By Wilfred J. Bangura, Public Education Officer -South
In a bid to promote the work of the Anti Corruption Commission, particularly to educate the public on the dangers of corruption in society, the ACC has on Monday, 5th March, 2012, engaged Officers of the 5th Battalion of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces at Gondama, Tikonko Chiefdom, Bo District.
The thrust of the meeting was to have a spirited conversation with the Military on issues bordering the work of the Commission and ways to bring them on board in the fight against this scourge in their institution and society at large.
Welcoming the team from the ACC, Captain E.J. Fefegula, who chaired the occasion started by thanking the ACC for the timeliness of the meeting and opined that such meetings bring the Commission closer to their institution. He disclosed that Officers and men of his institution were enthusiastic to know about the operations of the Commission and are also poised to ask questions about the Commission’s operations. Captain Fefegula said it is the Commission’s responsibility to always remind stakeholders of their obligations in making Sierra Leone a corrupt free nation. He emphasized that participants should treat corruption related issues very seriously.
Speaking on the mandate of the Public Education and External Outreach Department, Mr. Bangura, Public Education Officer, South, gave a brief background on the day to day corruption related offences and encouraged Officers of the 5th Battalion and visiting colleagues from other battalions to serve as the bastions of change and development.
He informed the Officers and men that it was incumbent upon them to join the fight against corruption as it continues to pose a serious threat to national development. Mr. Bangura outlined the various ways the public could channel reports of corruption to the Commission and assured them that their identities will always be protected.
Making his presentation on the strategic role of the Military in fighting corruption, the Regional Manager, South, Mr. Mohamed Dumbuya, welcomed participants to the meeting on behalf of the ACC Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara Esq.
He stated that the Commission is aware of the good work of the Military and values everybody in the fight against corruption, hence the reason his institution is in a hurry to have as many partners as possible. He expressed satisfaction in meeting with the Officers and men of the 5thBattalion to discuss corruption related issues.
He referenced the negative effects of corruption and its impact on Sierra Leone as a nation, maintaining that the ACC is the lead agency in the fight against corruption and that the Commission’s current goal is to win more converts in the fight than convicts. He also elaborated on the systems and processes reviews done by the ACC and the impact they have created in enhancing effective service delivery in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). He said as a Commission, they are determined to make corruption a thing of the past and encouraged the Military to join the fight against graft in the country. He informed meeting about the level of discipline and patriotism often evident in the Military and enjoined them to demonstrate same for the fight against corruption in their noble institution.
Reiterating the strategic importance of the Military in the fight against corruption, Mr. Anthony Samu, District Coordinator South, expressed satisfaction with the work of the Military and encouraged them to always speak out against corrupt practices in their institution. He buttressed the need for a more concrete synergistic relationship between the Military and ACC in the fight against corruption. Mr Samu concluded that it is only out of fruitful cooperation and collaboration with key partners including the Military that they can win the fight against corruption as a nation.A brief statement was also made by the Brigade Commander, Lt. Col. M.H. Jalloh who cautioned Officers to make corruption related reports to the ACC that have factual evidence and not malicious ones. The closing remarks were delivered by Major Y. Mansaray followed by questions and answers from participants.