“The prevalence of corruption in the traffic sector does not only lead to loss of public revenue, but results in preventable deaths,” says Momodu Sittar, Regional Manager, South, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
He made this statement in a sensitization meeting organized by the Public Education Unit of the ACC’s Southern Region office, to promote integrity and behavioural change among personnel of the Sierra Leone Police’s Traffic Division, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), Bike Riders Union and Motor Drivers Union. The meeting was held at the SLRSA Conference Hall, New London, Bo, on Tuesday 17th May 2022.
Speakijg at the engagement, Mr. Sittar drew the attention of the traffic law enforcers to several allegations from the public, including the issuance of licences withhout adherence to due processes and procedures, traffic officers soliciting and accepting bribes from traffic offenders and acts of extortions at checkpoints. He underscored that the various law enforcers should treat these allegations with utmost seriousness because they do not only undermine the integrity of the institutions but expose them to public ridicule.
The Regional Manager furthered that the chain of corruption must not be allowed to spread especially in the transport sector because road users would be susceptible to danger. He called on all and sundry to be sincere in serving the public with utmost integrity and honesty.
Addressing the participants, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, described the transport sector as the heartbeat of a country’s economic activity due to its crucial role in facilitating the movement of goods and people. He said studies have shown that corruption manifests in the sector when motorists realize that they have committed an offence of over speeding, overloading, driving an unlicensed or not road-worthy vehicles, among others.
Mr. Saccoh called on the SLRSA to address the delay in the issuance of licences. The Sierra Leone Police, he said, should judiciously use discretionery powers in the execution of their duties. He encouraged members of the Bike Riders and Motor Drivers Unions to continue to conscientize their members to adhere to traffic rules and regulations. He further urged the executives of both Unions to work towards enhancing transparency and accountability in the use of funds generated on behalf of their memberships.
ACC’s Public Education Officer, Mohamed A. Kabba, said that the Commission has always engaged both the public and private sectors on issues of integrity, ethics, transparency and accountability, and to convey to them the strategic approaches employed by the ACC to put a dent on corruption. He admonished the participants that the welfare of citizens is at the centre of the Commission’s fight against corruption, noting, that is why the Commission continues to interact with all spheres of the society in a bid to collectively address the interests of all.In their response, representatives of the various Agencies commended the Commission for the engagement and for providing them the platform to outline some of the challenges they are confronted with in carrying out their daily operations. Representatives of the traffic law enforcement agencies made a special plea to Government for an improvement in their conditions of service in order to reduce the motivations for corruption