ACC diaolgues with city council and head of MDAS in Kenema
In a bid to continue spreading anti corruption messages to stakeholders in Kenema and to foster the spirit of cordiality and harmony in the administrative relationship between Kenema City Council and their respective devolved MDAs aimed at enhancing sustainable delivery of essential services, the public education wing of the ACC in the East has on Wednesday 2nd October, 2013 held a well attended customized sensitization meeting with the management of Kenema City Council and all heads of the respective MDAs devolved to the Kenema City Council. (Photo: Mayor of Kenema City Council, Joseph S. Keifala)
Declaring the purpose of the meeting, the Kenema District Coordinator of the ACC Mohamed Sylvanus Blake stated that the ACC has the mandate as entrenched in Part II section 7 sub section II paragraphs g and h, thus ” to advise and assist any person, authority, public body or private sector institutions on changes in practices or procedures compatible with the effective discharge of duties of such persons, public bodies etc that the ACC thinks necessary to eliminate the occurrence of corrupt practices. Mr. Blake stated that in line with this mandate, the ACC engages institutions and muster their support in the national fight against graft.
He furthered that the essential services the Kenema City Council and her MDAs such as the health, education, social welfare, agriculture to name but a few provide, that are very crucial to the socio-economic development of Kenema and therefore educating heads of these critical institutions on corruption issues will in no small way help prevent the misuse of meager resources and ensure collaboration between them. Blake stated that Council and these institutions as pillars of integrity must be seen working together as a team to drive the development of Kenema District and do such with integrity, professionalism and fairness. He encouraged all present to join the national fight against graft.
The Sr. Public Education Officer East in his statement walked his audience through some of the eye catching offences in the AC Act of 2008, admonishing his audience to resist, reject and report corruption. He stated that as public officers and well meaning Sierra Leoneans, it was imperative to report instances of corruption we encounter as contained in Part V, section 77 sub section (1&2) of the AC Act 2008 thus “where a public officer suspects that an act constituting an offence under Part IV has been or is about to be committed within or in relation to a public body, he shall forthwith make a written report to the commission…….”
Peter Baio Kamara explained the various ways of reporting corruption to the ACC and encouraged his audience to be part of the process that was well underway to free this nation from the ravages of corruption. He stated that everyone has the moral responsibility to join the national fight against graft and help safe guard the resources of this nation.
The Ag. Regional Manager of the ACC East, Rev Ibrahim M. Kamara made a detailed presentation, reminding council members of their functions of mobilizing resources to provide development for their people. He stated that ACC prefers converts from corruption to convicts of corruption and encouraged his audience to change their Believe, Opinion, Attitudes and Thoughts (BOAT) in the national fight against graft. Rev Kamara made it clear that the ACC was optimistic that the national fight against corruption was one the country was already winning and asked for unflinching public support for the ACC in the fight.
The Kenema District Medical Office Dr. TT Samba thanked the ACC for the educative move. He stated that the consequences of corruption are vivid and all must join forces with the ACC to fight this menace. Dr. Samba stated that integrity is pivotal in the fight against corruption, maintaining that if Sierra Leoneans are highly noted for their excellence and integrity in the Diaspora, why not exhibit such excellence and integrity patriotically for their national development. He promised the commission their professional discharge of health care services with credence and prudence to continue improving the health status of people.
The Mayor of Kenema City Council, Joseph S. Keifala expressed similar sentiments for the engagement. He stated that corruption is not only a crime punishable by law in court, but a sin that can deserve reproach and punishment from God. He stated that though conditions of service are poor, it was equally very true that many are out of job and we must be thankful for having jobs. He added that corruption was an ethical issue as even those who are rich even want more than the poor. He admonished colleague public officers and politicians not to use pressure from the public as an excuse to be involved in corruption adding that no one should give out what they do not own. He requested the ACC to put more emphasis on asset declaration as it promotes integrity and transparency in public life.
Questions and answers session ended the engagement, all present expressed delight in the meeting, optimism in the national efforts to fight corruption out of Sierra Leone and pledged to support the ACC.
By:- Mohamed Sylvanus Blake, DCO Kenema, ACC Kenema
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