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Page added on August 2, 2012
The Anti Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 1st August 2012 held a sensitization meeting with workers of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) in Bo. The meeting took place at the SLRCS Bo Branch office and attracted over twenty workers including the Local Administrator, nurses and volunteers of the SLRCS in Bo District.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting the Bo District Coordinating Officer for the Anti-Corruption Commission Mr. Anthony Samu, said that the meeting was just one of the normal sensitization meetings organized with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other public bodies. The meeting he went on, was to up date the SLRCS staff on the activities of the Commission and to discuss ways the SLRCS can support the work of the Commission. Mr. Samu lauded the SLRCS staff for both the humanitarian and development work they have been doing despite the many challenges confronting them.
He maintained that even though the SLRCS may not be currently receiving direct financial funding from Government, yet still the organization can be subject for investigation because of donor funds received for the benefit for the people of Sierra Leone. Mr. Samu encouraged his audience to be active participants at the meeting as they then had the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarifications on issues about the Commission of which they did not understand. As a humanitarian and development organization, their activities should be of national concern, and Mr. Samu therefore solicited the support of the SLRCS to join the ACC in the fight against corruption.
On the operations of the ACC in Public Education and Outreach activities, Mr. Wilfred Bangura, the Public Education Officer- South, reiterated that some of the ways in reaching to people for information regarding the work of the Commission included; meetings of similar nature like the one with SLRCS , radio discussion programmes, to mention but a few. Mr. Bangura then emphasized that the culture of silence of people not reporting corruption issues has been broken, and therefore encouraged participants to resist, reject and report corruption.
Citing instances of corruption within the Free Health Care and other social services delivery system, Mr. Bangura reiterated that if one should fall foul of the law and that person was investigated and found guilty he or she will face the full penalty of the law.
In his statement, Mr. Mohamed Dumbuya the ACC Regional Manager–South recognized the importance of the SLRCS in the area of humanitarian and development strides undertaken in our society. Manager Dumbuya however hastened to say that he has always been appreciative of the good work the SLRCS has been doing, but that if an individual(s) in the execution of duties will be found wanting for corruption practices, then that individual will be investigated and shall on conviction be liable for each offence to a fine of not less than Thirty Million Leones or three years jail term or both fine and jail term.
Mr. Dumbuya dilated on Corruption related cases which stem from procurement and contract award, amongst others. He said that the effects of corruption were many citing poverty and under-development in a nation as example. He touched on the Free Health Care (FHC) Initiative; and for the fact that the SLRCS was operating a Health Clinic with FHC facilities; he encouraged staff at the clinic to be very passionate and positive about the FHC, for as he put it, the success of this noble and national programme will depend on all of us.
Mr. Dumbuya informed the audience that Sierra Leone was high up there by international benchmarking and today recognized internationally in the fight against corruption. We should all as Sierra Leoneans be proud and work hard to maintain the Status Quo, he concluded. Mr. Dumbuya therefore implored the cooperation and support of all in the fight against corruption. According to him, corruption will also fight back because offenders of corrupt practices will always find new ways and strategies in overcoming the good anti-corruption systems and best practices put in place.
Manager Dumbuya also highlighted the strides the Commission had made in the recovery of stolen monies and the indictments and conviction of corrupt offenders which involved high profile personalities. He said the ACC will at all times target offenders at all levels irrespective of the level of corruption activity and status of the personality involved.
Earlier, Ms, Aminata B Musa the Branch Health Officer representing the SLRCS Local Administrator, Bo District, welcomed the ACC team indicating that they were keen to listening to officers of the Commission in Bo as the Commission has taken a good approach to coming closer to them. She said there were a lot of questions staff may like to ask including other issues for clarification. She appealed to the ACC for similar meetings to be organized in future.
The meeting was climaxed with an interactive question and answer session. The vote of thanks was given by Mr. Musa Mansaray, a volunteer.
Anthony B. Samu, District Coordinator, ACC Bo District
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