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

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By: Edward N. Blake

Senior Public Education Officer, ACC - Kenema

In an experience sharing exchange, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Regional Office in Kenema, has in a customized meeting briefed the District Health Management Team (DHMT) in Kenema on alleged instances of corruption that are mostly reported to the Commission, requiring urgent actions.

The meeting which was held at the renovated Hospital Hall on the 15th March 2024, had in attendance Heads of the different Units making up the DHMT.

In his welcome address, the District Medical Officer (DMO) Kenema DHMT, Dr Donald Grant, expressed delight for the meeting, cataloguing the work and successes of the Commission in recent years.                   

He encouraged his team to feel free to make contributions, ask questions and seek clarifications. 

The Regional Manager of the Commission, Kenema, Peter Baio Kamara thanked the DMO and his team for playing host to ACC. He committed the Commission's continued support to the DHMT in ensuring that there will be no incentive for corruption, which essentially informs the meeting.  

Disclosing the purpose of the engagement, Edward N Blake, Senior Public Education Officer ACC Eastern Regional Office, Kenema, said that the Commission monitors and guides the activities of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) through customized meetings, establishment of Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) among others.

He furthered that, public education is equally a means to enlighten but more importantly caution public officers on the ramifications of indulging in acts of corruption.

This intervention is not intended to investigate or institute arrest, but to hold frank discussions on possible trouble shooting issues by way of commission or omission of any corruption offence as Public Officers, Mr. Blake asserted. 

Admonishing staff on the same, ACC's Public Education Officer, Kenema, Patrick Hinga George stated that the ACC was established in  2000 to serve as a deterrent to the very reasons why we had an eleven years rebel war-endemic corruption and injustices, in order to prevent, investigate and prosecute offenders. Mr. George declared that corruption is a million times deadlier than HIV, MALARIA,  EBOLA and COVID-19 combined. He therefore endeared the team to resist, reject and report any suspected acts of corruption to the ACC.

"PLUMPY NUTS", BP-100 and some of the Free Health Care drugs are found in almost all pharmacies in the country. How are these items making their way to the markets?" he questioned.

Reminding the DHMT on the provisions made in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 (As amended in 2019),  that prohibit Public Officers from malfeasance in a work place, Andrew Komeh, Investigation Officer, ACC Kenema, reaffirmed the Commission's stance in tackling the menace. He stated that Sections 42 and 43 of the ACA 2008 as Amended in 2019, cautions public officers on Abuse of Office and Abuse of Position, disclosing that conviction on these will attract a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand (New) Leones (50, 000 NL) or a jail term of not less than five years or to both as such fine and imprisonment.

Mr. Komeh encouraged them to comply with Anti-Corruption laws including, the Declaration of their lncome Assets and Liabilities as this year is a Declaration Year, emphasizing its legal and compulsory nature.

He added that this is an ease of burden on incidences of unexplained wealth as contained in Section 27 (1) (a) of the ACA 2008 as Amended in 2019. 

In her contribution, Head of Nutrition Unit, Kenema DHMT, Madam Mania Lahai, thanked the ACC for what she described as a very useful and important engagement, adding that, they look forward to more of these to help in their work as health care service providers.