MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER 1
11. In Moyamba: Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. flanked by Director of Public Education Patrick Sandi (L) and Coordinator of Operations Emmanuel Koivaya Amara Esq (R) A participant in Kono posing questions to the ACC Commissioner Pupils of various schools listening to Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala as he addresses young people in Kono The Regent Paramount Chief of Mongor Bendugu, Falaba District Sheku K. Jawara welcoming the Commissioner to the District Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq tells the people of Bonthe, Sherbro Island how corruption affects the wellbeing of the Nation and why they must join the campaign against the Scourge Tonkolili District Stakeholders listening to Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. in Magburaka Warm welcome for Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. in Kabala, Koinadugu District Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. poses with Paramount Chiefs of Kono after the Engagement Page 11
12. Published by the Anti - Corruption Commission Headquarters: 3, Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Website: email@example.com Bo Office Address: 10 Bo Pujehun Drive, Kebbie Town Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Makeni Office Address: Mena Hill Reservation, Makeni Kenema Office Address: Reservation Road, Off Maxwell Khobe Street Kono Office: 37 Masingbi Road, Koidu City, Kono Port Loko : 27 Conteh Street, Port Loko Hotline Nos: 077 - 985985 , 077 986 986 , 515 (All Networks)
1. Issue 13 Volume 36 March, 2021 T he Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), Fran- cis Ben Kaifala Esq. has been recognised by the United States Department of State as “ International Anti - Corruption Champion 2020” for his “ outstanding commitment to the prevention, exposure, and combating of corruption as Commissioner of Sierra Leone’s Anti - Corruption Commission”. The United States Department of State announced its inaugural ‘INTERNATIONAL ANTI - CORRUPTION CHAMPION AWARDS’ on Tuesday 23 rd February, 2021. This honour was bestowed upon the former worthy Fulbright Scholar at a ceremony organized for that purpose by the Charge D‟Affaires and the team at the US Embassy in Freetown. According to a press release from the Commission, “the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs took into consideration the remarkable work and achievements of the ACC since Mr. Kaifala‟s appointment by His Excellency, President Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio in June 2018, to lead the fight against corruption in comparison to all other anti - graft campaigners in the World.” The release further states that the “Department specifically highlighted the Commission‟s achievements in fairly fighting corruption by Contd on pg10 The plaque presented to the ACC Commissioner Chargé d‟Affairs at U.S. Embassy Freetown, Elaine M French, presenting the ACC Commissioner with the Award
3. Page 3 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday 2 nd February, 2021, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NEW SALONE WOMAN.NEW SALONEWOM- AN is an advocacy organization that focuses on accountability and good governance issues in Sierra Leone. Making a statement at the ceremony, the Deputy Commissioner ACC, Augustine Foday - Ngobie, said the event marks another milestone in the fight against corruption. The Deputy Commissioner said the ACC's workforce is limited for the fight they are faced with, adding that this is the more reason the Commission is appreciative of this kind of worthy collaboration. Mr. Ngobie implored the new partners to serve as ambassadors for the ACC and the anti - corruption campaign. He not- ed that the Commission has signed a series of MOUs in the past with very minimal cooperation. He however expressed hope that the content of the MOU will be implemented. Chief Executive Officer of NEW SALONE WOMAN, Esther Madonna Mattar expressed her delight at the opportunity the ACC accorded her organization. In achieving the objectives of the organization, she said, they strongly rely on partnerships, and one of such is the MOU with the ACC. Madam Mattar expressed thanks and appreciation for the gesture, and said her organization eagerly looks forward to a very productive partnership with the ACC. Earlier, whilst welcoming the team from NEW SALONE WOMAN, the Director of Public Education and Outreach Department ACC, Patrick Sandi, who also chaired the ceremony, said the ACC is an institution that values partnerships and collaboration."We always need trusted allies in the fight against corruption and the Commission heartily welcomes this partnership,” he said. Public Education Officer, ACC, Christiana Feima Jusu, read out the citations of the MOU, which include partnering to raise awareness on corruption issues and information sharing. This was followed by the appending of signatures by the Deputy Commissioner, ACC and the Chief Executive Officer of NEW SALONE WOM- AN. Deputy Commissioner ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie (R) and Chief Executive Officer of NEW S ALONE WOMAN, Esther Madonna Mattar, after the signing Ceremony
9. T he North - East Regional office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) held a meeting to address the myriad of serious concerns that pose a threat to the effective delivery of the Free Quality School Education project in the region. The meeting, which was held at the Conference Room of the ACC Mena Hill office in Makeni, attracted leading education stakeholders in the region, including the Deputy Director, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), the Deputy Director, Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Regional Coordinator, Free Quality School Education (FQSE). ACC‟s North - East Regional Manager, Mariama Na- vo, highlighted thorny concerns including but not limited to bloated number of teachers on vouchers, enrollment of pupils who have not scored the minimum pass mark of 230 in the National Primary School Examinations, bribery for illegal transfer of teachers, improper use of subsidies, and re - admission of candidates who have already sat multiple times to the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations. The Manager said such issues amount to corruption and have the potential to scuttle efforts intended to promote the human resource capital of the country. She therefore called on the stakeholders to properly diagnose the existing challenges, and proffer workable solutions in consonance with the education goals of the Government. „I make an urgent call to integrity while you deliver service to the public, particularly in the interest of children and the future of our country,‟ she urged the stakeholders. Delivering his response on the issue of bloated lists of teachers Joseph I. Kargbo, Deputy Director TSC, conceded that some Principals could not account for sizeable numbers of teachers who have abandoned their posts of late, when his office did an on - the - spot check in several schools. He described the situation as „terrible‟ but pledged that his office will do its best to correct the anomaly. On his part, Abu Bakarr Jalloh Regional Coordinator, FQSE, revealed that Principals levy heavy charges on pupils for school colours in direct conflict with the charges authorized by the MBSSE. He further made known that the situation is exacerbated by reports on charges levied on parents to feed pupils, as well as extra lessons run by teachers at the expense of the normal school system. The Deputy Director, MBSSE, Abu Bakarr Kuyateh decried the issues raised in the meeting and declared that duty bearers in the education sector should take full responsibility to ensure that schools are run efficiently and effectively. „This therefore calls for coordinated efforts whereby all stakeholders in the sector can carry out their responsibilities. as best as they can,‟ he said. Page 9 The ACC North - East Regional Manager Mariama Navo making her remarks at the meeting
8. T he Sub - regional Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) in Kono held a three - day sensitization engagements with stakeholders and school pupils of Kunteh and Koardu communities in Gbane Kandor Chiefdom, Kono District. The meetings ran from 11 th to 13 th March 2021. The said engagements were in fulfillment of the Commission‟s mandate to raise awareness about the ills of corruption among the grassroots and to imbibe the values of integrity and accountability in young people. The Regional Manager, Hawanatu O. Kamara, said the ACC has a mandate to educate citizens about the dangers of corruption, noting, “if we are to speedily defeat corruption, each community member and stakeholder should be a watchdog in their respective communities to effectively monitor all projects implemented by Government and Non - governmental Organisations. The Manager also outlined the devastating effects of corruption on the nation, saying that rural communities are affected the most due to their vulnerabilities in relation to distance and remoteness; and therefore encouraged them to join the fight by rejecting, resisting and reporting corruption by calling the toll - free lines of 515 on Sierratel, Africell and Orange. Public Education Officer, Sam P. Gogra, while updating the audience on the achievements of the Commission under the Fran- cis Ben Kaifala leadership, mentioned the recovery of close to 30 Billion Leones through the non - conviction - based asset recovery strategy, a hotel in Koidu City and other assets. He said the ACC has made remarkable gains in both domestic and international ratings as evident in the last Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Afro Barometer, among others. District Monitor for the Social Safety Net Project (SSN) Patrick Hinga George said the ACC was established by an Act of Parliament in 2000 in fulfillment of one of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report. “It could be recalled that for over 10 years in this country, we suffered a brutal rebel war mainly because of corruption.” In his response, the Town Chief of Koardu, Steven Allieu expressed his profound gratitude for the meeting, stressing the knowledge acquired will go a long way in aiding them contribute to the anti - corruption fight. He pledged, on behalf of his community, to always support the Commission in its endeavour to succeed in the fight against graft. Page 8 Manager Hawanatu O. Kamara addressing the Koardu Community
5. “ Instituting corruption preventive measures does not only improve the delivery of social services but also obliges public sector institutions to uphold ethical standards and the rule of law.” The Chief Administrator of the Bo District Council Abdul Koroma made this statement at a meeting organised by the Southern Region office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) to engage members of the Integrity Management Committee of the Bo City and Bo District Councils and devolved sectors on the implementation of the National Anti - Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2019 - 2023. The meeting took place on Wednesday 16 th March 2021 at the Conference Room of the Bo District Council. Mr. Koroma spoke of the Council‟s determination to instill anti - corruption measures in their operations, consistent with the NACS Action Plan. In his statement, ACC Southern Region Manager Musa J. B. Jawara described the NACS as Sierra Leone‟s blueprint to fight corruption. He emphasized that it a strategy of national character because during the process of putting it together there was a countrywide consultation to gauge the views of all citizens. Mr. Jawara said the current strategy, which runs from 2019 - 2023, requires local councils to lead its implementation at district level. He said the role of IMC members should not be misunderstood as undercover agents of the ACC but rather an internal control structure that identifies corruption issues within the MDAs and finds ways of addressing them in collaboration with the leadership of the institution. “A very functional IMC will, for example, avert the flouting of policies and procedures and bring to the attention of Management when there are improper use of resources, issues that are often captured in Audit Reports,” he said. Mr. Jawara informed public sector workers that non - compliance to the NACS action matrix without reasonable excuse warrants the enforcement of the compliance sanctions outlined under the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019. Senior Public Education Officer, ACC, Abdulai Saccoh said unlike previous strategies, the 2019 - 2023 NACS seeks to promote corruption - prevention methods, heighten public awareness campaigns, create sustainable partnership and mechanism for joint actions, and strengthen integrity, transparency, accountability and the rule of law in public and private sectors. In his statement, Public Education Officer ACC, Mohamed A. Kabba said the engagement was intended to assess the extent at which both councils and devolved sectors have gone with the implementation of the NACS work plan. Page 5 ACC Southern Region Team and members of the IMC during the meeting
7. Page 7 T he North - West Regional Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) from 19 th to 26 th February 2021, engaged Local Councils and the Kambia Government Hospital on the review and development of Citizens' Service Charter geared towards enhancing transparency and accountability in service delivery. The engagement is part of the preventive approach in the fight against corruption and it involves the development of a Service Charter for Port Loko City Council and the review of same for Kambia and Port Loko District Councils and the Kambia Government Hospital. Explaining the purpose of the engagements at the respective institutions, the Regional Manager Al - Hassan Sesay, said the phenomenon of a Service Charter came about as a result of the 2008 Anti - Corruption Act as part of its preventive approach in enhancing transparency and accountability of services rendered by public bodies. He said the absence of transparency on services provided gives room for solicitation of bribes and for public officers to capitalize on corruption vulnerabilities and loopholes. He said the ACC initially took up the responsibility of printing of the Service Charters when they were newly introduced. The Regional Manager furthered, the production and display of service charters should now be part of the normal activities and functions of public institutions as they help in making their functions and services transparent. On the development and review as the case demands, Mr. Sesay called on the different institutions to put together a draft including services provided, cost and timelines and revert to the Commission. The Heads of Institution thanked the ACC for their timely intervention and noted the need for the involvement of community stakeholders in the entire process. Part of the resolutions of the engagements include; the involvement of community stakeholders, submission of draft to the ACC, validation meeting, printing and the pop- u l a r i z a t i o n o f t h e c h a r t e r t h r o u g h r a d i o a n d c o m m u n i t y e n- gagements. The ACC North West office last year completed the review of the Service Charter for the Port Loko Government Hospital, which is now at the popularization stage. ACC’s North - West Regional Manager Al - Hassan Sesay, speaking at the engagement
6. A s Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) continues with preparations for the forthcoming National Mid - term Census, the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Region Office in Kenema on the 17th March 2021, engaged and called on officers of the institution to resist bribery and uphold the highest level of integrity in the management and conduct of the Census. The engagement took place at SSL regional office in Kenema. Explaining the rationale of the meeting, ACC‟s Public Education Officer, Jeneba Kemoh, said public education and prevention are part of the three - prong approaches in fighting corruption. She said the reports about recruitment for the Mid - term Census have raised suspicion about the process with respect to issues of bribery. “It therefore behooves the ACC to engage SSL to educate and sensitize staff about the relevant provisions of the 2008 Anti - Corruption Act as amended in 2019 and to call on them to reject and resist all forms of bribery in the recruitment process,” she said. Senior Public Education Officer, Sulaiman B. Sowa, said integrity is the best armory that prevents public officers from indulging in corruption, adding “integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” He therefore urged officers of SSL to uphold the values of integrity, as the nature and purpose of the census requires utmost integrity to ensure that the data generated are accurate and credible. Mr. Sowa said the pending recruitments for various positions to facilitate the mid - term census should be free from all forms of corruption to ensure that the right and competent people are selected to do the job. “It is an offence under the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019 to receive bribes, solicit and accept advantage, abuse an office or position and receive giftfor corrupt purposes,” he warned. Principal Statistician in Kenema, Momodu Bundu, described the engagement as educative and fulfilling, as it helped in building their capacity. He went further to agree with the ACC that the Mid - term census requires highest levels and manifestations of integrity, as it was a technical and professional job that requires generating data to inform the country‟s population and many other indexes. He assured the ACC they will uphold the highest levels of integrity to repel, resist and reject influences and forces of corruption. In his contribution on the recruitment process, Ibrahim Koroma, Kenema District Census Coordinator, said the process will be done fairly and based on competence. He informed the ACC team that recruitment process has vetting mechanisms that will ensure accountability at all stages . Page 6 Officers at Statistics Kenema Office pose with ACC Team after the Engagement
4. Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. giving the keynote address at the Youth Crusade in Kono Page 4 T he Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) is concluding a tour of district headquarter towns of the country, in what is dubbed as „Meet the People‟s Tour‟. The tour which started in Kabala - Koinadugu District in the North - East, on 12 th February, 2021, has so far taken the Commissioner to Moyamba, Mattru and Bonthe Sherbro Island - Bonthe District in the Southern Region, Mongor Bendugu - Falaba District and Magburaka - Tonkolili District in the North - East Region; Kamakwie - Karene and Kambia in the North - West Region and Koidu - Kono in the Eastern Region, respectively. In all of these engagements, the ACC Commissioner was able to meet with civil society activists, media practitioners, traditional and religious leaders, civil and public servants, youth groups, school pupils and students, among other stakeholders, to present his stew- ardship and get feedbacks about the country‟s anti - corruption efforts. He also took the opportunity to enlist the people in the anti - corruption campaign and get their feedback on the strides and strategies of the Commission in controlling the scourge of corruption. While speaking in Kabala, Commissioner Kai- fala reaffirmed the Commission‟s commitment to protect resources directed towards the improvement of the socio - economic wellbeing of the underprivileged majority. He said though the district is resource - rich its inhabitants benefit less due to engrained corruption. He admonished public sector workers not to breach public trust by engaging in unlawful practices instead of delivering quality social service to the people. Mr. Kaifala acknowledged the enormous resources that have been invested to reinvigorate the health, education, justice and security sectors that were improperly used by rogues yet certain section of the public revered them. In Moyamba, Mattru Jong and Bonthe Sherbro Island, he registered his thanks and appreciation to His Excellency, President Brig. (Rtd) Dr. Julius Maada Bio for the appointment and confidence reposed on him to lead the campaign against corruption. He said, he is working tirelessly to make corruption unfashionable - a high risk and a low return venture. He highlighted the non - conviction based asset recovery approach employed by the Commission, which has made it to recover stolen public funds to the tune of over Thirty Billion Leones (Le30,000,000,000), the increased number of corruption cases prosecuted since he took up office, the over 90 percent conviction, the establishment of the Special Anti - Corruption Division within the High Court and the amendment to the 2008 Anti - Corruption Act to make the fight more robust. Contd on Pg 10
10. Contd from Pg.1 holding the past government officials accountable while also taking robust action to address corruption in the current government that appointed him and equally holding them accountable. It highlighted the impressive array of cases investigated and prosecuted, the very high convictions secured, interventions to address systems weaknesses in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, which resulted in the protection of public revenues and improved service delivery and the huge unprecedented public funds recovered in less than two years – more specifically in 2020.” This recognition comes as the country continues to make massive progress in “respected International indexes, like Transparency International, Afro barometer, Millennium Challenge Corporation; and also, the reduction in the cases of bribery and corruption in the country, as recorded by credible local Non - governmental organizations, like the Public Financial Management Consortium and Institute for Governance Reform,” the release adds. “When a credible institution like the US Department of State recognises you for the work you do as Head of an Anti - graft Agency, you can only payback by continuing to put more robust efforts into the campaign in an impartial, fair and fearless manner,” the release quotes the ACC Commissioner as saying after learning about the award. Mr. Kaifala also expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, especially President Bio, for the confidence reposed on him to lead the country‟s anti - corruption efforts adding that the honour was for his staff and the people of Sierra Leone. He went further to thank the US Government, particularly the US Embassy in Sierra Leone In Magburaka, Mr. Kaifala made reference to international indexes that speak well of the ACC and Sierra Leone as having been outstanding in the fight against corruption, since he took the mantle of leadership. The Afro Barometer Perception Survey on Corruption 2020, among other international and national credits, he said, reports that corruption level in the country has nosedived from 70% in 2017 to 40% in 2020. He also informed the people of Kamakwie that as a country we have been able to perform excellently in the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard from a fail score of 49 percent in 2017 to 71 percent in 2018, 79% in 2019 and 81% in 2020; which has made Sierra Leone Compact eligible for a Grant of over Four Hundred Million United States Dollars.„ The welcoming remarks by district and chiefdom authorities say a lot about the importance of the Commissioner‟s tour. In the hard - to - reach town of Mongor Bendugu, speak- er after speaker, congratulated the ACC czar for venturing out the tough terrain to the district headquarter town of Falaba, close to the border with neighbouring Guinea. Contd from Pg.4 Page 10 In Kambia, Dr. Nabieu Y. Yillah who represented the Paramount Chief of Magbema Chiefdom, said "with Ben Kaifala at the helm of the fight against corruption"...he is hopeful that Sierra Leone will rise again." He further stated that ever since the establishment of the ACC, this is the first time a Commissioner is paying an official visit to them. The Mayor of the Koidu New Sembuhun City Council, Komba Sam praised the Commissioner for his determination in ensuring that corruption is made unfashionable. He described the Commissioner‟s tour as very timely and strategic as it created the platform for frank and unreserved discussions with the people on critical issues related to the work of the Commission.
2. Page 2 H is Excellency, President Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio says he is happy that the country‟s anti - corruption campaign is producing results that have made him proud. The President made the remarks on Wednesday 30 th December, 2020, at State House in Freetown, while receiving a cheque of EIGHT BILLION LEONES (Le8BN) from the Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commis- sion (ACC) as part of a total of TWENTY - SIX BILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION LEO- NES (Le26.8BN) recovered since July 2018 from the corrupt as part of the Commission‟s non - conviction based asset recovery. The President said, his appreciation is borne out of the way other nations make reference to Sierra Leone‟s anti - corruption efforts in his presence at high level meetings and in conversations among his peers. The President thanked the ACC Commissioner and his Team for “the way they have spearheaded one of the most difficult fights admirably”. He said most of the problems the country fac- es today were as a result of acts of corruption and the fact that little or nothing was being done to combat them over the years preceding his tenure. “We know corruption always fights back, but we should never relent because this is a fight for the poorest of the poor,” the President said. The President reiterated his commitment to building a modern medical diagnostic centre in Sierra Leone from the stolen funds recovered by the ACC, which he said are part of his Human Capital Development agenda. While presenting the cheque in the afore - stated amount to President Bio, the ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., said a strong anti - corruption effort goes after “the assets” in addition to strategies like prosecution, prevention and public education and not just “the person”. He said, “In Africa, we have been a leading example in the way to fight corruption and I am proud to say many other countries are following and learning from us”. He went further to note that, the cheque being presented by the ACC is part of undiluted non - conviction - based asset recovery effort only; and does not include monies recovered on behalf of Government agencies, fines imposed by the Courts, and other assets recovered like houses and vehicles. EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakar Turay EDITORS Margaret Murray Moris Ibrahim Kanteh LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Patrick Sandi Emmanuel Koivaya Amara
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