By: Alex A. Bah
In a community sensitization Town Hall meeting held at the Ahmadiyya Secondary School, in Masingbi Town, Tonkolili District, North East Sierra Leone, on Tuesday 15th December, 2021, residents of the Konike-Sanda Chiefdom commended the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for its role in the implementation of the Social Safety Net (SSN) program which has injected integrity and accountability in the scheme.
Welcoming the team from the ACC, the Town Chief, Hassan Conteh noted that, the meeting is a testament of the path the country has taken in fighting corruption in all fronts. “I have been following your work and I must say you have been doing quite well especially in recent times”, he added.
District Monitor of the ACC, Amara Dumbuya said the meeting is to provide updates to the people on the status of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project, which is a World Bank funded program implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) with the Rokel Commercial Bank making the direct cash transfer. This according to Mr. Dumbuya is a program in which monies are provided for extremely poor households living in deplorable conditions across the country.
Mr. Dumbuya furthered that the Commission is at the centre of the project to ensure integrity, accountability and transparency are the bedrock of implementation, and therefore it is spearheading the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component, which is mandated to resolve emerging administrative and corruption issues arising from the implementation.
Dilating on the role of the Commission in the project, Director, Public Education and External Outreach ACC, Patrick Sandi informed the people that the Commission is part of the project to make sure that the people receive what is due them. “The Commission’s mandate is to fight corruption and have a society where opportunities can be provided to all, regardless. The SSN direct cash payments are made for every quarter and because the monies are to be received in large amounts so that it can be meaningful, payments made for two or three quarters bulk. We are constant watchdogs before, during and after payments to ensure correctness”, he assured,
Director Sandi implored the people to make good use of their monies to address their needs and improve on their living conditions.
Communications Officer, ACC Alex A. Bah updated the people on the recent activities of the Commission, stating that it was established after the TRC report at the end of the country’s decade long civil war, which identified corruption as a primary driving force. He continued by informing them that the Commission since its establishment has been working tirelessly to minimize corruption in all facets of society. “For the past three years, the Commission has recovered stolen public funds in the tune of over Thirty Five (35) Billion Leones, and same have been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund”.
He therefore encouraged them to support the Commission in its work. He provided the Commission’s Toll Free Lines of 515 or 077985985/077986986, to make report or visit any of its offices in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Kono and Port Loko. He assured them of their protection as whistleblowers, advising them to be responsible and not make false and malicious reports, as such acts constitute a corruption crime that is punishable by the Anti-Corruption Law.
Questions which were responded to by the ACC Team formed part of the engagement.