The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Sierra Leone Union of Photographers (SLUP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) geared towards strengthening partnership and collaboration to promote transparency, accountability and responsive democratic good governance in the country.
The signing ceremony took place on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at the Conference Room of the ACC, 3 Gloucester Street, in Freetown.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, welcomed the team from SLUP, stating that he was thrilled by the zest and interest shown by the Sierra Leone Union of Photographers to partner with the Commission. *_“To control corruption in any country is not an easy job. The population of Sierra Leone is about 7.5 million, but the ACC’s staff strength is less than 400; therefore we can only make headway by building partnership with state and non-state institutions,”_* he said.
The Deputy Commissioner said the Public Education and Outreach Department at ACC plays a great role to educate the public on the ills of corruption and to solicit public support geared towards the anti-corruption campaign. *_“We believe it is the responsibility of every citizen to join in the fight against corruption,”_* he said. Mr. Ngobie added that the SLUP will now become ambassadors of the ACC and therefore it is expected of them to serve as whistleblowers and use their cameras to take snapshots or footages of acts of corruption taking place in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the SLUP, the Vice President, Tennyson K. Yomba, thanked the Commissioner and the Management team of the ACC for giving them the opportunity to collaborate with the Commission. He said the entire membership of the SLUP has been continuously kept abreast with the work of the Commission and the progress being made, especially under the leadership of Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. He said they are also impressed with the strong political will of the President, H.E Julius Maada Bio. *_“Everybody across the globe is aware of the fact that the fight against corruption in every nation is a challenging task. However, our Union acknowledges that for the past four years, the Commission has incrementally progressed at all fronts in its mission, which is aimed at laundering the image of Sierra Leone,”_* he added. Mr Yomba assured the ACC of their determination and readiness to help the Commission in the fight against corruption.
Director of Public Education and External Outreach Department, ACC, Patrick Sandi, in his welcome remarks as Chairman of the event, said the Commission appreciates the move of the SLUP, expressing hope that the partnership between both institutions will go a long way to eradicating corruption in Sierra Leone.
According to the citation of the MoU, read by the Assistant Information Officer, ACC, Amie Massaquoi, the ACC and SLUP will work together to fight against corruption. Part of this includes; sensitizing, educating, whistle-blowing, video, audio and photo recording of suspected acts of corruption. Both institutions will exchange information and provide guidance on good practices, while working towards strengthening their respective mandates.
The signing of the MoU by the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie and the National President of SLUP, Steven E. Momoh, climaxed the event.