ACC engages Lokomassama and Marampa chiefdoms
In its drive to spread anti-corruption messages to rural communities, the Northern Regional office of Anti-Corruption Commission has held sensitization meetings in Lokomassama and Marampa Chiefdoms in Port Loko District.
Addressing representatives of both chiefdoms at the chiefdom headquarter towns of Komrabai and Lunsar on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th July 2011, ACC’s District Coordinator for Port Loko, Sahid Kamara emphasized that the fight against corruption is a national concern noting that ACC alone cannot fight corruption in the country. Explaining the rationale for holding such meetings, he said it is meant to educate them on the dangers of corruption, work of the Commission, how corrupt practices in their communities can hinder the development of the chiefdoms and how they can join the fight against corruption.
Giving an overview of the Commission, Public Education Officer Fatmata Finda Bangura explained the approaches used in the fight against corruption and emphasized its friendly and bitter face. She emphasised that the fight against corruption will only succeed if it is owned by the people and not left in the hands of ACC alone. Mrs. Bangura explained the various methods of making reports to the Commission and protection of informers and emphasized the Commission’s core value of confidentiality and professionalism. She informed the people of Lokomassama and Marampa Chiefdoms that if the fight against corruption is to succeed, they must be ready to resist, reject and report corruption.
The Public Education Officer re-echoed the Commission’s determination to stamp out corrupt practices and therefore warned members of both chiefdoms to desist from corrupt practices. She encouraged them to report any act of corruption to the ACC Regional Office at 61 Rogbaneh Road in Makeni or through the Commission’s mobile hotlines.
Speaking on the offences and penalties as contained in the 2008 Act, Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay informed members of Lokomassama and Marampa Chiefdoms that the Act is not just for government employees but also covers the private sector. He said the Commission has the mandate to investigate all forms of corruption, no matter the amount of money or individual involved in it. Sesay explained various offences which are common in the localities and emphasized that the punishment for such offences is a fine of not less than thirty (30) million Leones or imprisoned for not less that three (3) years or suffer both fine and prison term.
He highlighted key corrupt practices taking place in the schools, hospitals, market places and some sectors of their communities which he noted are destroying the progress of their chiefdoms. Mr. Sesay said the ACC is not just there to arrest and convict corrupt individuals but also to get converts. He called on both communities to desist from corrupt practices and change their negative attitudes for the development of Sierra Leone.
In his address at the Komrabai Court Barry, P.C Baimarro Lamina Augbathor of Lokomassama Chiefdom expressed appreciation to ACC for bringing the Commission closer to them. He noted that such engagement will go a long way to minimize corruption in their chiefdom. The Paramount Chief expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to learn more about the Commission and what they should not do.
At the Lunsar Court Barry, Chiefdom Speaker of Marampa Kapr Kabineh heaped praises on ACC for taking the fight to their door steps. He promised on behalf of his chiefdom to join the Commission in the fight against corruption for the development of Sierra Leone. The Chiefdom Speaker assured the Commission that they will abide by the warnings and stand firm against any act of corruption in their chiefdoms.
Questions, comments, suggestions and answers formed part of the respective meetings.
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