ACC gives hope to the physically challenged in Makeni
The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has rekindled the hopes of Polio Persons in Makeni for a better life by expressing its commitment in fulfilling its vision of a corrupt free Sierra Leone wherein the socio-economic needs of every citizen would be met. (Cross section of participants at the meeting)
This assurance was made on Wednesday 5th September 2012, by the Regional Manager, Mr. Patrick Sandi in a sensitization meeting with members of the Polio Persons Development Association (PoPDA) at Magbenteh in Makeni. He said ACC realizes the importance of people with disability in the fight against corruption, that was why it was engaging them. Mr. Sandi noted that some people or organizations may want to take advantage of their disabilities to secure donor funds for their personal benefits, that is why the ACC is making serious interventions. He made mention of section 37 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 which makes it an offence for any person who dishonestly appropriates anything whether property or otherwise, which has been donated for the benefit of the people of Sierra Leone or a section thereof. “If ACC does not come to inform you about your roles and responsibilities regarding the fight against corruption, you will be used as prey by corrupt individuals and organizations” Manager Sandi said. He therefore entreated them to be watchful and support the ACC through information sharing.
The Regional Manager further informed members of the organization that the ACC now has the mandate to investigate Non Governmental Organizations involved in corrupt practices. He gave examples of individuals and organizations that have been investigated and charged to court by the Commission relating to misappropriation of donor funds meant for people with disability. Manager Sandi highlighted some corrupt practices in schools and the Free Health Care programme and urged all present to report to the Commission whenever they are confronted with such practices. He explained to them the various ways of making report to ACC, benefit of making report, the 10% reward to informants and read out the free hot lines. The Regional Manager reminded them of their civic responsibility to report any act of corruption to the Commission and assured them of the fullest protection but warned against making false report.
Explaining the purpose of the engagement, Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay stressed that the ACC was at the Polio Persons Development Association to educate its members on the hindrances of corruption to the development of the country and enlist their support in the fight against it. Mr. Sesay said the ACC is not a witch-hunt institution but working towards the realization of a corrupt free Sierra Leone. He noted that ACC cannot fight corruption issues relating to people with disability without their support, noting that they have a crucial role to play. The Public Education Officer emphasised that ACC was existing to make sure that things are done right in this country and appealed to them to join the fight in order to make sure that their children and those yet unborn realize the benefits of a corrupt free Sierra Leone.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Raphael Alusine Kamara, Vice Chairman, Polio Persons Development Association appreciated the sensitization drive of the ACC. He maintained that such educational drive would go a long way to minimize the incidences of corruption as they would be guided on how to support the Commission. The Vice President admitted that it was a special and important day for them to realize the Commission’s interest in disability issues.
Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of members, Mr. Sulaiman S. Kamara, Secretary General of the Association appreciated ACC for opening their eyes and ears. He assured the Commission of their readiness to partner and report corrupt practices. Mr. Kamara encouraged his colleagues to put into practice what they learnt and called on the ACC to protect them from corrupt organizations and individuals.
Questions, comments and concerns from other members of the Association formed part of the interaction.
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