The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office in Kono, Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara, has made a passionate plea to officers of the National Fire Force to resist and reject bribery and other forms of corruption in their operations and activities.
She made this call during a customized meeting with the officers held on the 29th September, 2021 at the National Fire Force office in Koidu, Kono District. Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Regional Manager said corruption continues to hinder development in Sierra Leone and has accounted for the misappropriation of government resources which has undermined the country’s development.
She also spoke on ethics in the workplace and the need to institute anti-corruption measures in the daily operations of the force for efficient and effective service delivery. She therefore warned them to be using the fire vehicles and other public assets in their care for their rightful purposes as fire incidents can cause poverty and destroy lives.
Giving an overview of corruption offences, Public Education Officer Sam P. Gogra explained that the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 has been amended in 2019 with additional offences, adding that fines and jail terms have been increased to Fifty Million Leones and five years imprisonment respectively. He also explained some corruption-related offences including soliciting and accepting advantage, abuse of office, failing to declare assets and liabilities, misappropriation of public and donor funds, receiving gift for corrupt purposes, misuse of government properties, among others.
Public Education Officer Hawa Deen Conteh took the fire officers through the methods of reporting corruption and encouraged them to make use of the toll-free lines of 515, 077-985-985 and 077-986-986.
The Second-in-Command of the National Fire Force in Kono Abu B.S Dumbuya expressed gratitude for the ACC’s presence in their office, describing the meeting as an educative forum which would serve as a guide in the performance of their duties. He however highlighted some challenges faced in their office ranging from the lack of fire kits and hydrants to under staffing. He therefore urged his colleagues to resist every form of corruption and join the ACC in the fight.
A question-and-answer session and presentation of Information, Education and Communication materials formed part of the engagement.