The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North-West Region, Al-Hassan Sesay has told Local authorities and residents of Mathoir Community along Masiaka- Mile 91 highway to be sincere in supporting the fight against corruption noting that corruption must be fought fiercely and stopped in all its forms to end impunity and enhance quality service delivery in Sierra Leone.
He made this statement during a sensitization meeting held on the 9th September 2021 at the Community Market Square in Mathoir Town. Outlining the problems of corruption and bribery in society, Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah stated that the destructive influence of corruption provokes and deepens the social crisis, undermines the image of the state and hold back its socioeconomic transformation. As corruption harms the vulnerable in society, he said, when officials in public institutions force citizens to pay for services that should be free, the poorest and most vulnerable members of society suffer the most. He further noted that in low-income households particularly in rural communities, small bribes to get health care and other public services can cut deep into a family’s disposable income. He called on them to own the fight and support the ACC in combating graft.
Addressing a jam-packed community, the Regional Manager said the ACC is poised and positioned with renewed energy and leadership through preventive measures and confrontation to ensure the corrupt are punished and break the cycle of impunity as well as prevent waste and misappropriation of national resources. He noted that empowering citizens through public education help them to hold government accountable and strengthens community monitoring initiatives to detect corruption, enhances participation and improved the quality of public services.
Explaining some nature and forms of corruption, he stated that corruption undermines development and inflict enormous harm that deprives citizens from accessing quality healthcare, better system of education, potable water and makes the poor and vulnerable to suffer disproportionately. Manager Sesay also stated that corruption is not only limited to bribery but rather people especially the poor get hurt when resources are wasted adding that it is so important to heighten public knowledge on different kinds of corruption to develop smart interventions and responses. He highlighted several corrupt practices across various sectors including the local court administration, the school system, the health sector and other areas of concerns of corruption vulnerabilities in communities. He issued a stern warning to local authorities and residents to desist from corruption.
The Senior Public Education Officer Samuel JunisaSankoh who spoke on the role of the community in the fight against corruption underscored the significance of reporting corruption as a sacred responsibility on the part of every Sierra Leonean. He encouraged them to resist and reject demands of corruption and always use the toll free lines of 077985985,077986986 and 515 to report.