He stated that most remote communities are in a deplorable state due to corruption, noting that such a situation will only improve if they are willing to expose the corrupt. “Sierra Leoneans must demonstrate more commitment in combating this scourge by reporting all forms corruption to the Commission” he noted. He implored his audience to monitor all development programmes and ensure judicious use of State resources.
Speaking on key corruption issues affecting the community, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay underscored the significance of the meeting noting that the anti-graft message was meant to liberate them from the shackles of corruption. Sesay stated that the public should not see themselves as spectators but rather active players in the anti-graft campaign. The Senior Public Education Officer highlighted some of the corrupt practices prevalent in the education, health and social service sectors that continue to reinforce the pervasiveness of poverty on the lives of the rural people. Such practices include misuse of school fees subsidy, extorting money to collect report cards, BECE, WASSCE and NPSE results, paying bribes before bail is granted, disrespect for the rule of law, failure to pay local tax, misuse of tax revenues and poor implementation of projects and programmes. He informed his audience that the aforementioned acts constitute offences in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act and it is punishable by law. Sesay warned those engaged in such practices to desist, as the law is a respecter of no one.
In his statement on the role and contribution of the community people in tackling corruption, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer David Kanekey Conteh stated that the Commission’s work was geared towards improving the lives of every Sierra Leonean, by ensuring that all forms of corruption are eradicated. Conteh noted that fighting corruption is not the business of the Commission alone, but the collective effort of all citizens. He explained the various reporting mechanisms and read out ACC toll free lines: Africell: 077-985-985/077-986-986, Airtel: 161.
He used the occasion to encourage the people of Mamutha to remain resolute and ensure that corruption is kicked out of the community.
Earlier in his welcome statement, the Mamuntha community Headman, Pa Ibrahim Kamara commended the Commission for reaching out to remote communities; noting that the engagement has brought to light some of the corrupt practices they have been suffering from due to ignorance. Pa Kamara assured ACC on behalf of his people to make Mamutha a corrupt free zone by reporting all forms of corruption to the Commission.
The distribution of information, education and communication materials formed the high point of the meeting.