ACC sensitizes staff of the district office, local courts and DHMT in Magburaka
The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th July 2013 taken the educational approach in the fight against corruption to staff of the District Office, local courts and District Health Management Team (DHMT) in Tonkolili.
Explaining the rationale for the meetings at the District Office and Magburaka Government Hospital respectively, the District Coordinator, Tonkolili Mr. Abdulai Saccoh said it was a sensitization drive aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of corruption, benefits of a corrupt free Sierra Leone and garner public support towards the fight. He emphasized that the fight against corruption is a fight for all and should not just be left in the hands of the Commission. The District Coordinator therefore entreated all present to see the fight against corruption as the collective responsibility of all patriotic and well meaning Sierra Leoneans.
Giving an overview of the Commission, Mr. Saccoh explained the three approaches used by the Commission in the fight against corruption which are public education, prevention and confrontation. He explained the prosecutorial powers and mandate of the Commission as enshrined in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act. Mr. Saccoh made it clear to staff of the District Office and health workers that the Commission is not a witch-hunt institution operating only to arrest and convict corrupt individuals, but that it was working towards the realization of a corrupt free Sierra Leone in which the socio-economic needs of its citizens are met.
Addressing staff of the District Office and health workers at the respective meetings, the Regional Manager of ACC- North, Mr. Patrick Sandi lamented that one of the reasons for the eleven years rebel war was injustice, and corruption was in the middle of it all, that was why the Commission was partnering with justice sector institutions. He noted that traditional and cultural practices most times clash with ACC law that was why education is a pivotal aspect in the fight against corruption. Mr. Sandi further spoke on the importance of partnering with the medical sector as their role in nation building is central and fundamental. He highlighted key corrupt practices taking place in the local courts, and hospitals which he noted are inimical to the development of the country. Mr. Sandi therefore called on staff of the District Office, local courts and health workers to desist from corrupt practices and change their negative attitudes for the development of the country. Manager Sandi told the gathering that ACC is not a threat to anybody or institution but trying to enhance transparency and accountability in all walks of life. He called on all health workers to change their negative mind set on the Free Health Care program for it to succeed.
Manager Sandi explained the offences and penalties as enshrined in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act and entreated all present to give their utmost in the discharge of their duties as the Commission wants to ensure effective and efficient service delivery. He lamented over the recent Transparency International report which puts Sierra Leone top of the bribe payers’ index, but expressed the need to tackle bribery at all levels.
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay explained the various methods of making reports to the Commission and encouraged all present to resist, reject and report corruption. He reminded them of their civic responsibility to report corrupt practices going on in their respective institutions and assured them of the Commission’s fullest protection. The Senior Public Education Officer explained to them the benefits of making report and the 10% reward to informants. He however warned them against making false report which he said, constitutes an offence.
Making their inputs, Assistant District Officer, Tonkolili District, Mr. Haroun Keh Turay appreciated ACC’s educational drive which he noted will go a long way to prevent corruption. He assured the Commission of their commitment towards the fight against corruption and promised to comply with ACC laws. The District Medical Officer, Tonkolili, Dr. Brima Osaio Kamara expressed his commitment to address corruption issues bordering on the health sector in Tonkolili District. He noted that all Sierra Leoneans have different roles to play in the fight against corruption and called on all health workers to be sincere and committed to the fight. Dr. Kamara called for regular engagements with health workers in the district.
Questions, comments and concerns formed part of the meeting.
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