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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Address:  Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown Sierra Leone, West Africa.

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Issue 2 Volume 7 4- 8th March 2024 (2)

Public Education / Newsletters

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2. By: Shiaka Kamara, Public Education Officer, ACC Page 2 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has, as part of its outreach meetings across the country, engaged and shared vital integrity messages with officers of the Congo Cross Police Division in Freetown. This is in line with the Commission’s mandate to prevent corruption through public education, which involves enlightening people on the dangers of corruption and the benefits of a corrupt - free society. Speaking at the engagement, Michael Sesay, Head of Public Education Unit, ACC, spoke about the operations of the Commission and its broad mandate of fighting corruption, emphasizing on the relevance of prevention. This, he said, the Commission does through public education engagements, systems and processes review of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), among other measures. “The Public Education team is the friendly face of the Commission and there is another face that is made up of the elite Scorpion Squad, which conducts sting operations,” he said. Assistant Prosecution Officer, Georgina C. M Vincent Esq., highlighted some of the major offences in the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 (as amended in 2019), including bribery, gifts, corrupting a public officer, among others. She urged the officers whom she referred to as “custodians of the law” to support the fight against corrup- tion and restrain themselves from committing any of the offences, warning that they attract serious penal- ties on conviction. Public Education Officer, Shiaka Kamara encouraged the officers to support the fight against corruption by not just resisting and rejecting corruption and corrupt practices, but also to report any suspected instances of corruption. He provided them with the toll free lines of 077985985/077986986 to make corruption reports. Chief Superintendent of Police, Ahmed Kamoh Kabbah, earlier welcomed the ACC team, and commended the Commission for making the much - needed visit to share integrity messages with them. He said maintaining a high level of integrity is key for public officers particularly police officers. A question and answer session climaxed the engagement. Michael Sesay, Head of Public Education Unit, ACC, making a statement. Group photo of the ACC team and police officers at the end of the engagement .

3. Page 3 I have often asked myself the following questions: “Is sweet talk an act of sycophan cy?” “Is it driven by the disobedient forces of poverty?” “Is it because that the centerpiece of integrity can no longer hold?” Or “Is it as a result of citizens ‘gullibility?” Every aspect of the society today is infected with the habit of sweet talk, thus making leaders to abandon official responsibilities. Yielding to such cruel nurture of sycophancy has increasingly influenced c orrupt officials to shamelessly continue to take advantage in scamming the people of Sierra Leone. Culturally, act of flattering now emerges as a captivating force, often influencing individuals towards ethically questionable path. This now makes public officials to breach conventional proceedings at the expense of national growth and cohesion. Therefore, the fear of losing self - benefits makes it impossible to unearth such unconventional practices; hence leaving vulnerable public funds to be devoured by the tiger claws of “conspirac y, embezzlement and societal deprivation.”Those who may selflessly attempt to unstitch such conspiracy are somet imes ganged - up against, sacked or transferred to far - flung communities. They are subsequently silent and made to seat and watch from the gallery whilst the conspiracy theory for embezzlement and societal deprivation remains to be in play . Similarly, there are those whom out of unequal share, gluttony and self - interest may decide to turn themselves into “whistle blowers” because rogues are already falling apart. Acts of sweet talk is comparatively synonymous to sycophancy, and that Corruption is viewed as a Disturbing combined effect that deepens and fuels the corrupt tendencies of individuals. This sy nergy poses a significant threat to the professional environment and the wider moral fabrics of society, thus exposing the masses at the beck and call of the most powerful and corrupt. In practical sense, from far flung/had to reach comm unities, informal sectors, the corporate corridors to the political arenas of Sierra Leone, the Anti - Corruption Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala ESQ and team has and are still working assiduously to make acts of corruption a non - lucrative business. But have we the people of Sierra Leone collectively with resilience questioned those in possession of unexplaine d wealth? Or have we truly complemented such effort by questioning the means of such acquisition? Certainly not, instead we are passionately focused on hailing and lavishing insincere songs of praises on the corrupt. Apparently, they are hailed as the big boys of the society, while the masses in the display of sycophantic attitude and gullibilit y subdue themselves to the mantra of “de pa you borbor dae”. This often make leaders to feel and see themselves as demigods giving handouts to their prey, instead of the duty and obligation they owe to the people of Sierra Leone. I ronically, both the elites and non - elites have often and again engulfed themselves with sweet talk, while dressing corrupt off icials in borrowed robes of honor is an act of hesitation from being made redundant or hushed in all official activities that attract financial benefits. These cases shed light on how this phenomenon acts as an agent, aiding individuals to a darker ethical territories and procedures. Correspondingly, this aspect of the article gives an insight interpretation of “sw eet talk”, its corrosive effects on society and how it can wear downself - integrity. Its proclivity to expose citizens’ gullibility and state of poverty is extrem ely unbearable. The article further attempts indicating strategies for mitigation. Let’s start with:  The notion of sweet talk: Understanding the motivation behind sycophancy is crucial to the survival theory. But the enormous use of power has significantly subdued and accelerated the need for sweet talk and opened t he gateway for the perpetration of corruption. This has further lured individuals into the darkest webs of c orruption. This is so because the mental resilience of citizens is often and again sneaked into and rendered vulnerable ba sed on the high proliferation of poverty, lack of integrity and citizens’ gullibility. Contd on pg 4 By: Mohamed A. Kabba, Public Education Officer, ACC

4. Contd from Pg 1 figures that represent a particular era, especially artists, actors, comedians, and so cial media influencers. Before his resignation, Vocal Drift CEO, Pete Dalton, served on staff at the Commission. Currently , popular comedian, Shiaka Kamara (Yemata) and renowned gospel singer, Melford Vincent - Marah, are serving with the Commission. By extension, the anti - graft agency has programs that are pop - culture - centric. From having a creative art competition for secondary schools to creating jingles for edutainment. The influence of the Commissioner in this space cannot be overemphasized. Francis Ben Kaifala is a trailblazer in the realm of pop culture, integrating hip - hop culture into his work and public appearances, showing his appreciation for the genre and how the genre has had an impact on him. Page 4 By: Paul A. Conteh  Poverty: Poverty here is in three folds; that is, “Absolute Poverty” (refers to a lack of t he basic necessities of life such as: food, water, shelter and sanitation), while “Relative Poverty” (is a measure of inc ome inequality within a society, where people are considered poor if their income fall significantly below the average incom e of the population). “Cultural Poverty” indicates exclusion from mainstream national activities and opportun ities. Therefore, citizens entrapped in any of these conditions may be forced to curry favor from t he corrupts through sweet talk. This may significantly contribute to the continuation of poverty and inequality in the long run.  Integrity: This includes the principles or standards of knowing that which is right f rom wrong behavior. It considerably guides individuals or societies in making ethical decisions and choices. It helps individuals naviga te complex social interactions for the overall wellbeing of communities. On the contrary, those who engage in sweet talk to leaders may hide or distort the truth, making it difficult to hold leaders or themselves accountable for wrong actions. This can erode public trust and integrity, leading to a breakdown in moral standards and ethical behavior, th us creating a platform for public officials to avoid responsibility and disregard for ethical principles.  Gullibility: People who choose the path of sycophancy may lack critical thinking skills and widely expose to emotional vulnerability, social pressure and intellectual biasness. In essence, individuals that are gullible may become easily manipulated and deceived because they are expected to believe and trust corrupt indivi duals in turn for favor, without questioning their public actions, overlook inconsistencies or red flags .  Societal deprivation: Resources often meant to install infrastructural amenities for the people of Sierra Leone can now be easily stolen by corrupt officials. Such acts by corrupt officials have t he tendencies to deprive the masses from enjoying societal growth and community - driven initiatives. It is the masses that suffer out of such callous behavior, thus exposing the country’s national development plans to feed from the harsh realitie s of unpatriotic behavior and disregard for law and order.  Strategies for Mitigation: Mitigating the influence of sycophancy requires education, transparenc y and the establishment of robust ethical frameworks, emerging as essential tools in fostering et hical resilience.  Increasing Public Awareness (A Societal Antidote): Heightening public awareness and knowledge on the ramifications of corruption can produce informed and vigilant citizens that are ready and determined to challenge influences and actions compromising ethical standards. Actions seen as protecting sac red cows are insignificant to the fight against corruption, while love for country and loyalty should remain to make t he difference. Putting Sierra Leone’s interest above all sycophantic sentiments, causes and effects will make the people firmly united to fight against corrupt officials. Conclusion Indeed, sycophancy can influence acts of corruption within the Professional Work Set ting. This however requires a collective effort, public sensitization and awareness, strategic engagement and the cultivation of i ntegrity and ethical leadership. These attributes are imperative for the safeguard of a just and principled socie ty. By: Mohamed A. Kabba, Public Education Officer, ACC Contd from Pg 3

1. 4th—8th March 2024 Issue 2 Volume 7 INTEGRITY HOUSE, TOWER HILL FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakarr Turay EDITORS Sylvanus Blake Alex A. Bah LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Augustine Foday Ngobie Patrick Sandi becoming the head of the anti - graft agency, Mr. Kaifala was an active political pundit on social media. The barrister used social media to write commentaries and articles on issues around social justice, politics and good governance. Hip - hop and social justice are closely intertwined. Hip - hop culture also encompasses elements like graffiti, break dancing and DJing, which have been utilized as forms of protest and community organizing. Mr. Kaifala has done some organizing in the past. His work with the Renaissance Movement, and his defense of the poor student – Theresa Mbomaya - who was trapped behind bars for simply sharing a WhatsApp message, speak volumes. Hip - hop music and Afro - hairstyles have a deep connection rooted in cultural identity & self - expression. In the 1970s, during the emergence of hip - hop culture, the Afro became a symbol of black pride and resistance to societal norms. Many hip - hop artists embraced the Afro as a way to celebrate their African heritage and challenge Eurocentric beauty standards. DJ Kool Herc, Grand Master Flash & African Bambaataa were known for rocking the Afro. These are the three founding fathers of the genre. The Afro is Mr. Kaifala’s signature hairstyle. He has rocked this cut since his college days. You can attribute that the hairstyle reflects his reality. That reality has a hip - hop connection. The Anti - Corruption Commission has served as a home for other cultural icons. Cultural icons are influential A few days ago, I interacted with the Anti - Corruption Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., on Facebook. The Commissioner shared on his timeline the recent song from Entertainment Ambassador, Kao Denero. What took me aback was his commentary on the song. I was surprised at his grasp of the pop culture genre. In addition, I was stunned at the way he unpacked the art form in the comment section of my response to his post. After deeper reflection, I concluded that hip - hop is written all over the personality of the Anti - Corruption Commissioner. He has used the musical genre to influence pop culture. He is a master of blending contemporary professionalism with tools that resonate with the urban youth lifestyle, creating a unique touch that resonates with audiences nationally. Hip - hop has been a powerful tool for expressing the struggles and experiences of marginalized communities, advocating for social change, and challenging systemic injustices. Many hip - hop artists use their music as a platform to address issues such as racism, poverty, police brutality, and inequality. From the early days of the genre, artists like Public Enemy, NWA, and Tupac Shakur used their lyrics to shed light on social issues and inspire activism. Mr. Kaifala is a personification of these traits. Before Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. in casually hip - hop Contd on pg 4 By: Paul A. Conteh


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