30th March, 2023
By David Yusuf Kabia, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday 30th March 2023, organized a training programme for its newly recruited Partners including, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and media institutions in the Conference Room of its Head Quarters Office in Freetown, in a bid to capacitate them in the fight against corruption.
Welcoming the new Partners, the Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. thanked them for the partnership, which he said is a step in the right direction if corruption should be defeated for God and country. He confessed that the fight against corruption requires more than the staff of ACC, which is the reason for the Commission forging these partnerships to ensure the fight becomes a national fight where everyone can lend their expertise and otherwise defeat this menace that stands to destroy all we stand for as a nation. “The fight against corruption is in your hands. When they say the fight against corruption, it is not really about the ACC. It is about the partnership and support that the ACC can gather, can galvanize so as we all work together towards ensuring that corruption is controlled in Sierra Leone. So we have a deliberate plan and we have been moving on with it to ensure that we can bring as many people as possible, together, to help and participate actively in the fight against corruption.”
Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala also expressed concerns over the behaviour of some partners in the past and urged that this partnership does not make them staff of the ACC but helpers in the anti-graft campaign. On his mandate as a Commissioner and that of the Commission, he told his audience that while the Commission may be needed by every facet of society to address every problem, he and the Commission are only mandated to fight corruption and nothing more as provided for by Section 7 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 (as amended in 2019). “for this reason, that is why we normally receive so many complaints which have nothing to with our work but as always, we forward these complaints to the relevant authorities”, he emphasized. He noted that, should the ACC try to handle every other issue outside its mandate, it will lose focus and fail in its primary responsibility, which is to address corruption. “Our mandate is to fight corruption. There are several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with different mandates. Francis Ben Kaifala is not everything. I can only focus on my mandate for a successful delivery to the people of Sierra Leone”, the Commissioner underscored. He further assured them of the ACC’s commitment to capacitating them and supporting them with logistics. “What we are going to do today is to give you the tools, the weapons, to make sure that we embark on this war as each of you choose your battlefields. What we can assure you is that we are all in this together. We will support you. If you need any support, come to us. If you want to organize an awareness raising programme, you want to embark on a campaign, you want to visit a particular region to see what is happening or you want to go the border to see whether there is corruption happening there, write a proposal and within our own means, we will support you.”
Earlier, the Director Public Education and External Outreach Department, Patrick Sandi who chaired the training stated that, the day’s engagement is to broaden the scope of ACC partners. He highlighted the dangers corruption has caused and still causing to Sierra Leone and its people and called on them to use this opportunity to contribute to liberating Sierra Leone from the shackles of corruption. Director Sandi referred to the partners as “strategic” in the fight against corruption and called on their support in helping the Commission in the anti-graft campaign. “The fight against corruption, I must also state, will not be won by the ACC alone and as such we believe your support will play in a lot. This relationship is for ACC to broaden our circle of partners, our circle of acquaintances and believe that as we advance in the fight against corruption, we consider you very seriously” he concluded.
The training session was facilitated by staff of the Commission including; the Ag. Deputy Director, Michael Sesay, Heads of Units- External Outreach and Policy and Ethics, Al-Hassan Sesay and Musa Kanteh respectively, whose presentations made the Partners “immensely capacitated”.
The training ended
with comments, questions and answers.