By: Jeneba Kemoh Mbayo
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Regional Office has, on Friday 19th August, 2022, joined the Sierra Leone Union of Photographers (SLUP) to commemorate the WORLD PHOTO DAY with the theme “CAMERA AGAINST CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE” in Kenema City, Eastern Sierra Leone.
The auspicious event brought together different personalities including, the Commissioner of Youth Affairs Commission, Director of Independent Media Commission, Director of Information, Ministry of Information and Communications, Regional Commander East, the Sierra Leone Police, and the Regional Manager, Anti-Corruption Commission, East.
Giving the history of photography in Sierra Leone, Acting Director of Information at the Ministry of Information and Communications, Emmanuel Turay, said photography came to Sierra Leone since 1850 and the first photographer was Thomas Albridge a British citizen who took photos of events in Sierra Leone for the British. He furthered that, the current staff strength of the Commission cannot detect corruption from everywhere but with the right training and capacity, the camera can capture corruption from everywhere and report it. Mr. Turay mentioned public institutions like hospitals, schools and others where CCTV cameras could be installed to easily capture acts of corruption.
In his presentation, the Regional Manager ACC East, Keifala Koi said the use of cameras has contributed immensely to the fight against corruption while making reference to the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 (as amended in 2019), which calls for electronic gadgets as one means of providing evidence in reporting corruption. He said cameras provide clean evidence to facilitate the detection of corruption in different work places. Cameras have enhanced transparency and accountability in public institutions as the pieces of evidence are unquestionable, he added.
President of the Union, Steven E. Momoh, in his submission, said there is a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be signed between the ACC and the Union. He called on the Commission for the speedy actualization and signing of the said proposed MOU so that the Union can contribute more significantly to the fight against corruption. He said the MOU when signed will provide for the training of photographers to use their cameras to capture corruption and appropriately report same to the ACC. He furthered that, it is his fervent hope that this MOU will further strengthen their relationship with the ACC for better outcome in the fight against corruption.