The Institute of Governance Reform (IGR) Citizens Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP III) report, revealed that violence was generally low in the past election compared to other democracies in the sub-region.
The Report noted, “Only 5.2% of respondents reported experiencing violence personally whilst close to 10% (9.6%) saw or heard of someone else being harassed.”
The violence ranged from “verbal insults and hate messages, to beating, wounding, arson and a few cases of killing.” Also, “The highest reports of political harassment were recorded in Kono with 13% in the Eastern region followed by Koinadugu, Bombali, Kambia and Port Loko.”
“Our enumerators recorded 61 alleged incidences of wounding occasioned by beating and/or stabbing or arson. Instances of violence were generally under-reported as respondents appeared scared to divulge details for fear of reprisals.
About 61.3% of alleged victims said they did not remember who the perpetrators were. About 28% of respondents placed the blame for electoral violence on both the APC and SLPP.” 34% of victims blamed the APC for initiating violence whereas 24% believed the SLPP were the main culprits. The APC was generally blamed for pre-election and polling day incidences, particularly those occurring in the Western Area, the Northern and North-Western districts. The SLPP was named largely in post-election violence occurring in the South and Eastern regions and the Western Area”.
The KAP studies are intended to gauge citizens’ behaviours, perceptions and practices towards democratic consolidation and the March 7 general elections in Sierra Leone. The third KAP report is titled, “Deepening Democracy in Sierra Leone”, measures the collective results of the interventions of partners on citizens perception and attitudes towards democracy.
To measure the impact of these investments, citizen participation and the quality of elections, the research randomly targeted 3,960 respondents from 396 polling centres nationwide.