He said it was also meant to broaden the minds and knowledge of the traders on the operations and mandate of the commission, the evils of corruption and the benefits of combating it in the community. The Public Educator also noted that the session was staged to educate the traders on the Pay No Bribe Campaign (PNB) rolled in the President’s Recovery Priorities (PRP) and the progress been made so far by the Commission in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone especially in Kono District. He sensitized them on the various methods of reporting corruption offences to the commission, the protective measures and benefits for whilst blowers.
He encouraged the Traders Union to report corruption to the commission on ACC’s toll lines +23277-985985/+23277-986986 for Africell, 161 for Airtel or on the ACC Kono Land Line 022-530069.
Propounding on the offences and punishments as contained in the AC Act 2008, Senior Investigation Officer, Alfred Bashiru Sesay highlighted Abuse of Office, Abuse of Position, Misuse of Government Fund/Property, Misuse of Donor Fund/Property, Possession of Unexplained Wealth, Bribery, Soliciting and Accepting Advantage etc. He confirmed that each of these Offences is a fine not less than Thirty Million Leones (Le 30,000,000.00) or Three (3) Years imprisonment or both such fine and imprisonment.
The SIO encouraged the participants to resist, reject and report corruption to the commission.
Addressing the participants present at the partnership engagement, the ACC’s Sub-Regional Manager, Mr. Wilfred Bangura reiterated the dire need for the engagement that it was to interface with each other in the fight against graft. He said the fight against corruption is a national concern in which every Sierra Leonean should be involved. He described the union as a strong force that is determined to fight corruption through their unionism. Mr. Bangura noted that all individuals who in one way or the other illegally and forcefully want to implement the laws for their own personal gains on the traders should be reported to the ACC for prompt actions.
In his statement, the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Traders Union Kono Branch, William D. Sesay appreciated the ACC for taking the fight against corruption to his constituents. He said illiterates mostly suffer in the hands of corrupt individuals. He described the engagement as an empowerment which has broadened the knowledge of the traders to actively join the fight against corruption. Mr. Sesay unearthed that his traders have been intimidated by so many public officers including the Sierra Leone Police, Consumer protection Unit, Council and NRA over several issues ranging from taxes, seizure of goods and soliciting of money from the traders. This he said with the presence of ACC they are now confident that things will change. He appealed to the Commission to also educate the other traders in the fourteen (14) chiefdoms of Kono District with the ACC messages and encouraged his traders to cascade the knowledge gained during the session.