There are no statistics which show that Christians and Creoles are favoured over Muslims and other ethnicities. His comments are contrary to the 2022 Public Elections Act.
Mohamed Gento Kamara: “Christians are more employed in Sierra Leone than Muslims”. “Only Krios have held the Mayoral office in Freetown since the country gained independence in 1961”.
In a virally shared social media video on 24th March 2023, Mayoral candidate for the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Mohamed Gento Kamara, delivered a campaign speech in Masjid Sabireen Mosque on Kissy Road which generated thousands of social media comments and opinions. Many comments said his words were misleading and harmful because they pointed to favouritism between different religions and ethnicities.
Gento claimed among other things that job opportunities for Muslims in Sierra Leone are painfully low and that preference has always been given to Christians. He claimed that this has forced Muslims to abandon Islam and embrace Christianity.
He also claimed that only candidates from the Krio ethnic group have headed the Freetown City Council (FCC) since 1961 when Sierra Leone gained independence from British colonial rule.
SLAJ i-Verify Sierra Leone has fact-checked the above claims.
Sierra Leone’s Statistics Department, (Statistics Sierra Leone) was unable to provide population data from the last census in 2021. But according to World Population Review which uses national statistics and UN projections, Sierra Leone’s population stands at 8.7 million. Only 802.369 of this population resides in the capital Freetown where the mayor sits.
The US Embassy says in a report using data from 2020 that Muslims account for 77% of the country’s population as against 22% which is Christian.
There are no statistics to support Mr Kamara’s claim that Christians are the most employed religious denomination in Sierra Leone.
Mr Kamara’s claim that only Krios have held Freetown’s mayoral seat since independence is false. The late former President of Sierra Leone Siaka Probyn Stevens who also served as a mayor of Freetown from 1964-1968 was of Limba and Themne descent.
Sections (165 (3) (b) (iii) and (13) of the 2022 Public Elections Act state “A political party or an independent candidate shall not indulge in an activity which may create or aggravate tension between gender, ethnicity, language, class or religious faith”.
The Video was Posted on Sarah Kallay’s Blog about Gento
Sierra Leone Gained Independence from British Colonial Rule
Sierra Leone Population Stand at 8.7 million
Muslims Account for 77% of the Country’s Population
The 2022 Global Peace Index Labelling Sierra Leone as One of the Most Peaceful Countries in the World.
2022 Public Elections Act states that Sierra Leone is one of the most peaceful countires in the world.
https://www.parliament.gov.sl/uploads/acts/THE PUBLIC ELECTIONS ACT, 2022.pdf
Siaka Probyn Stevens also served as a Mayor of Freetown.