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The Northern Regional office of Anti-Corruption Commission has taken the educational approach in the fight against corruption to student nurses in Makeni. This was in the form of a sensitization meeting with staff and students of the National School of Nursing and School of Midwifery at the Masuba campus in Makeni on Friday 5th August 2011. (Photo: Cross section of nursing students in Makeni)
Explaining the rationale for the meeting, the District Coordinator, Bombali Mr. Raymond Alieu Kamara (above) said it was meant to encourage them to partner with the Commission in the fight against corruption. The District Coordinator was also aimed at educating them on the dangers of corruption, operations of the Commission and how corrupt practices can hinder the improvement of health delivery system in Sierra Leone. He stressed that the fight against corruption is a fight for all and should not just be left in the hands of the Commission alone.
The District Coordinator therefore entreated all present to see the fight against corruption as a collective responsibility which requires coalition building and partnership.
Giving an overview of the Commission, Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay explained the three approaches used by the Commission in the fight against corruption which are public education, prevention and confrontation. He explained the prosecutorial powers and mandate of the Commission as enshrined in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act. Mr. Sesay made it clear to staff and students of Nursing School and School of Midwifery that the Commission is not witch-hunting anybody and not just there to arrest and convict corrupt individuals, but also sensitizing the public on the dangers of corruption.
Explaining the offences, Public Education Officer, Mrs. Fatmata Finda Bangura (above) stressed that the Commission has the mandate to investigate all forms of corruption and corrupt practices. He highlighted some of the offences in the 2008 Act and disclosed that the punishment for any of the offences is a fine of not less than thirty (30) million Leones or imprisonment for not less than three (3) years or both fine and prison term.
She used the opportunity to warn all staff and students to stop receiving gifts for corrupt purposes. She emphasized that Section 47 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 clearly makes it an offence for any public Officer who solicits or accepts gifts as an inducement in the performance of his/her official duties.
Mrs. Finda Bangura explained the various methods of making reports to the Commission and entreated them to resist, reject and report corruption. She reminded them of their civic responsibility to report corrupt practices going on in their respective institutions.
She emphasized the Commission’s core values of confidentiality and fullest protection for informants. Mrs. Bangura read the free ACC mobile hotlines and explained to them the benefits of making report and the 10% reward to informers benefits if report corruption to the Commission. She however warned them against making false report which she said, its an offence.
Delivering the vote of thanks on behalf of staff and students, one of the Midwifery students, Mrs. Marie Theresa Sheriff thanked the ACC for enlightening them on the offences and what they should not do. She assured the Commission that they would abide by the warnings and appealed to the Commission to address their numerous concerns and take the message to the government.
Questions, answers, comments and concerns formed part of the meeting.
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