The Chief Executive Officer of Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), Abdul M. Fatoma, has expressed concerns over what the outcome of the ongoing treason trial stemming from the November 26th, 2023 attempted failed coup could have a detrimental impact on Sierra Leone’s economy.

According to Fatorma, it’s almost six months after the general elections, and the delay in unveiling the country’s Mid-Term Development Plan adds uncertainty to the economic outlook.

Fatorma highlighted the November 26th, 2023 incident as a significant spoiler that led to the Court Martial and treason trials. He said while awaiting the Mid-Term Development Plan, crucial for achieving the ‘BIG FIVE’ initiative, investors, both local and foreign, are hesitant to invest in Sierra Leone, as the ongoing trials are creating a sense of instability, and investors are closely monitoring the situation before committing their funds.

Fatorma emphasized the need for the government to address the issue of taxation, advocating for a drastic reduction in taxes on food items. He believes this will empower the middle class and ensure affordable access to food, especially considering the current economic challenges that do not favour the masses.

Referring to the ECOWAS/Commonwealth vcommunique signed by the government and the main opposition All People’s Congress Party, Fatorma expressed disappointment that the mandated Committee, set to address issues such as Electoral, Judicial, and Civil Service reforms, has not made any visible progress since its expected commencement on December 13th, 2023. He sees these reforms as crucial for improving electoral and judicial institutions before the 2028 elections.

Fatorma further speaks on the credibility of the June 24th elections, pointed out that entities like the National Elections Watch (NEW), Carter Foundation, and European Union Election Observers, which raised concerns about credibility issues, have not provided tangible evidence of election malpractice to the public. This lack of transparency negatively affects Sierra Leone’s democratic credentials and has led to a reset on MCC grants.

With donor partners confused about where to focus their support, Fatorma urged the government to prioritize the key ECOWAS/Commonwealth Communique recommendations. By addressing these recommendations, Sierra Leone can rebuild donor confidence and pave the way for economic transformation.