A leading opposition figure in Sierra Leone has accused the government of President Julius Maada Bio of running the country on the “storm of misinformation and inexactness”.Dr. Samura Kamara, the main challenger of Bio in the 2018 elections, was quoted as lamenting on Thursday that the policies and governance style of the administration had divided the country, weakened its fledgling democracy and consequently fend off potential investors.
According to Kamara, the government is relying on misinformation to continue on a path of blaming its predecessor for its failure.
Kamara, who ran under the ticket of the then ruling All People’s Congress (APC), said the current problem of the country was that the government wasn’t just headed by people who could not understand and appreciate much earlier the rigours and challenges of governance, but a political leadership that would not listen to wise council and held on to ‘winner-takes-all’ as the only instrument of governing a state.
“They would tell you that they inherited a broken, battered and the worst economy since independence. This is certainly not true,” Kamara said in a statement widely circulated on social media as part of his New Year message.
He said it was an “unacceptable insult” to the intelligence of Sierra Leoneans, who witnessed the revival of the country’s economy that was devastated by the 11-year civil war, adding that the current administration’s claim of inheriting a poor economy amounted to a denial of the negative impacts on an economy also “devastated by a lethal Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, by unprecedented floods and mudslides, and by unavoidable external economic shocks”.
Kamara, an economist, spent much of his career in the banking and finance sector, starting off at the [Central] Bank of Sierra Leone where he rose to the position of Governor. He also served as Financial Secretary, and in cabinet as Foreign and Finance Minister. He also worked with the International Monetary Fund.
Kamara was the last Foreign Affairs Minister under the administration of former President Ernest Bai Koroma, when he was hand-picked in controversial circumstances to lead the APC in the 2018 polls.
Bio, a former military head of state himself and longtime presidential hopeful, defeated Kamara in a run off. But the then incumbent APC disputed the outcome of the poll it said had been rigged with the help of foreign governments. Kamara is widely expected to run for the presidency in 2023.