ACC raises awareness on the fight against corruption in Manepeh and Mayasso sections
In its drive to spread anti-corruption messages to rural communities, the Northern Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th June 2013 held awareness raising meetings in Manepeh Section, Kholifa Rowalla Chiefdom and Mayasso Section, in the Kafe Simira Chiefdom in Tonkolili District. (Photo: ACC District Coordinator Abdulai Saccoh explaining the purpose of the meeting)
Explaining the rationale for the meetings, ACC’s District Coordinator, Tonkolili, Abdulai Saccoh said the engagements were meant to enhance their knowledge and understanding of corrupt practices in their communities and solicit their support towards the fight. He emphasized that such meetings would help raise awareness on the dangers of corruption, work of the Commission and the role of locals in the development of their chiefdoms and change negative perceptions on corruption. Saccoh told the people of Manepeh and Mayasso sections that the fight against corruption should not be left in the hands of the Commission alone, but requires collective efforts.
Addressing the people of Manepeh and Mayasso Sections at the respective meetings, Regional Manager ACC North, Patrick Sandi trumpeted ACC’s recognition of the importance of people living in rural communities in the fight against corruption. He noted that some people or organizations may want to take advantage of the remoteness of rural communities to exploit them and engage in corrupt practices that was why the ACC is making deliberate interventions. “If ACC does not come to inform you about your roles and responsibilities regarding the fight against corruption, you will be used as preys by corrupt individuals and organizations” Manager Sandi opined.
The Regional Manager furthered that for the lives of citizens to improve and Sierra Leone to develop, it depends on the effectiveness of ACC that was why they must support the Commission. He told the people of Manepeh and Mayasso Sections that the country rely heavily on donor support and for such support to flow, the donors must have great confidence that they would not be misappropriated. He called on community members to take up the challenge in fighting corruption in their respective communities.
Explaining the offences as contained in the 2008 Act, the Regional Manager highlighted some corrupt practices relating to the school system and the Free Health Care program. Manager Sandi frowned at the misuse of school fee subsidies and Girl Child funds by some Head Teachers and Principals which he noted was impeding the improvement of education in the district. He warned that those forestalling the success of the Free Health Care in the district would not be encouraged by ACC. The Regional Manager also mentioned some corrupt practices in Chiefdom Administration, Local Courts, market places and some sectors of the communities that are obstacles to the development of the chiefdoms and the country.
The Regional Manager used the occasion to encourage those involved in corrupt practices to desist and do the right thing. He emphasized that if the fight against corruption is to succeed, they must be ready to resist, reject and report corruption. “The fight against corruption is not a bed of roses, those involved in it fight back. But we can only succeed by joining hands together. If we are honest and dedicated to the fight, Sierra Leone will be a paradise” he maintained.
Senior Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay explained the various methods of making reports to the ACC and protection of informants. He stressed that if the fight against corruption is to succeed, the people of Manepeh and Mayasso sections must be ready to report any acts of corruption to the ACC. Mr. Sesay read out the Commission’s mobile hotlines but warned them against making false report.
Making their inputs, Mr. Alpha Conteh, who chaired the meeting at Manepeh village, emphasized the importance of such meeting, noting that it was geared towards enhancing health service delivery for them. He told his people that they are the ones who feel the negative effects of corruption most, that is why they should be closer to the ACC. At Mayasso village, Daniel P. Tholley, Head Teacher TDEC School who chaired the meeting, appreciated ACC for enlightening them on various issues. He admitted that before now, they had no knowledge but thanked the ACC for opening their eyes to the truth.
Other speakers at the respective meetings heaped praises on the ACC for sensitizing them and promised to join her in the fight by reporting corrupt practices.
Questions, comments, suggestions and answers formed part of the respective meetings.
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