The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continues its commitment to raise awareness on public sector misconduct and mobilize strong public support and action against it, while striving towards ensuring that the socio-economic needs of all Sierra Leoneans are met. Regarding this prevention measure, the Public Education Unit Northeast of the Commission held a meeting with residents of Makump Bana community in Bombali District on 12th April 2022.
Addressing attendees at the meeting, ACC Public Education Officer, Aiah Sourie, thanked the Chief of the community for granting the Commission permission to hold an engagement with the people of Makump Bana. The ‘warm reception’, he said, was indicative of the people’s will to get empowered in order to eschew corruption and support the ACC in its campaign.
The Public Education Officer noted in his statement that corruption indiscriminately takes its toll on a nation’s development strides as well as on every citizen in both urban and rural communities. The threat posed by corruption, he said, exacerbates poverty more in rural settings where there are often limited opportunities, and the locals hardly ever know how to seek redress when they are corruptly denied services due them. He furthered that corruption depletes the resources of a country, depriving posterity of empowerment opportunities. “This implies that corruption affects the future of a nation,” he underscored.
Drawing on this brief impact of public sector malfeasance, Mr. Sourie urged the community people to resolutely fight against corruption at all times. He explained that to bravely shun corruption and dispassionately report it to the ACC using 077-985-985 or 077-986-986 lines is an outstanding sign of patriotism. However, he warned that this cannot be successfully done if the people “are apathetic to development projects and public service delivery in their community.” He then encouraged the stakeholders of Makump Bana to assume leadership roles in ensuring that the interest of the community is placed above all else in the implementation of projects and delivery of public service in their backyard.
The community was assured of the ACC’s undivided attention to deliver on its mandate for the benefits of all Sierra Leoneans. According to the Public Education Officer, the Commission, for instance, in March 2022, engaged Bombali District and Tonkolili District Councils in the Northeast region on the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2019-2023( a public voice and action against corruption) to determine their commitment to curbing corruption and support them to uphold transparency and accountability akin to the goals of the Strategy in their respective entities. “This is one of several indicators of the Commission’s continued devotion to make life better for the citizens.”
Making his contribution, Senior Prevention Officer, Sylvester Tykson Sowah, highlighted the basic role of the Commission’s Prevention Department in the fight against graft. He revealed that the Department examines the practices and procedures of public bodies to identify and plug corruption gaps and also guide them generate income where appropriate. He emphasized that such relentless efforts by the Commission have earned the country impressive digits on both International and National Corruption Perception indexes, and reechoed the need to always resist and report corruption to the Commission.
Responding to the anti-graft messages, Pa Kapr Serry, the Ceremony Chief of the Makump Bana community thanked the ACC for the meeting calling it ‘a timely eyeopener.’ He remarked that corruption “is just as present in rural communities as it is in urban ones”, revealing that certain chiefs in his community have extorted exorbitant fines from poor locals with impunity. With the empowerment gained from the meeting, he said, the situation will change as “we will boldly report all alleged instances of corruption to the ACC.”