SIERRA LEONEANS ARE READY TO FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION-TI
By Abubakarr Turay (ABT)
The Transparency International (TI) Global Corruption Barometer 2013 shows that the people of Sierra Leone are willing to join the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the fight against corruption in the country.
According to the report 99 per cent, which means almost all of the respondents interviewed, say they have an important role to play in the fight against corruption and therefore expressed their willingness to help in the fight against this societal menace. That is in spite of the finding in the report which states that 84 per cent of people have paid a bribe which most of them did in order to facilitate services delivered to them.
Another important finding in the report is that 85 per cent of the people of Sierra Leone admitted knowing how and where to report an act of corruption. This reaffirms the massive educational drive of the Anti-Corruption Commission in educating the public about the dangers of corruption and the need for a corrupt-free society. The ACC, through its Public Education and External Outreach Department, has been taking its sensitization campaigns to all spheres of the Sierra Leonean society for people to refrain from corrupt acts, as well as resist, reject and report suspected acts of corruption to the Commission.
The finding that has been mostly welcomed by many civil society activists is the government’s efforts in fighting graft in the country. According to the TI report 51 per cent of the people believe that the Government of Sierra Leone has been showing the political will and proving very effective in tackling corruption. This can be seen by the government’s legislation of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, which now gives more powers to the ACC than ever before. It has not come as a surprise to many that the rate of convictions for corruption offences and monies recovered has increased since then. For example, the ACC was able to recover 39 billion Leones through fines from court convictions in 2012 alone.
Meanwhile, the ACC has welcomed the news of the public’s willingness in the fight against graft in the country. According to the Commission, “the country’s resolve to achieving zero tolerance for corruption can never be realized without the full participation of citizens”.