ACC storms Mofombo community in Moyamba district
One of the key approaches employed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is proactive intervention in communities, ministries, departments and agencies. It was on this note that the Southern Regional Office on Friday 14th.September 2012 proactively engaged the Mofombo Community and its environs in the Moyamba District; to sensitise them about the work of the ACC and the various corrupt practices likely to be perpetrated in the community by stakeholders including the Free Healthcare policy implementers in the peripheral clinic. The jam-packed meeting was held at this Peripheral health clinic and was graced by youths, farmers, elders of Mofombo community and other nearby villages and staff of ACF who were in the hospital to carry out their normal development interventions.
Welcoming the ACC team, the chairman of the occasion,Mr Joseph N.Makaya who was also the deputy teacher in the Mofombo Primary school expressed kind sentiments to the ACC for visiting their community at that point in time particularly when they had a number of burning issues pertaining corruption that they wanted the ACC to clarify.Mr Makaya was quick to laud the efforts of government for the Free healthcare initiative which he said has significantly reduced the death rate of pregnant women and children under five in the recent past. He said he was impressed with the great turn out of pregnant women and lactating mothers in the clinic which has brought relief and succour to the breadwinners of the communities around Mofombo. He was encouraged by the fact that they had not received any report of corruption in the implementation of the free healthcare in their PHU.However,Mr Makaya cautioned the health operatives in the PHU to be aware that the community will always watch them and will report any anomaly suspected in that clinic to the ACC.On the education perspective,Mr Makaya expressed his commendation to the head teacher and his colleagues for their effort in improving the learning of their kids but encouraged government to do more in the area of increasing the fee subsidy for the smooth running of the school. He cautioned the head teacher to be mindful of the fact that the future of their children was dependent on that school and must therefore refrain from anything including corruption that will bring down the school.
Responding on the chairman’s remarks particularly as it related to the school in Mofombo, Mr Patrick J.Sam, Head Teacher, gave a vivid explanation about the nature of work he did and the key partners including the ministry of education usually make provision of school materials for the running of the school.Mr Sam expressed thanks to the government through the SABABU project that provided teaching and learning materials. He also commended other development partners like Plan International, CAUSE CANADA amongst others that provided support of similar nature to enhance the promotion of education in the community.Mr Sam however informed meeting that more needed to be done in that regard if we all wish to achieve excellent and sustainable education in the community. He assured the ACC that they will cooperate with them at all cost in the fight against corruption in the community.
Making his statement, Councillor Philip Maboh commended the government for the free health care in his community. He said that although the system was working but there were challenges as well which he associated with shortage of drugs, storage problems, lack of ambulance, lack of porter and limited monitoring. He said as councillor, he has engaged all stakeholders to ensure that the policy succeeded.Mr Maboh said they had also been very vigilant with the school authorities to ensure that no stone was left unturned to enhance quality education in the community and the district as a whole. He also thanked government for the establishment of the Agricultural Business Centres (ABC) in his community. He was however not too happy with the dividend realised so far and asked the ACC to accelerate preventive activities in that area so that corruption will not take place there at all. Similar sentiments were expressed as well by the ACF representative Ms Adama Yambasu who narrated her organization’s interventions in the district particularly in the free healthcare.
Delivering his statement, the Public Education Officer Mr Wilfred Bangura thanked the participants for their attendance even at short notice.Mr Bangura informed them that his role in the ACC was to reach out to all the communities in the south to sensitise them about the work of the commission. He said the business of fighting corruption was not for ACC alone but for everybody within the territory of Sierra Leone. He cautioned health operatives in the PHU to deliver the free healthcare policy correctly without tampering with the drugs or indulge in other corrupt practices.Mr Bangura also commended the head teacher and the councillor for the wonderful role they had been playing- all in the interest of promoting sustainable development in Mofombo community. He concluded by stating that he would encourage everybody to report corruption at all times.
Explaining the overview of the work and mandate of the ACC, the Regional Manager South, Mr Mohamed Dumbuya, noted that ACC was established in 2000 to confront corruption at all levels and stamp out the menace from the society.Mr Dumbuya said he listened very carefully to the statements of the previous speakers and was impressed with the level of assurance they had given to the ACC team about fighting graft in their communities. He said the commission has zero tolerance for corruption and those at the local level should be very vigilant to expose it in their midst. He informed them that apart from sensitizing or educating the public on the evils of corruption the commission will also prevent the menace and punish corruption offenders through a fair and impartial legal process as well.
Question and answers and vote of thanks by Mr Joseph Makaya, the chairman of the program formed the high point of the meeting.
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