The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Monday 16th October 2023, engaged hundreds of pupils in both junior and senior secondary schools of the Kenema Government Secondary School, as part of the Commission’s ‘Meet the School’ campaign. The campaign is one of the effective public engagement tools of the Commission, designed to capacitate school pupils and young people with anti-corruption messages, by letting them understand the destructive nature of the country’s common enemy – corruption.
During the engagement, the Eastern Regional Manager of the ACC, Peter Baio Kamara, centred his address on integrity, describing it as the bedrock of any country’s development. He entreated the pupils to note that the future of Sierra Leone lies in their hands and they should therefore see themselves as worthy ambassadors in the fight against corruption.
Mr Kamara further encouraged the pupils to stay away from all forms of corruption - especially academic and examination malpractices. He reminded them of the Commission’s zero tolerance to malpractices and therefore urged them to become ambassadors to spread the message far and wide to others. He added that the anti-corruption messages should make them conduct themselves responsibly, noting that this will help to inspire others to resist, reject and report corruption to the Commission at all times.
Addressing the pupils, Public Education Officer, Patrick Hinga George, referenced the most destructive era the country has ever witnessed – the eleven years civil unrest, adding that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report placed emphasis on corruption as one of the key factors that led to those barbaric years. Mr George further said that the establishment of the ACC was predicated on the recommendations of the said Report; hence, he noted, the fight against corruption should be treated by every Sierra Leonean with the utmost seriousness.
The Principal of the Senior Secondary School, Mustapha J. Mansaray, expressed overwhelming thanks and appreciation to the visiting team from the ACC, and went further to describe the engagement as timely and very appropriate. “If such drive was introduced in our own time, we as a people and as a country would not have suffered from such a magnitude of corruption. This is the right approach – catching and empowering the future leaders for a corrupt-free society,” he maintained.
Mr Mansaray appealed to the pupils to take the anti-corruption messages seriously, noting that the war against corruption cannot be won by the ACC alone. He said the concerted effort of all citizens is required and therefore pledged, on behalf of the school, an unflinching support to the Commission.
A question and answer session formed part of the engagement.