The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Southern Region office has met with public sector workers, civil society organisations, the media and other stakeholders of Moyamba District to introduce to them the ACC new regional manager and remind them of their responsibility to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties. The event took place at the district’s council hall, Moyamba town, on Tuesday 26th October 2021.
In his statement, the new regional manager, Momodu Sittar, acknowledged the collective efforts of the pillars of integrity in instituting anti-corruption measures to ensure effective management and utilization of public and donor funds. He said that corruption has contributed adversely to the loss of lives, deprived people of quality infrastructure and led to the collapse of systems in public sector institutions.
Mr. Sittar said although the Commission promotes the setting up of solid structures to prevent corruption in Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that would not deter the Commission from investigating and prosecuting public officers who breach provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019.
Mr. Sittar gave updates on some of the highlights of the ACC’s 2020 annual report presented to President Julius Maada Bio last month, with specific reference to the recovery of over Eight Billion Leones, a conviction rate of over 90% from cases investigated and charged to court, and 81% score in the indicator on “Control of Corruption” in the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard, among others.
The Manager said that citizens can only continue to benefit from the country’s natural resources when duty bearers are held accountable for their actions. He urged residents of Moyamba to join the conscientious efforts of the ACC by exposing the corrupt and deprive them from entrenching misery on the lives of the unsuspected masses.
Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, said the public should understand that the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 covers any person that comes into conflict with it irrespective of his/her social standing. “Individuals who are given the privilege to serve the nation should not see it as an opportunity to wreak havoc on the people,” he warned. Mr Saccoh admonished the people of Moyamba to stand against any divisive rhetoric in the fight against corruption, which he described as the single biggest threat to human survival.
Senior Regional Corruption Prevention Officer, Francis K. Lassayo, said a prevention unit has now been established in the regions to examine the practices and procedures of public bodies in order to identify and tackle potential corruption incidences. He said that not all matters reported to the Commission can warrant investigation but instead some might require the intervention of the Prevention Department to conduct systems review to ensure standard processes and procedures are put in place and implemented.
Public Education Officer, Mohamed A. Kabba, recognized that public participation in the fight against corruption is crucial because the war can only be won when they are united. He said citizens can demonstrate such commitment by reporting the occurrences of corruption wherever they take place. Mr. Kabba assured them of protection for any person that provides information to the Commission.
In his statement, Chairman of theMoyamba District Council Joseph Mgbogba said “development cannot be sustained in a society where citizens choose to suffer in silence and allow rogues to pilfer the limited resources that should be enjoyed by all.” The District Council Chairman pledged his commitment to ensuring a united force against corruption.The engagement was climaxed with statements by Paramount Chief of Kayamba Chiefdom, Moyamba District, Foday M. Gulama, who commended the good work of the Commission in respect of the gains made in the last three years. He promised to convey the anti-corruption messages to his constituents. Representatives from CSOs, the media and public and private sectors assured the Commission of their unflinching support to break the chain of corruption