The North-West Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has held a sensitization meeting at Kagbanthama Town Court Barray, Kasseh Chiefdom in Port Loko District. The community meeting on Thursday 27th January 2022 was part of ACC’s public education drive aimed at educating and raising awareness in rural communities on corruption and its effects as well as soliciting public support.
Welcoming officials from the ACC, the Chiefdom Speaker Pa Alimamy Kamara expressed profound happiness to have ACC officials in his chiefdom and for taking anti-corruption messages to chiefdom level.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah said the community will be educated on the general work of the commission, the effects of corruption and the need for collaboration in winning the fight against corruption. Explaining the three pronged approach to combatting graft, he stated that corruption has permeated every aspect of society which has made public support pivotal in addressing it.
Addressing the local authorities and residents of the chiefdom, the Regional Manager of ACC in the North West Region, Al-hassan Sesay said Corruption perpetuates poverty and diverts scarce funds, thereby denying citizens access to basic social services and resources to improve their livelihoods. He stated that the sensitization meeting was an eye opener to the ills of corruption and for members of the community to speak out and to raise their voices on corrupt practices.He went on to state that it is the ACC's hope that such engagements will significantly increase public knowledge on graft and understand the importance of resisting corruption demands, enabling those affected to demand accountable and transparent governance.
He made a comprehensible presentation of several corrupt practices across various sectors including the local court administration, the school system, the health sector, security including the Sierra Leone Police and other areas of concerns like donor driven projects implemented by Non-Governmental organizations in rural communities across the country and the Port Loko District Council. He pointed out corruption demands in the aforementioned areas including but not limited to exploiting the people through extortionate demand and levying of exorbitant fines outside the confines of the Local Court Act of 2011, payment for bail and obtaining statement, corruption demands in health centres, misuse of public funds and illegal charges that are rife in public schools.
The Senior Public Education Officer Samuel Junisa Sankoh who spoke on the role of the community in the fight against corruption underscored the significance of reporting corruption as a sacred responsibility on the part of every Sierra Leonean. He encouraged them to resist, reject demands of corruption and always use the toll free lines of 077985985,077986986 and 515.
Presentation of IEC materials and question and answer session formed part of the engagement.
© ACC North- West Office