15th March 2020
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continues to use multi-prong approach not only to address systems weaknesses in public sector institutions but also to forge alliance with accountability organizations to enhance public participation in the country’s governance architecture. It is in this regard, ACC Southern Regional Office engaged Station Managers, Producers and Reporters of Radio Stations operating in Bo on a constructive discourse to reaffirm the Commission’s commitment to working with the media. The meeting was held on Tuesday 9th March 2021, at the Commission’s Conference Hall, 10 Bo-Pujehun Drive in Bo.
ACC’s Southern Regional Manager South, Musa J.B. Jawara, acknowledged the remarkable work of the media in promoting the tenets of good governance and exposing societal ills that have the potential to undermine the development aspirations of the nation. He reminded them of their responsibilities as enshrined in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone to highlight the responsibility and accountability of State institutions to the public. He described media practitioners as strategic partners and should therefore be seen very active in the anti-graft campaign. He urged them to use their platform for the good of society and not to participate in anti-social activities that will sow discord.
Mr. Jawara also drew the attention of the journalists to some of the thorny concerns of the Commission which sometimes strain the relationship between them, noting the unscrupulous behaviour of some media practitioners that engage in acts of impersonating ACC staff to extort from people and collude with public officers to defraud the State. “The media should not be used as a smokescreen to compromise public trust for personal aggrandizement,” he warned.
Mr. Jawara recounted on the interventions the Commission continues to undertake to combat corruption in the country, something he said has been recognized by prominent local and international organizations, which has made the Commission and the Commissioner received an unprecedented number of Awards and Recognitions.
In his statement, Senior Public Education Officer, ACC, Abdulai Saccoh, highlighted the significance of the meeting, describing it as a deliberate action to work with strategic partners to increase public understanding on accountability issues. He implored journalists to be more vigilant, adding that to remain silent is unpatriotic and a sign of weakness.
The Senior Public Education Officer also said, for the fight against corruption to be won, the task should not be left in the hands of the Commission alone. He admonished the participants to adhere to the ethics guiding their profession as the law does not romance with offenders.
the question-and-answer session, the media practitioners shared concerns which
they consider as barriers in practicing their profession, such as the unwillingness
of some public sector Heads to provide them with unclassified information,
physical attacks by security personnel while doing their work and the lack of
funds to undertake investigative stories. They pledged to take special interest
in the anti-corruption campaign in order to improve public service delivery for