By Ragan Conteh
As Kenema continues to be the most backward city in terms of poor infrastructural development, residents have lambasted the New Direction under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio for its failure to rebrand the city to standards, especially the construction of roads within the city.
According to Pa Mohamed Jalloh, a petty trader who is also a resident of Kenema city for almost 70 years, informed journalists past Tuesday that Kenema used to be the second largest city in Sierra Leone, and the largest city in the country’s eastern Province.
It is the capital of Kenema district and a major economic center of the Eastern Province.
Pa Jalloh further explained that Kenema is an overwhelming political stronghold of the Sierra Leone People’s party wherein many voted for the SLPP with the aim of changing the current deplorable condition of the city, but such condition is still holding the city to ransom.
“After the 2015 national census, Kenema population was 200,354 showing that the population has grown to the extent that government should ensure that the infrastructure of such city should be modern as compared to other cities in other parts of the country.”
He concluded that Kenema mainly voted for the SLPP because they believe the leadership of President Bio to change Kenema to a paradise, but looking at the signs and systems of this government there is no iota of developing the city that its people overwhelmingly voted for them.
The roads within the township of Kenema is approximately 300 kilometers (185 miles), southeast of Freetown and about 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of Bo, according to the 2015 population census.
Mrs. Roselyn Kapuwa of Hanga Road revealed that the council which is responsible for the rehabilitation of roads within the city of Kenema, has not lived up expectations since they elected Karimu Baio as Mayor with 79.4% votes in the 2018 Kenema city mayoral election.
She described the current situation of Kenema as the worst in terms of economic and infrastructural facilities.
Mrs. Kapuwa said if the city roads remain the same in the next few years before the 2023 elections, the people of Kenema will have no option but to boot the SLPP out of power, so as to give chance to those political parties who are developmentally oriented.
Many residents have condemned both the central government and the council for the neglect of the city which is the stronghold of the incumbent government.
By Ragan Conteh