Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, the Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), has shed light on the reasons behind the delay of payment for electoral staff who took part in the 2023 multitier elections.

He said the ECSL encountered difficulties in verifying the status of over 8,000 election staff following the recently concluded poll.

Konneh made this revelation during a two-day post-election retreat held at Galliness Paradise Hotel in Bo on August 7th and 8th, 2023. The retreat served as a platform for commission staff from across the country to reflect on the recently concluded elections, identify successes, and pinpoint areas for improvement in future electoral processes.

In addressing the gathered commission staff, Konneh emphasized his longstanding vision for election conduct, which prioritizes maintaining relative peace and ensuring the continuity of everyday activities such as education and trade throughout the election period. He attributed the successful realization of this vision to the dedicated support of his team.

Konneh further elaborated on the verification process, stating, “Following the elections, we have been tasked with several procedural steps. A significant aspect involves the verification of individuals who were part of our workforce. To achieve this, a team has been established to reach out to staff members using their provided telephone contacts. However, there are cases where contact cannot be established due to discrepancies in the contact information we possess. I urge all staff who collaborated with us to cooperate with the verification committee overseen by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and provide accurate telephone contacts for smooth verification.”

The ECSL remains committed to resolving the verification challenges to ensure prompt and accurate payment for the electoral staff who contributed to the 2023 multitier elections.