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ACC sensitizes staff of Makeni City Council

ACC sensitizes staff of Makeni City Council

In its determination to spread anti-corruption messages to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday 27th February, 2012 held customized meeting with staff of the Makeni City Council at their Station Road Hall in Makeni.

Addressing the audience at the City Council Hall, the Chief Administrator (CA) of the Council Abu Bakarr Daramy who also chaired the meeting thanked the ACC for this move which he described as positive and in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone and specifically for Makeni City.  The C.A on behalf of the Mayor of the City, His Worship Moses Sesay welcomed ACC staff to the Council and entreated his colleague workers to consider the meeting as very important.

CA Makeni City Council Abu Bakarr Daramy welcoming ACC staff to the Council

Mr. Daramy furthered that ACC was established to put things in their proper place in this country.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of all to join the Commission in achieving its mandate.  The C.A of the Council also maintained that all should see Sierra Leone develop, as there is no place like home.  “During the war, we left the country and went to Guinea and other places, but we had to return to Sierra Leone as it is the only home we have”, Mr. Daramy emphasized.

The Chairman told staff present that ACC had three operational arms, education, prevention and prosecution.  He noted that the ACC was doing everything within its power to prevent the occurrence of corruption, but those who still decide to be involved in the practice will face the full force of the law.

L-r Manager Sandi, Raymond A Kamara District Coordinator Bombali at the meeting

The Bombali District Coordinator, Raymond Alieu Kamara urged Council workers to play their own part in combating corruption in Sierra Leone.  Mr. Kamara emphasized that the Commission was not a witch-hunt institution and is also non-political.  Therefore, any action it takes in the fulfillment of its mandate is done fairly and impartially.  The District Coordinator maintained that the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone is a collective one and should not be left in the hands of the ACC alone.  Mr. Kamara underscored the point that the meeting was organized purely to partner with the Council in the fight against corruption and educate them on the ills of the scourge.

Cross section of Makeni City Council staff at the customized meeting

The Public Education Officer (PEO) North, Al-Hassan Sesay dilated on the formation of the Commission.  He told listeners that, ACC was set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to primarily fight corruption in Sierra Leone.  He furthered that the 2000 AC Act was repealed in 2008 which granted prosecutorial powers to the Commission.  Mr. Sesay maintained that since the enactment of the 2008 AC Act, the Commission’s output and performance has improved considerably with significant increase in the number of indictments and convictions.

The Public Education Officer told Makeni City Council workers that the ACC has two faces, “the friendly face” which is the preventive approach and the “bitter face” the prosecution approach.  He pleaded with them to change their BOAT:

B- For corrupt Behaviors
O- For corrupt Opinions
A- For corrupt Attitudes
T- For corrupt Thoughts

Mr. Al-Hassan Sesay concluded by encouraging the workers to join the Commission to rid the country of corruption.

Manager Patrick Sandi highlighting some of the offences in the AC Act 2008

The ACC Regional Manager North, Patrick Sandi stressed on the need for Makeni City Council staff and ACC to collaborate to combat corruption in Makeni and the Northern Region generally.  Manager Sandi told the workers to resist, reject and report any suspected corrupt practice to the Commission without fear or favor.  Mr. Sandi highlighted some corrupt offences in the AC Act 2008 which were very pertinent to the Council.  He mentioned offences like; possession of unexplained wealth, using influence for contracts, bid rigging, peddling influence, misappropriation of public/ donor funds and property, abuse of office and position and protection of public property and revenue. The Northern Regional Manager maintained that the Commission has what it takes to investigate and prosecute corrupt offenders in Sierra Leone, but that prosecution was not the only path the Commission was threading on in its efforts to eradicate corruption in the country, as it also employs methods like education, systems examination and the national strategy.

Mr. Sandi furnished his audience with ACC free mobile lines which they could use to pass on any vital and relevant information to the ACC.  He however warned them not to make false report as it also constitutes an offence under the AC Act 2008 when you make a false and malicious report to the Commission.  The Manager assured the workers that adequate provision is made in the 2008 Act for the protection of informers and whistle blowers.  As such, they were to feel safe whenever they make reports to the Commission.  Manager Sandi ended his presentation by stating that the ACC was the people’s institution, and the fight against corruption was the people’s fight, making it imperative on all citizens to support the Commission in its drive to make Sierra Leone develop by wiping out corruption.

It was a well attended meeting, as contributions, questions and answers formed the high point of the meeting.

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