Sierra Leone: World Model in Fighting Corruption

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Unarguably, Sierra Leone is now a model to many in the fight against corruption globally.

It is unambiguous that the country still has corruption as a major challenge but an even more obvious truth is that this nation under the current dispensation and leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala at the Commission has invested a far stronger effort into the fight against it than ever seen before in this nation’s 21 years history of existence of the ACC.

Arguments that the Commission should fight corruption under the current administration as it is doing in the previous are the right calls, but it is quite certain that with the passage of time the nation will know if the ACC shall pass this test.

In an opinion piece written by MabintyYeanoh Kamara, a Sierra Leonean student in Minnesota USA, she said she was one of those who knew little about the current Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Francis Ben Kaifala Esq.

According to her, when he assumed office in June 2018, she honestly had many reservations and skepticisms in him to ably lead the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone.

She wrote: “In my opinion then, which has  now been proven to be injudicious, and with my understanding of the endemic and unbridled craze of corruption in our country, against the experience and exploits of the then little known FBK, I considered this young man a mismatch to the task he was charged with”.

She said this situation made her to conscientiously follow the trend and trajectory back home in the fight against corruption, a process that has given her undiluted and objective understanding of the facts, figures and proofs of how far the nation has come and how much it has achieved in the fight against corruption.

The fight against corruption in Sierra Leone, Mabinty wrote, has a thousand plus stories to write home about, adding: “I never thought under the watchful and astute leadership of Ben Kaifala, the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone can trail-blaze like this”.

“The records speak that we are fighting corruption and doing so to the acclamation, praises and acknowledgments of the same entities whose Reports were used in the past (before 2018) to describe Sierra Leone as one of the most corrupt places in the World, viz; Transparency International (TI) Report, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard, Afro-Barometer Reports etc.” Mabinty stated.

She said since 2018, these highly respected international anti-corruption watchdog agencies have been assessing Sierra Leone to be doing affably well in addressing the ravaging effects and costs of corruption with tangible evidence on the ground to wit; the recovery of over $3 Million United States Dollars from corrupt persons in the out of court settlement model to fighting corruption, which is resonating very well within and outside the continent of Africa, recovery of stolen assets including a two-storey building and two government vehicles, huge conviction rate of over 90% of all corruption cases charged to court, radical reforms to statutory and procedural approaches in the anti-corruption space, like; the model Special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court of Sierra Leone, the fifth regime of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS 2019-2023), amendments to the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 in 2019, etc.

Mabinty said she is aware of some prominent cases the ACC has and continue to handle in this current dispensation and she hopefully positive that the outcome of such investigations and many others will go to showcase the commitment of the ACC to fighting corruption with sincerity and alacrity.