Sanda Tendaren and Libeisaygahun chiefdoms in Bombali district empowered to fight corruption
In its drive to spread anti-corruption messages to rural communities, the Northern Regional office of Anti-Corruption Commission has empowered members of Sanda Tendaren and Libeisaygahun Chiefdoms in Bombali District to enable them contribute to the fight against corrupt practices in their respective communities.
This was during a two day sensitization meeting held in the chiefdom headquarter towns of Batkanu and Rogbureh on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th September 2o11. Addressing representatives of the chiefdoms during the respective meetings, ACC’s District Coordinator for Bombali, Raymond Alieu Kamara emphasized that the rationale for the meeting was to solicit their support and partner with them to wipe out corruption in Sierra Leone.
He added that it was to educate them on the dangers of corruption, the operations of the Commission and how corrupt practices in their communities can hinder the development of their chiefdoms.
The District Coordinator emphasised that the fight against corruption is a national concern, noting that ACC alone cannot fight corruption in the country. “Without your support, ACC’s work will not progress and when that happens, poverty will continue to overcome us” he stressed.
Mr. Kamara 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. He told the gathering that 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.
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 observed 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. She informed the people of Sanda Tendaren and Libeisaygahun 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 Mena Hills 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 Sanda Tendaren and Libeisaygahun 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 prison term of not less that three (3) years or suffer both fine and prison term.
In his address at the Batkanu Court Barry, P.C Alhaji Bayainkay Kargbo II of Libeisaygahun Chiefdom expressed appreciation to ACC for bringing the Commission closer to them. He noted that such engagement will go a long way in minimizing corruption in their chiefdom. The Paramount Chief informed his subjects that ACC is doing well in enhancing transparency and accountability in the country. “The coming of ACC to our chiefdom is a big help as it is going to open our eyes. All of us have to be watch dogs in our respective communities” he said. He also expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to learn more about the Commission and what they should not do.
At the Rogbureh Court Barry, Pa Alimamy Rasin on behalf of the Paramount Chief and the Chiefdom appreciated the Commission for taking the fight to their door steps. He assured the Commission that they will abide by the warnings and stand firm against any act of corruption in their chiefdom.
Questions, comments, suggestions and answers formed part of the two meetings.
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