By: Sylvanus Blake
In its relentless campaign to muster public and strategic partnership in the fight against corruption, a team from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the People Power Movement (PPM) on Wednesday 24th November 2021, concluded a 2-day training of over 20 Civil Society Groups in Karene District, North West Region, on the deployment of non-Violent techniques and tools in promoting the campaign against corruption and on taking actions against misuse and misappropriation of public resources. The training event which took place at the Wesleyan Kamakwei Secondary School Hall also led to the establishment of the Karene District Chapter of the PPM.
Speaking at the event, the Public Relations Officer of the PPM, Haji Bah told the gathering of CSOs in Kamakwe that the PPM was established in 2016, and is a Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) committed to the promotion of transparency and accountability in public service delivery. He stated that the purpose of the PPM is to inspire the Civil Society to deploy the People Power techniques that are nonviolent to demand accountability and transparency in the provision of much needed public services. Mr. Bah stated that the PPM which had over the years been used successfully in several first world countries including Norway, hold leaders to account and trigger changes desired by the people. Mr. Bah stated that the PPM Sierra Leone had begun the rollout of the PPM across districts in Sierra Leone since 2019 and now the Karene Chapter.
The Assistant Public Relations Officer-ACC, Sylvanus Blake in his presentation, explained to the participants some of the practices that can constitute corruption as contained in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. He stated that as CSOs and members of the PPM, who would garner public support and champion the course for accountability and transparency in the delivery of public services, are required to be abreast with the law. He told them that as partners of the ACC, society demands from them the strongest form of accountability, probity and integrity. You cannot be for the fight against corruption and lack public trust Blake stated. He also gave detailed updates on the operations of the ACC with the clear objective of addressing the existing misapprehensions and doubts about the work of the ACC.
Referencing the exemplary sturdy punishment for convicts as contained in the 2019 Anti-Corruption amendment Act, Blake stated that this trajectory has now made corruption very risky and expensive, as it is no longer a profitable crime to engage in. Mr. Blake explained the background, overview and operations of the ACC with the object of giving the participants a clear picture of the work of the Commission.
The Manager of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS)-ACC, Wilfred Bangura explained the design, purpose and operations of the NACS Secretariat and its intended and physical impact on the fight against corruption. He stated that for a successful implementation of the recommended corruption prevention plans in the NACS, CSOs are required to play a critical role. He urged all to uphold integrity and serve the interest of their communities above all others. Mr. Bangura stated that the ACC shall continue to partner with the CSOs especially the PPM going forward.This event was climaxed with election of the Executive of the PPM Karene District Chapter as had been done in several other districts