Welcoming participants to the meeting, Regional Manager ACC East, Keifala Koi dilated on the Pay No Bribe campaign and reasons for the initiative. He said that Integrity Club members must be honest, disciplined and transparent, if they are to command the admiration, support and respect of their colleagues. Manager Koi implored members of the Accountability Now Club and their lecturer coordinators to exhibit integrity now, as they are either in public life or on the verge of getting into it. He charged them to be accountable and transparent in their public life and desist from offering or soliciting and accepting bribes.
Mr. Koi outlined the hazards of bribery, like any other corruption offence. He stated that the UK Government through the Department for International Department (DFID) is supporting the Pay No Bribe campaign to reduce on the incidences of bribery in Sierra Leone and improve on service delivery.
Public Education Officer, Sylvanus M. Blake made presentation on the importance of the PNB. He told listeners that the Pay No Bribe campaign reporting platform was unveiled in September 2016 to provide citizens the opportunity to anonymously report bribery experiences when they access services in key public sector institutions which are in the pilot; education, health, energy, water and the police.
Addressing the clubs, Public Education Officer, Sam P. Gogra noted that the fight is a winnable one but requires greater synergy from all sectors. Speaking on their roles as club members, Gogra mentioned that they should serve as peer educators, and to mobilize their colleagues into a formidable anti-graft force in schools and colleges. He stressed that the principle of accountability and responsibility should be instilled in them as club members with the intention of having unblemished characters when they become public officers in future. He emphasized that all club members should be principled, honest and trustworthy. “Integrity accrues a lot of benefit to the individual as people will have trust in you and will also gain favour with the general public” Gogra concluded.
Senior Investigations Officer, Belinda Hebrom highlighted some corruption practices as contained in part IV of the Anti Corruption Act 2008 especially that of bribery and the accompanying penalties, and admonished all to stay away from such ill-practices.
During the plenary, participants were divided into two groups for discussion on the various corruption related issues in their respective institutions.
Banners and T-Shirts with anti- corruption messages like “Catch Them Young” and “Your No Counts” were worn by the club members.