Martina George, Communications Office, ACC
As part of its mandate, the Outreach Unit of the Public Education and External Outreach Department of the ACC on Friday 2nd February 2024, organized an outreach withthe the King Jimmy Community in the Central West Urban District. The event, which took place at the King Jimmy Community Centre, attracted residents of the community, including market women, fishermen and youths.
Welcoming the ACC team to the community, the Chairlady, Adama Conteh said the engagement was timely and that it was the first time the Commission had ever visited them, stating that they are very happy for such an engagement. She said the meeting will help them learn about the work of the Commission and therefore urged the community people to listen to what the ACC had to say to them, as it will be very relevant to the development of the country.
Communications Officer ACC, Martina George speaking on the purpose of the meeting, said the Commission has been using radio and television stations to enlighten the public about its work, adding that community outreach is also important as it gives the Commission the opportunity to interact face-to-face with community people. “This does not only help us in getting feedbacks but also provide the forum for us to know about the common corruption issues affecting communities,” she averred. She further encouraged the people to serve as whistle blowers on corruption issues in their community.
Senior Communications Officer ACC, Alhaji A.K. Bangura, providing updates and overview on the work of the Commission said the fight against corruption is a war that can only be fought and won by Sierra Leoneans themselves. He furthered that the Commission is reaching out to communities in order to solicit their support in the fight, as well as encourage them to resist and report all forms of corruption.
Mr. Bangura highlighted the 8.6 Billion Leones recovered recently from corrupt individuals, stressing that such monies could be used for community development and the provision of social amenities in the country. He alsoreferenced the Hon. Paran Tarawally case that is been investigated by the Commission in the recent times, which serves asa testament to the gains made by the Commission in the fight against corruption in the country. He also informed the community about the high profile cases currently investigated by the ACC and the recent arrests of people over bribery allegations.
Dilating on how to report suspected instances of corruption, Hawa Deen Conteh, Public Education Officer, ACC, urged the community people to enquire from their local authorities about any developmental projects that come to their community in order to monitor their implementation. She implored her audience to report acts of corruption in their communities via Africell, 077-985-985 and 077-986-986, noting that all reports will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
Mohamed Kamara, Harbor Master of the King Jimmy community earlier in his statement said, with the gains the Commission is making, it will be important for all to work to sustain such gains for the betterment of the nation.
As the meeting was climaxed with questions, comments, it wasamong the recommendations made from community people that, the Commission should endeavor to do more of these engagements in other communities.