Amin Kef (Ranger)
Africa-Press – Sierra-Leone. At the launch of his manifesto titled: “Freetown for We All”, aspiring Mayor of Freetown under the SLPP ticket, Mohamed Gento Kamara, made it abundantly clear that his manifesto entails five commitments should he be elected Mayor. These are: Water for we all; Clean city for we all; Jobs for we all; Public spaces and services for we all and Freetown for we all.
Undoubtedly, the name Mohamed Gento Kamara is a household name in Sierra Leone. His name rings a bell wherever you go in Freetown and Sierra Leone in general. He is slated to become the next Mayor of Freetown if voted for come June 24, 2023.
It is no gainsaying the fact that over the last two decades or more, Freetown (the capital city of Sierra Leone) which should be the beacon of cleanliness, progress, discipline, infrastructural beauty and champion of utility services, has not maintained such posture due to the fact that, individuals tasked with keeping Freetown as the befitting capital city of Sierra Leone, have failed woefully in all aspects.
However, it pays no one to begin to apportion blame on anyone or on any Government. Suffice to say, the mistake has been done throughout all these years by putting the wrong persons in the wrong place to serve as Mayor of Freetown. In fact, it is a wonder to many people how it happens that wrong people are more than often appointed or elected to serve in positions they know nothing about.
Thankfully however, Sierra Leoneans are now cognizant of the fact that this country needs people to serve in positions of trust who are qualified and know much about the position or job they are being elected or required to perform. This is good for the progress of this country, the capital city Freetown in particular.
It is against this background that political pundits and social commentators are urging the people of Freetown to make a wise decision by voting Mohamed Gento Kamara, not only because he is a philanthropist who has helped all and sundry, but mostly because he has the requisite knowledge, experience and moral attitude to develop Freetown and transform it into a 21st Century capital city which all Sierra Leoneans can be proud of.
It could be recalled that while speaking on national television a few weeks ago, he did say that when he is voted Mayor of Freetown Municipality, he will be committed to fixing this city so that it works for all of us. His focus will be on providing clean water, sanitation services, job creation, and public spaces – including dignified health centers, marketplaces and recreational facilities for all.
With Gento Kamara as Mayor of Freetown, Freetonians are assured of enhanced access to public services in a manner which appreciates the self-worth of all citizens as he will purposefully include those who have traditionally been marginalized and forgotten by society.
It is generally believed that by cleaning up the mess, instilling order, and creating employment opportunities throughout the city, this will enable everyone to rise and live in dignity, from East End to Aberdeen, from the Kekeh riders to the market sellers to the footballers to the fishermen to the tailors to the artists to the business executives.
Hopefully, with such a critical infrastructure and socio-economic framework in place, we can all begin to enjoy what Freetown has to offer– a vibrant culture and beautiful city, where all citizens can pursue their dreams.
However, we are mindful of the fact that, this can only be done with an inclusive, accessible and accountable Local Government, which is responsive to the needs of all people no matter their heritage or status.
It is the hope and wish of all Freetonians that unlike the past administration, the next leadership of the city must respect and collaborate with chiefs, traditional and religious leaders and local community leaders, so that no one is left behind.
And this is where Mohamed Gento Kamara comes in!
In his manifesto, Gento Kamara promises that as Head of the Freetown City Council, he will work with all stakeholders to ensure that Freetown becomes a city known for its cleanliness while promoting recycling of waste, especially single-use plastics, for other uses such as making pavement blocks. As Mayor, he also intends to progressively eliminate the use of plastics which otherwise clog the drainage systems and litter the beaches and other public spaces. He also plans to build public toilets for use by traders, tourists, and anyone in town; and to re-introduce cleaning days with proper incentives and coordination in order to cultivate habits of cleanliness and communal pride in our neighborhoods.
More importantly, he promises that as Mayor, his staff will reflect the faces and languages and religions of this city. He adds that he will be inclusive so that all feel at home and can access Local Government services in a comfortable environment. He adds that the groups which have been traditionally marginalized and underrepresented – women, youth, those with disability, ethnic minorities – will be purposefully prioritized when making decisions on hiring and project implementation.
Listening to Mohamed Gento Kamara reading his manifesto, political pundits and social commentators are of the opinion that Sierra Leoneans are now more inclined to vote for him come June 24 because his plans and policies, added to his career and experience in urban development qualify him for the position of Mayor.
It is now up to the people of Freetown to decide whether they want someone with exquisite knowledge and experience to fix the problems of Freetown or whether they want a novice who knows nothing about urban development.
Source: The Calabash Newspaper