A senior State House source has dismissed claims that President Koroma held private talks with the SLPP flagbearer wanna–be, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella during his short visit to the country last week.
The campaign outfit of the former UNIDO Director General, the KKY Movement had bragged about that Dr. Yumkella was lined up to meet with President Koroma for a high level discussion on his candidacy and the succession issue.
However, State House sources rubbished the claims as bogus, maintaining that President Koroma had a very busy calendar during the visit of Dr. Yumkella to Freetown. “The truth is that Dr. Yumkella made a couple of attempts to meet with the President but it was not just possible because of his (President’s) busy schedule”.
State House sources also confirmed that the KKY Movement afterwards contacted one of President Koroma’s siblings to fix an appointment for Dr. Yumkella when the official attempt failed.
But beyond the official explanation, Global Times investigation shows that President Koroma actually refused to meet with the former UN boss in order not to sully his ‘hard- earned democratic credentials’. Supporters of Dr. Yumkella have claimed President Ernest Bai Koroma is the rock behind the candidacy of their man, a claim which has now been dismissed as a mere ‘political gimmick’.
“The President doesn’t want his name to feature in any of the opposition political battle. He is not supporting anyone; that is a matter for the SLPP themselves to decide”, our sources say.
The former UNIDO boss has featured prominently in a number of controversies this year.
Despite having said on air that he has neither registered to vote nor was he a member of any political party, Dr. Yumkella was a few weeks ago controversially issued an SLPP membership card in the United States. This happened few months after the Bo district branch of the party had debunked claims he had secured an SLPP membership in the district.