The Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) regional office in Kono held community outreach and stakeholders engagements in Kamiendor and Sindadu in Marfindor and Gbane Kandor chiefdoms respectively.
The meetings were part of the Commission’s relentless effort to sensitize rural communities on the evils of corruption and solicit their support in the fight against the scourge.
On the key reasons for the engagements, the Regional Manager of the ACC office in Kono, Hawanatu O. Kamara, said the ACC aims to empower the people to understand corruption issues and solicit their support by rejecting, resisting and reporting corruption offences to the Commission.
Mrs Kamara said that community people have the right to be well informed about the contents of community projects and also have the right to ask questions to prevent wastages of donor or public resources, as contractors often take advantage of the remoteness and perilous terrains to conspire with community stakeholders to embezzle and misappropriate project funds and resources. She therefore encouraged residents of the two communities to refrain from all acts of corruption and report same by calling the toll free lines of 077-985985 and 077-986986.
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer in Kono, Sam P. Gogra, said that the Commission has been able to recover over 35 Billion Leones from out-of-court settlements under the present leadership of ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala.
The Commission, he adds, has been able to secure over 90 percent conviction rate from cases charged to court. He said the achievements also include physical assets recovery and favourable rankings in various national and international transparency indexes.
The Senior Public Education Officer further urged the communities to be mindful of practices that could constitute an offence under the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019.
While earlier welcoming the team from the ACC, Senior Town Chief of Kamiendor, Tamba Josiah, applauded the Commission for the awareness raising exercise considering the poor road network leading to the chiefdom.
Mr Josiah acknowledged that corruption is still very prevalent in their community, citing the misappropriation of project funds and other resources meant for various developmental activities. “This has caused us underdevelopment, backwardness and impoverishment and I therefore urge the ACC for a sustained sensitization of the various communities in the chiefdom,” he said.
The Chiefdom Speaker Tamba Pimbi said they have not only been well informed and satisfied with the messages from the Commission but also empowered to report corruption offences to the Commission. “We however appeal to you to make such engagements sustainable as they will help significantly in reducing corruption in our localities,’’ he concluded.