2nd July, 2021
BY MOHAMED A. KABBA (PEO)
The Southern Region office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Wednesday, 30th June, 2021, engaged media practitioners in Bo in a bid to revive the Media Alliance Against Corruption (MAAC).
The meeting, which brought together representatives from radio stations, newspapers and social media bloggers, was meant to enlist the practitioners in the anti-corruption campaign and enable them to embrace and popularize the work and activities of the Commission.
The ACC Southern Region Manager Musa J.B. Jawara started off by giving updates on the Commissioner's achievements since his appointment three years ago.
Before Mr. Kaifala became Commissioner, he said, Sierra Leone was, according to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard, rated 49 percent in the area of ‘Control of Corruption’ and had a stagnant score of 30 between 2016 and 2018 in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, which also ranked the country 130 out of 180 countries.
At national level, he said, the National Corruption Perception Survey showed a 70 percent corruption prevalence, while only 19 percent of Sierra Leoneans knew about the fight against corruption.
Acknowledging the many gains of the Commission, he said the country has made remarkable gains in the MCC Scorecard, having scored 71 percent in 2018, 79 percent in 2019 and 81 percent in 2020. He said the country also now stands at 117 in the Transparency International Index, with a score of 33; while corruption prevalence has reduced from 70 to 40 percent.
Mr. Jawara also stated that the Commission has recovered over 30 Billion Leones and secured over 95 percent conviction rate in the last three years.
He went further to state the significance of the media alliance in the popularization of the Commission’s vision to prevent, suppress and eradicate corrupt practices in the country.
Senior Prevention Officer attached to the ACC Southern Region Office, Francis K. Lassayo, called on media practitioners to support the Commissioner’s prevention approach as stated in pillar two (Non-conviction based asset recovery) of the United Nation’s Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
He said the media can work in close partnership with the Commission to prevent and take every step that may be necessary to curb corruption within Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
He added that radio stations, newspapers and social media bloggers have a critical role to perform, especially when the Commission embarks on corruption risk assessments, ethics and integrity in the workplace. “Media practitioners can surely aid the Commission ensure a corrupt-free Sierra Leone which will ensure that the socio-economic needs of its citizens are met.
The Production Manager of Voice of Faith, Fatmata G. Okekearu while thanking the Commission, emphasized the achievements of the Commission in last three years, which she described as ‘remarkable’.
She pledged their support to provide the Commission with simulcast especially during the ACC radio discussion programs in a bid to ensure citizens in far-flung communities in the region are educated on anti-corruption issues and other activities of the Commission.
She called on the Commission to organize trainings on the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 and other vital instruments employed by the ACC in the fight against corruption.