9th August, 2021
BY: JENEBA KEMOH
The Public Education Unit of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Region office in Kenema has held an awareness raising engagement with residents of Tongo Field, Lower Bambara Chiefdom, Kenema District, on the work of the Commission and corruption-related issues.
Speaking at the meeting, which was held at the Tongo Field Community Center, Public Education Officer of the ACC Jeneba Kemoh listed the importance of the meeting, noting that corruption would not end if the public turned a blind eye to the menace which continues to derail the country’s developmental aspirations. “This meeting is therefore a deliberate endeavor by the ACC to empower communities with correct tools and information to eradicate the scourge of corruption,” she said.
The Public Education Officer referred to corruption as an act that undermines the social, economic and moral wellbeing of citizens and their communities. She said corruption flourishes in rural communities due to citizens’ selfish desires over the public interest. She reminded public officers of their duties and encouraged them to ensure that they uphold integrity and put the country’s interest first at all time.
The Public Education Officer provided updates on the gains made by the Commission in the last few years, including securing over 95 percent conviction rate in cases indicted by the ACC, recovery of over 31 Billion Leones and the massive prevention and public education drives across public sector institutions and communities across the country respectively. All these, she said, have helped the country to be eligible for the MCC Compact and made the Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq to be awarded International Anti-Corruption Champion by the US State Department, among several other accolades.
She told the people that corruption issues of any kind can be reported to the Commission in person, by letter, the ACC website, or via the toll free lines 077-985985/077-986986 or 515 (all networks).
Patricia Sannoh, Data Operator, ACC, said the object of the engagement is to empower residents to use the three “Rs” (Resist, Reject and Report any form of corrupt practices to the ACC). She said the ACC was also in Tongo to sensitize traditional authorities, heads of schools, health workers, police officers, local court officials, bike riders and media representatives in the township on the work of the Commission and the dangers posed by the scourge.
Responding to the ACC, Section Chief Lahai Samuka Konouoa III said he is overwhelmed to have the ACC in Tongo and expressed thanks to the Commission for such a move to dialogue with them. He pledged his unwavering support to the fight against corruption.
The ACC team also held a radio discussion programme in the township to provide updates on the work of the Commission and to discuss general corruption issues.