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Anti-Corruption Commission engages African Minerals

Anti-Corruption Commission engages African Minerals

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has as one of its objectives “to take all steps as may be necessary for the prevention, eradication or suppression of corruption and corrupt practices”.  In this regard, the ACC on Friday 7th October 2011 held a customised meeting with middle and top level management staff of the African Minerals Limited (AML) at their Conference Hall, Project Based Camp Mankneh, Makeni.  (Photo: Michael Hallahan, AML’s General Manager SCC (left) making a statement)

Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Bombali District Coordinator, Raymond Kamara maintained that the ACC wanted African Minerals to partner with her as there was every need for Sierra Leoneans to benefit from the mineral and natural resources of the country. Mr. Kamara emphasised that the company needed to look into its Human Resource aspect as there are public grumblings all over the Northern region about some AML staff extorting money from people in the name of providing them job.

Mr. Raymond Kamara further told the AML staff that they were expected to be transparent and accountable in the way and manner they do their business. He however lauded their efforts as they are contributing positively to the development of the country.

(r) Patrick Sandi, ACC Regional manager North, handing over materials to Michael Hallahan

Speaking on the overview of the Commission and the offences as they relate to the work of AML, the Regional Manager Patrick Sandi said, the ACC came into being by an Act of Parliament in 2000 as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) highlighted corruption as one of the major causes of the decade long civil war. Mr Sandi noted that corruption offences such as offering advantage, corrupt transaction with agents, protection of public revenge and property, gifts etc, are crucial to the AML, as penalty for each of the offence is a fine of not less than Thirty Million Leones (Le 30,000,000) or imprisonment of not less than three (3) years.

Manager Sandi urged all AML staff to be upright in the discharge of their duties as the ACC also has the mandate to look into the affairs of the private sector depending on the nature of the issues. He lamented that, there were so many discrepancies in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Reconciliation Report which signals that, the country was not getting the desired benefits from its endowed mineral and natural resources.

Concluding, Manager Sandi solicited the support of AML staff in the fight against corruption as payment dealing with surface rent, crop compensations must be done fairly and transparently.

(l-r) Jemima Bangura, Edward S Kanu, of AML at the meeting

In his contribution, the General Manager, Services and Support Coordination Centre (SCC) Michael Hallahan, expressed satisfaction over the meeting held with the ACC. He assured the ACC of AML’s commitment to seeing Sierra Leone develop and benefit from its God-given resources.

Michael Hallahan emphasised that, AML pays its workers i.e.  “stone pitching”,  directly to  avoid problems, but that the ACC was welcome at all times to provide assistance in making their systems and processes right. Meaningful contributions were also made by Jemima Bangura and Edward S. Kanu all of AML. The handing over of ACC public education materials to Michael Hallahan to be distributed to AML staff formed the high point of the meeting.

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