Congress (APC), the main opposition SLPP and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) party were found intact and functioning.
On the contrary he said “we met the offices of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Peace and Liberation Party (PLP) and the United National People’s Party (UNPP) closed and not functional”.
Giving detailed analysis of the offices Mr Kamara noted that, “the team verified the authenticity and validity of the Tenancy Agreement for the four political parties’ offices verified” (PMDC, APC, SLPP and NDA).
The PRO disclosed that the Western Area office address of the PMDC (9A Hannah Benka Coker Street), APC (11A Old Railway Line, Brookfields), SLPP (15 Wallace Johnson Street) and NDA (5 Duke Street) in Freetown were located and found intact.
On the access to the public, Mr Kamara said the parties’ offices found (PMDC, APC, SLPP and NDA) were strategically located and easily accessible to the public.
According to him the team noted with satisfaction that the offices of the PMDC, APC, and SLPP specifically met the criteria of an office unlike the office of the NDA which is a dwelling house converted into an office.
He disclosed that the offices were fairly functional with a small secretariat staff manning them.
“The offices of the PMDC and APC are fully equipped with computers, intercom, land and mobile telephones, chairs, tables, and stationary,” said the PRO.
Mr Kamara pointed out that the SLPP had few computers, chairs, tables to contend with.
He expressed his organization’s utter dismay that the equipment and furniture the SLPP had before the elections were looted after the announcement of the elections.
The PRO echoed that, “we inspected the books containing the ordinary and other membership roles of the PMDC, APC, and NDA, adding that the membership role of the SLPP was not available for inspection since the books were also destroyed during the looting.
The PPRC commended PMDC, APC, SLPP and NDA for showing great commitment to the democratic system by maintaining offices in Freetown.
This exercise, the PPRC, said would be replicated in the provinces after which a full report would be submitted to the commission by the registrar.