Kalangba community pledges support to ACC
The people of Kalangba, in Gbendembu Ngowahun Chiefdom, Bombali District have pledged their unflinching support to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. (Cross section of the community at the meeting)
This was demonstrated at a sensitization meeting organised by ACC’s Northern Regional office on Friday 10th August 2012 at the Kalangba Court Barry. Welcoming ACC staff on behalf of the chiefdom Pa Kapr Njai 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 the chiefdom and change negative public perception about the Commission.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay said it was meant to educate them on the dangers of corruption, work of the Commission and how corrupt practices in their communities can hinder the development of the chiefdom. He expressed the Commission’s determination to take anti-corruption messages to all rural communities. Mr. Sesay furthered that the meeting was also meant to solicit their support in the fight against corruption as it is a national concern. He told the people of Kalangba that ACC alone cannot fight corruption in the country and therefore urged them to partner with the Commission in order to eradicate corruption in the country.
Speaking on the offences and penalties as contained in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act, the Regional Manager Mr. Patrick Sandi told the people of Kalangba that the Act is not just for government employees but also covers the private sector. He emphasized that the Commission has the mandate to investigate all forms of corruption, no matter the amount of money or individual involved in it. Sandi highlighted some common corrupt practices in the school system, Free Health Care programme, local courts, chiefdom administration and the police, which he noted are offences in the 2008 Act. He emphasized that the punishment for any of them is a fine of not less than thirty (30) million Leones or prison term of not less than three (3) years or both fine and prison term.
The Northern Regional Manager said the ACC exists not just to arrest and convict corrupt individuals but also to prevent corruption. He therefore called on them to desist from corrupt practices and change their negative attitudes for the development of Sierra Leone. Sandi told the people of Kalangba that if the fight against corruption is to succeed, they must be ready to resist, reject and report corruption. “Let us be serious about the fight against corruption, let us all support the ACC because it is for the people of this country” he mentioned. Manager Sandi further explained the various methods of making report to the ACC and protection of informants. He explained the 10% reward for informants and read out the Commission’s mobile free lines, but warned them against making false report.
Making their own input, various speakers from the district heaped praises on the Commission for enlightening them. They highlighted various issues affecting their chiefdom and called on the Commission’s intervention.
In his statement, chairman of the meeting, Mr. Abdul K. Fornah Principal, Kalangba Agricultural Secondary School, said ACC has told them what they are supposed to know and called on Kalangba stakeholders to ensure that they do the right thing. He warned community members to desist from destroying the good image of their colleagues.
ouncilor Thomas R. Khanu in his vote of thanks said ACC has opened their eyes and called on stakeholders of Kalangba to take the sensitization drive in good faith. He entreated them to make reports that affect the general good of Kalangba community. Councilor Khanu thanked ACC for the educational drive and appealed for periodic meetings with them.
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