ACC empowers Drivers Union on the fight against corruption

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In fulfilling its mandate as enshrined in Section 7 Sub- Sections 1and 2 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008, as amended in 2019, the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) Kono Regional Office, on 4th June 2021, held a customized engagement with the Sierra Leone Drivers Union, to sensitize their membership on corruption opportunities in their activities, discuss various ways to resolve them and solicit their support in the fight against the scourge.

The meeting took place at the Drivers Union District Head Quarter Office in Koidu City.

Welcoming participants to the engagement, the Vice Chairman, Drivers Union, Mohamed Jimissa lauded the ACC for taking the initiative to sensitize his members on anti-corruption issues and pledged his unflinching support to fight the menace fairly but fiercely.

He also said that, partnership and collaboration with the ACC are the best approaches in the fight against corruption and his Organization is ready for such partnership.

The ACC Regional Manager, Kono, Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara described to the engagement as a forum to inform the Union on the operations of the ACC stating that, corruption affects every Sierra Leonean and was one of the fundamental catalysts that caused the ten-year civil conflict as espoused by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report.

Manager Kamara further informed the drivers and their executive of the establishment of the Special Anti-Corruption Division within the High Court of Sierra Leone with dedicated Judges to deal exclusively with anti-corruption matters, the strengthening of the 2008 Act with the amendments in 2019, which has made corruption a very expensive and high-risk enterprise with a low return venture.

The District Monitor of the Social Safety Net (SSN) Project, Patrick Hinga George, said the participants should see the fight against corruption as a national fight as it is the key reason for the nation’s underdevelopment and backwardness.

He noted that corruption is still prevalent in every sphere of society and warned the attendees to condemn and report any instances of it, instead of adoring the perpetrators of the corrupt acts.

He urged that moneys collected on behalf of the Union should be well accounted for as that will not only avoid attracting the attention of the ACC but will also instill confidence in the Union’s membership.

In his submission, Sam P. Gogra, Public Education Officer ACC, underscored that, the fight against corruption is a priority under His Excellency Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio New Direction Government due to the damaging effects and sufferings corruption has inflicted on the country.

Mr. Gogra further stated that, the Commission would continue to form strong alliances, strengthen partnerships with reputable institutions for the effective prevention and control of corruption.

On the aspect of recovery of stolen funds and properties, Sam Gogra said, the ACC under the leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., has recovered  over Thirty Billion Leones (Le:30,000,000,000) including physical assets-two-storey building in Koidu City and two Prado vehicles, which have been handed over to the Government of Sierra Leone.

He attributed the achievements to the unwavering support received from the public, the astute leadership displayed by the current ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. and the unparalleled Presidential Will manifested by his Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio.

Gogra therefore, implored the participants to support the Commission in achieving more gains in the fight against corruption by rejecting, resisting and reporting all instances of suspected corruption or corrupt practices by calling 515 or 077-985985. In his contribution, the Secretary of the Union, Samuel T. Nyuma said, the meeting was very timely, educative and inspiring. He pledged on behalf of his membership their full support to the ACC and the fight against corruption. “We have learnt a lot on the issues that constitute corruption in our Union and the nation in general, and have therefore vowed to report any instances of corruption to the ACC,” he concluded