The Anti-Corruption Commissioner has told civil society organizations and partners at the ACC headquarters in Freetown that there is need for close collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption. Joseph F. Kamara Esq. said to eradicate corruption out of Sierra Leone requires commitment and personal conviction of the entire citizenry to upholding the crucial values of transparency, accountability and integrity in public and private life. The Commissioner said Sierra Leoneans should take a position in the fight and also stand tall in order to determine their level of participation in tackling the scourge.
The close partnership meeting with the seventeen institutions who have signed memoranda with the Commission, is part of the drive to maintain and strengthen the existing relations coupled with mounting awareness on the ills of corruption. The ACC Commissioner said partnership is necessary because many hands ‘make work light’, and the ACC is not a standalone institution. He stressed the importance of team work, underpinning information sharing, pooling of resources together, and personnel cooperation.
Nabilahi Musa-Kamara, Director of National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), informed the meeting about the new National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014 – 2018. The Strategy maps the path through which corruption can be tackled. Mr. Kamara said, as the people’s document, it employs the bottom-top approach in eradicating corruption and opens an opportunity for public servants to commit themselves in the fight by making integrity pledges, declaring assets, and adhering to procurement policies.
Charles Mambu representing Health for all Coalition noted that the Commission has been proactive in dealing with corruption issues. He pleaded with the Commission to consider publicizing the asset declaration forms of public servants so that the public is given the opportunity to scrutinize those who represent them in government.
Other CSO members placed emphasis on probity checks on public officers before they are recruited into government services. This they said will minimize incidence of corruption when they have been recruited. They pledged their support and cooperation with the Commission in the fight against graft.
Acting Director of Public Education and Outreach, Koloneh Sankoh, noted that it is impossible to confront corruption singlehandedly. Being a common enemy, it takes concerted efforts and collaborative strides to succeed in eradicating the threat.