The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in its drive to enhance transparency and accountability in the public service on the 30th August, 2022, sensitized officers of the Motema Police Division during their morning parade in Motema Town, Kono District, on anti-corruption policies and the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008 (as amended in 2019).
Public Education Officer (PEO), Kono, Hawa Deen Conteh, in her submission emphasized that, the meeting was to educate and engage officers on various issues on corruption and to ensure best practices are adhered to in their operations. She stated that the Police Force is a sensitive service delivery institution in the country and therefore regularly come in contact with the public. She acknowledged the good work carried out by the Police personnel in the protection of lives and properties in the District.
Explaining the three-pronged approach in the fight against corruption, the Public Educator expressed dismay over most officers reluctance to openly talk about corruption for fear that it will lead to bad publicity, mistrust in the police or non promotions. She also noted that the engagement will serve as a platform to map out areas of collaboration in identifying corruption risks and vulnerabilities as well as mitigating same.
The Regional Manager Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara in her statement to the officers stated that the fight against graft is not done in a fire brigade manner which has necessitated this engagement on various issues of corruption and for them to internalize the fight against corruption and adopt best practices. Manager Kamara pointed out that the Regional Office has been receiving complaints and concerns from communities relating to bribery and the payment of money or cash for bail. She also spoke about ethics in the workplace and the importance of reporting corruption and explained the relationship between ethics and integrity; and that the latter should be the basis of interfacing with the public.
The Regional Boss underscored the significance of maintaining high ethical standards and the need to report corruption at all times via the toll free lines: 077985985/077986986. She pinpointed the issues of lateness, absenteeism, abandonment of post, double dipping and other forms of malfeasance.
The Manager therefore encouraged the officers to continue serving humanity and desist from partaking in all forms of corrupt activities in the District in the discharge of their duties and to report corruption to the ACC.
ACC's Senior Investigation Officer, Abdul Karim Kamara provided a brief explanation on corruption related offences in the AC Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, such as; corrupt acquisition of wealth, influencing a public officer, peddling influence, bribery, soliciting an advantage, misappropriation of public funds and property, failure to declare assets, possession of unexplained wealth, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the Division, the Local Unit Commander (LUC) Superintendent Junisa Ben Mohamed said that the ACC and the Police are partners in development and should be seen working hand in glove in the District. He expressed gratitude to the Commission for the meeting and promised to keep admonishing his officers to refrain from corruption and to always report same to the ACC.
The presentation of ACC's Information, Education and Communication materials formed the high point of the engagement.