Manager Kamara disclosed that Sierra Leone is losing huge amount of money as a result of corruption which is sometimes perpetuated by some drivers; who connive with public officers to deprive the state of much needed resources that would have been used to improve the social wellbeing of the people. He expressed his dissatisfaction on the attitude of some drivers who have chosen to remain lawless and put the good image of the driving profession in a negative spot light. The Regional Manager urged the executive of the union to do more in order to instill discipline and protect the interest of their members. Manager Kamara warned drivers to desist from offering bribery to public officers; as such acts constitute an offence and punishable by law. He implored them to be law abiding and ensure that their vehicles are road worthy and licenses up-to-date.
In his statement on the role and benefits of drivers in the fight against corruption, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, David Kanekey Conteh said ”Sierra Leone will not progress if we allow corruption to flourish.” Conteh noted that the country should not be left in the hands of the corrupt as its effects are suffered by the majority of Sierra Leoneans. He notified the drivers of their roles in the fight against corruption such as: adherence to law, desist from obtaining fake licenses, demanding receipt after every payment at the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority offices, abstaining from paying bribes and booking fees, report cases of soliciting to ACC and avoid reckless driving. Conteh highlighted some of the benefits they will gain if corruption is collectively kicked out of the country such as: impartial trial, construction of good roads, importation of quality spare parts, improve health facility, reduction in road fatality and better standard of living. He explained the various channels of reporting corruption and read out ACC toll free lines and those of the Regional Manager. The Senior Public Education Officer entreated the union executive to imbibe the values of transparency and accountability in the use of union funds.
ACC Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, dilating on the purpose of the meeting and provided an update on ACC’s activities. He described the engagement as a demonstration of ACC’s commitment to strengthen the already existing partnership in the anti-graft campaign. Saccoh stated that the meeting was intended to remind drivers of their roles in the anti-graft campaign, how to report, benefits of reporting graft and to solicit their support in the fight against corruption. ”Corruption will not take place when there is no one to offer the bribe” he said. The Public Education Officer advised his audience to work within the ambit of the law as it is a respecter of no one.
Saccoh informed his audience of the planned launch of the Pay No Bribe campaign targeting: the SLP, Energy, Water Resources, Education and Health sectors; and which would be piloted in Bombali, Bo, Kenema and Western Area. He mentioned the conviction of a Traffic Warden Victorino Fayia Joseph who was sentenced to a thirty million Leones or a three year jail term and recent indictment of two officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) namely Mark Ivan Babatunde Dixon and Mohamed Alimamy Mansaray, both Store Keepers of that ministry for allegedly misappropriating 920 and 804 bags of fertilizers meant for farmers.
The meeting was chaired by ACC Senior Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay; statements were also made by the Chairman of Drivers Union Bombali Alhaji Umaru S. Kamara and Chairman Truck Unit Sulaiman M. Suma. The presentation of education, information and communication materials formed the high point of the meeting.