The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) has acknowledged that approximately 92,000 individuals who participated in the 2023 election process have not yet received payment. The delay in disbursing their wages is attributed to the extensive processing required for handling their large number of names and details.

The commission had come under public scrutiny after a report emerged that a number of polling staff and workers have not been paid their wages.

Sierraloaded reported how these individuals, who played essential roles during the electoral process, voiced their grievances as they continued to await their salaries.

Amara Alieu, a Presiding Officer, revealed that the ECSL had failed to fulfill their contractual obligations since the conclusion of the elections. He expressed his disappointment, saying, “More than three weeks have passed, and the ECSL has not paid our contracts signed for the past elections.”

James Tholley, a polling agent since 2022, highlighted the unprecedented delay in wage disbursement. Comparing it to previous election cycles, Tholley noted that prompt payment had been the norm. He urged the commission to address their concerns promptly and ensure swift payment, stating that in previous years, they had received their wages immediately after completing their work.

Responding to the mounting concerns in an interview with Sierraloaded, Albert Massaquoi, the Director of External Relations at ECSL, assured that all individuals who had worked for the commission during the elections would be compensated.

Massaquoi clarified that the delay was not due to a refusal to pay, but rather a matter of processing a large number of names and details.

He acknowledged that approximately 92,000 people were awaiting payment, causing a slowdown in the disbursement process. Nevertheless, Massaquoi reassured the polling staff that their wages would soon be settled.