False claim about death of Sierra Leone’s former Works minister, Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay circulates online

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A claim that a former minister of Works in Sierra Leone, Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay, had died has been circulating online.

The claim retrieved from a WhatsApp group on December 13, 2023, read: “Former Minister of Works Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay Have Pass Away yesterday evening.”

The claim has triggered widespread misinformation about his alleged death on social media, especially among the people of Port Loko District (Sierra Leone) his birth place and the country at large.

Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay is a Sierra Leonean politician from the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) political party in the country. He was Sierra Leone’s former Minister of Transportation and Aviation and member of the Pan-African Parliament. Sesay was born in Port Loko, Port Loko District, a Muslim and a member of the Temne ethnic group.

In 2002, he served as a member of Parliament of Sierra Leone representing Port Loko District. He was appointed Minister of Transportation by former president Ernest Bai Koroma in October 2007. On August 4, 2008, President Koroma relieved Sesay of his appointment as Transport and Aviation Minister after a record haul of 700 kilogrammes of cocaine was discovered and confiscated at Freetown airport in July 2008.

Sesay was also nominated for the position of Minister of Political Affairs in 2013 and has been active in the nation’s politics since then.

 

CLAIM

Former Sierra Leonean minister of Works, Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay, is dead.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by this researcher show that the claim is FALSE.

Kemoh Sesay personally debunked the claim via a telephone call put across to his mobile number on December 15, 2023 by this researcher.

Also, Sesay said he had released a video announcing that he is still alive days ago when he got the news about his alleged death.

In the video, which he sent to this researcher after the telephone conversation, he stated that he released the video to assure the public that he is safe, alive and strong.

Speaking in the local Creole language, which was translated by this researcher, he said:

“Greetings my Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters. I am compelled to make this video due to rumours going around that I, Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay is dead. So, I am telling you now that I am not dead; I am well and kicking.

“As a matter of fact, the last time I see my doctor was in  August 2021. Please, whosoever that is passing this heartbreaking news should stop; this is too much for my people as many people are already crying and suffering emotionally.

“I am well and kicking, nothing has happened to me insha Allah and I am alive. So, I am thankful to all concerned people and those who have suffered through this news, I say sorry about that.

“All my children, loved ones and family members, I am sorry that this news has troubled you all a lot; I am sorry about that”.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that the former Sierra Leonean Minister of Works, Alhaji Kemoh Sesay, have passed away is FALSE; the former minister debunked the claim in a video days after his reported death.

 

* This report was written by Kadiatu Tholley, Presenter at Advocacy Radio 99.7FM in Sierra Leone under the mentorship of the Africa Facts Network Member, FactCheckHub. Africa Facts is a network of fact-checkers across the continent supported by Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation.

Kadiatu Tholley, from Sierra Leone.

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