2020

ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION OF SIERRA LEONE

An independent institution established for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption, corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. 

Contact us on: +23278832131 or info@anticorruption.gov.sl
Address: Cathedral House, 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

ACC Interacts with Staff of Kono District Council


NEWS ITEM

14th September, 2020 

Amidst allegations of wrong use of and unaccounted revenues in trust of Kono District Council, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has held a meeting with key Valuation Unit staff of the Council in a bid to raise awareness of the adverse effects of corruption, among other matters.

While making the crux of her statement, the ACC manager stationed in Kono District outlined the Commission’s unblinking focus on checking corruption across the organs of the public service. Hawanatu O. Kamara, using an affable approach, called on the Valuation and Finance Units of the Council to be mindful of collecting and managing revenues. She added that funds and property in care of the Council are publicly owned, and should therefore be expended or used accordingly.

The ACC, according to her, has striven to make corruption ‘an expensive venture to undertake’ especially under the astute leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. In terms of penalties for a proven act of corruption, the manager disclosed, a fine of not less than Le 50,000,000 or an imprisonment term of at least 5 years, or both, ‘shall be levied by law.’ Corruption cases are not protracted as the Commission has a competent court within the High Court of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Citing some cases won recently by the Commission on behalf of the people of this country, Mrs. Kamara underscored the importance of observing integrity in a public office and utilizing funds to keep the Council running efficiently and effectively.

She assured her audience that the ACC is ‘an independent institution’ that bears the legal mandate to prevent, suppress, investigate and prosecute corruption in the country through close collaboration with a wide range of institutions and communities. She emphasized: ‘The Commission is a development partner and is ready to work with the Council to ensure quality service is delivered to communities under its jurisdiction.’

 Mrs Kamara then drew the attention of the Council staff to revitalizing the almost moribund Integrity Management Committee as ‘an internal watchdog against possible acts of corruption within the Council.’ 

In his remarks, ACC Public Education Officer, Aiah P.M. Sourie, said ‘Corruption takes a heavy toll on a country’s growth,’ He explained that corruption deprives government of needed development funds, while corrupt individuals gleefully line their pockets with public funds. He added that this ‘devil’s trade’ portrays a soiled image of the country, and daunts potential investors to do business. ‘Corruption is a serious threat and we all should work together as a people to fight back, if we care for our generation and posterity,’ Mr Sourie averred.

Mohamed Kabba, Deputy Chief Administrator, who sat in the engagement for the Chairman of the Council, commended the strides of the ACC in combating corruption in the country. He said although he had just been recently transferred to the Council, he would ensure close collaboration with the ACC in order to uphold integrity particularly regarding the Council’s financial management. Mr. Kabba added: ‘as the Council is mapping out strategies to fetch more revenues, the ACC should help us guard against corruption.’ He said he would duly share his experience with the ACC with his boss.

For the past two years, Council has only hit far below its revenue mobilization targets – obviously showing visible effects on its overall performance. According to Steven Samking, the Council’s Financial Officer, revenues collected have often not been fully stored in the Council’s account. This drawback is compounded by criminal duplication of receipt books, which are issued by known and unknown revenue collectors. In this regard FO Samking, whose claims were supported by Aiah Matturie, acting Valuation Officer, called on the ACC for an intervention to help salvage the dire situation.

‘We need the ACC to help us generate funds for the Council,’ Mr. Matturie said ealier.