Mayoral candidate of the Sierra Leone People’s party Mohamed Gento Kamara is receiving backlash for utterances made during a speech at the Kissy road Masjid, in the East End of Freetown on Friday 24th March 2023.
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists were first to decry his utterances in a video, where he could be seen and heard lobbying for support given his faith and tribe. According to SLAJ, campaigns should be based on developmental issues and not religious rhetoric capable of undermining the much adulated religious tolerance that Sierra Leone is known for.
They called on the inter-religious council to intervene during the electioneering period and warned politicians not to repeat this act.
Following this release was a social media post from former President of Sierra Leone Bar Association Madam Basita Michael, who reminded that candidates, members and supporters are subject to provisions of the Political Parties Act 2022 and they should therefore refrain from aggravating tensions emanating from a religious standpoint.
The media team of Mohamed Gento Kamara has responded with a statement pointing out that the shortened video was a deliberate act to take the Mayoral aspirant's statement out of context. They highlighted Gento's ties to the Christian faith.
Some citizens are however calling out multitudes for their hypocrisy in this matter. According to some reactions on social media, the act of visiting places of worship to deliver campaign messages is a norm and an outrage at it happening now is blatant hypocrisy stemming from political dishonesty.
We were able to obtain the full video of Gento's speech delivered at Kissy road masjid on Friday, from which the 2 minutes video was obtained.