The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continues to increase public knowledge so that citizens can better understand why the fight against corruption does not only seek to improve their socio-economic wellbeing, but also unshackles Sierra Leone from the scourge of corruption.
In that regard, ACC’s Southern Region office on Friday 25th November, 2022, conveyed anti-corruption messages to residents and chiefdom functionaries of Luawa, at Lauwa Community Hall, Luawa Town, Jong Chiefdom, Bonthe District.
In his statement, ACC’s, Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar underscored the significance of the meeting and described it as an interactive engagement to dialogue with the public on integrity and accountability issues .
Manager Sittar urged his audience not to hesitate to speak against corruption because it is one of the barriers to the delivery of quality social services.
Mr. Sittar stated that as change agents they can only benefit from development projects and programs when duty bearers are held to account.
He emphasized that if corruption is unchecked, the devastating consequences will not only affect the present generation but posterity as well. Manager Sittar emphasized that even with the enormous resources directed by Government and its development partners to transform the living conditions of the rural poor, yet there is very little to show for it, due to, dishonesty and lack of accountability.
He challenged the residents of Luawa to be proactive in handling corrupt acts noting that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.
Mr. Sittar called on them to monitor programs and projects implemented in their communities in order to protect public and donor resources. He dilated on certain provisions, offences and fines as contained in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2029.
Speaking at the meeting, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, said that, despite the Commission’s interventions to stamp out corrupt practices in public sector institutions, certain individuals are hell-bent on circumventing policies and legislations for personal gains.
Saccoh drew their attention to a number of practices which are wrongly imposed on the people in the guise of customs and traditions. He furthered that perpetrating such acts on the unsuspecting public do not only exacerbate poverty but also deprive them of decent livelihoods.
The Senior Public Educator acknowledged the sincere and genuine efforts of some public sector workers who have devoted themselves to work diligently.
He condemned and expressed dissatisfaction over the attitude and behavior of some local court officials and chiefdom functionaries who use their offices to extort money, stressing that, the deplorable state of rural communities cannot change if they choose not to ignore and treat the fight against corruption with scorn and levity.
Public Education Officer, ACC, Yangie Deborah Sesay, said the meeting was intended to help change the mindsets of residents of Luawa Community about corruption and the operations of ACC through its sensitization programs.
Miss. Sesay recognized that when communities work with shared interest and one accord they can achieve a lot for the good of all.
She implored her listeners to own the fight so that rogues cannot take advantage of their ignorance. Madam Sesay explained the various reporting channels and assured them of informants protection.
Earlier, Town Chief, Luawa Town, Jong Chiefdom, Bonthe District, Dauda Lamin commended the ACC, especially, in reaching out to rural communities to raise awareness on corruption and its adverse effects on the society. Chief Lamin declared that such an engagement will go a long way to improve services in schools, health facilities and local courts. He reassured the Commission his fullest cooperation and that of his people.
The meeting was ably chaired by the ACC District Monitor Bonthe, David Garrick.