Reaching out to rural communities in the bid to disseminate information and raise awareness on the campaign against bribery is crucial to the success of the PNB project; hence working with civil society organisation such as MADAM will yield much dividend.
Giving an overview of the PNB, Senior Public Education Officer of the Anti-Corruption Commission David Kanekey Conteh espoused, that the PNB is part of the President’s recovery priorities, under the category of governance. Conteh further explained that bribery in the fight against corruption has been a thorny issue for both the government and ACC, for the fact that the 2013 Afro-barometer survey revealed that the incidence of bribery is very high in Sierra Leone. As a means to address this menace, the Pay No Bribe campaign was borne. The PNB in its pilot phase he added employs a scientific approach to tracking corruption trends in the Ministry of Health, Education, Sierra Leone Police, energy and water sector. Anonymous reporting platforms are the tools used by this project to achieve its goal. Mr. Conteh therefore encouraged the people of Gbendenbu and its environs to make judicious use of this opportunity to rid bribery off their communities.
Explaining the concept of bribery and its effects on the indigenous people, Abdulai Saccoh ACC Public Education Officer maintained that bribery is not only limited to offering physical money; but anything of monetary value, which could either be a goat, chicken, bawl of palm oil, or a parcel of land giving to an individual with the intention of inducing him to unduely act in one’s favour. In a more interactive fashion, Saccoh together with the people were able to identify the effect of bribery, as it applies to their context.
Speaking on the role of MADAM and the community in the PNB, Joseph Bangura and Alimamy Sesay from MADAM Sierra Leone, said their role as civil society organisation is to raise awareness on the PNB and make reporting bribery accessible to the community people. They went further to explain how to use the reporting gadget and also gave out the PNB hotline which is 515 for all networks.
Earlier in his welcome statement, Paramount Chief Kandeh Babar Kieha III said many of the wrong things going on in their community were done out of ignorance. He considered the meeting with ACC as an opportunity to understand the concept of bribery and to further deepen their knowledge on the Pay No Bribe campaign. He promised his people and the guests that he will do all within his powers to ensure that the right things are being done in his chiefdom. He therefore thanked the ACC and MADAM for their good work, and pledged his support to the Pay No bribe Campaign.