Hilary Clinton may have controversially lost the US Presidential elections after an illustrious political career spanning 30 years, but that has not dampened the spirit of one of her protégés, Zainab Hawa Bangura, to pursue her ambition to lead Sierra Leone in the near future.
After months of speculation Madam Bangura has perhaps given the first indication that she is entering the race to lead her party, the All People’s Congress (APC), to the next national polls in 2018.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, according to a very close family source, “will not be renewing her contract with the United Nations when it expires at the end of December 2016 and has given notice to the incoming Secretary General, that she is coming back home to be a part of the political process”.
The current Secretary General’s term also comes to an end on December 31st 2016.
ZHB (as she is now fondly called by family, friends and colleagues) flew in quietly on Saturday 12th November, 2016 on what can probably be described as the start of her journey to become the next President of the small but rich West African country.
Family sources say ZHB will be here till first week January 2017. While here, she will hold consultative meetings with the leadership of the APC as well as party stakeholders. Already, names of many personalities eyeing the flag-bearer position of the party post-Ernest Bai Koroma have been tossing around, but ZHB’s is the only female in the mix.
Family sources say she’s beaming with confidence despite realizing she’s got a real battle in her hands to overcome her male counterparts.
“She’s confident because she has an enviable track record. And she’s coming home because she thinks having received so much from Sierra Leone, she feels it is time for her to give back,” said her cousin, Idrissa Kamara.
Meanwhile, we learnt that ZHB will spend Christmas in her home town of Yoni in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone, a tradition for her according to Idrissa.
“She’ll spend Christmas with her family in the village and make sure the kids in the entire village have a memorable Christmas; and she’ll inspire them to work hard to become responsible citizens their community will look up to tomorrow,” said Idrissa.
It must be noted however that no date has been set for her official declaration but as we await that, people have a right to know who actually is Zainab Hawa Bangura, and why she thinks she is the best person to lead the APC and eventually her country?” (See next article).