In a bid to foster partnership and collaboration in the fight against corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Regional Office in Kono has called on various Ataya Base associations to join the fight against corruption in the district. This event took place at the Pa Sourie Ataya Base in Bungalow, Koidu City, on Wednesday, 13th September, 2023.
Explaining the importance of the meeting, the ACC Regional Manager Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara expressed her gratitude to the executives and memberships of the associations for permitting the ACC to be part of their meeting to discuss a red-hot issue that is affecting every Sierra Leonean. She continued that corruption has permeated every facet of the country and that it can only be curbed with the support of all formal and informal sectors.
Corruption, according to the manager, “should be considered as the number one enemy of the State because it erodes trust, stagnates development, lowers community confidence in public authorities, discourages investments and weakens democratic institutions and the rule of law.”
Mrs Kamara continued that young people have a unique perspective and energy that can drive positive change, such energy should be channelled towards fighting a good cause like corruption and inequalities rather than engaging in taking harmful drugs. “The greatest strength and wealth of every nation is its youth because the future of a nation lies in their hands,” the manager noted.
Speaking on the identification of corruption and non-corruption related cases, the Manager said that all corruption offences in Sierra Leone are contained in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. According to her, anything outside the Act is considered to be outside the mandate of the Commission. She cited offences like bribery, misappropriation of donor and public funds, examination malpractices, abuse of office, failing to declare assets and liabilities etc. as cases which are for the ACC. Issues like rape, murder, wounding with intent and domestic feuds should be handled by the police, she said.
The Chairman of the Ataya Base associations Mohamed Tarawalie thanked the ACC for the important outreach session to his membership. He said that if an institution like the ACC had been established shortly after independence, Sierra Leone would not have had a civil war, and that many citizens would not have left its shores for greener pastures. He commended the ACC for its tremendous work in the fight against corruption across all levels of society.
He finally encouraged his members to join the ACC in the fight against corruption in the district and to report its occurrences to the Commission. He concluded by pledging the various associations’ support to not only report corruption but also to abstain from it.