Sierra Leone making progress in tackling corruption
July 12, 2019
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
According to the Afro Barometer corruption Index survey for Africa 2019, Sierra Leone is making significant progress in tackling corruption as compared to the previous years.
According to the report, 43% of citizens believe there is increase in corruption as compared to 70% in 2015, which shows a marked improvement.
According to the global corruption survey, 66% of Sierra Leoneans believe government is doing well in the fight against corruption, whereas in 2015, only 15 percent believed that government was doing well in the fight against graft.
The Global Corruption Barometer-Africa, which was published by Transparency International in partnership with Afrobarometer and Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), presents the largest, most detailed set of public opinion data on citizens’ views on corruption and direct experiences of bribery in Africa.
The report which was released yesterday marking the African Anti-Corruption Day presented findings on Sierra Leone’s performance and other Africa countries in the Global Corruption Barometer Africa 2019.
While the report notes that more than half (55%) of all citizens in Africa think that corruption increased in the Previous 12 months, Sierra Leone managed to a have bright outlook due to the government stance in fighting corruption in the country.
“26% of Sierra Leoneans think their government is doing a bad job in tackling corruption , whilst 39% think that ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption,” the report notes.
According to the report, bribery rate in public schools stood at 20% in 2015, and 33% in 2019.
For public clinics and health centres, corruption rate stood at 25% in 2015, but bloated to 50% in 2019, while it indicted the Police with 64% in 2015 and 39% in 2019.
Meanwhile, Lavina Bandwah, Executive Director of Transparency International re-echoed that 11th July is the African Anti-corruption Day and that Sierra Leone was joining other countries to observe the second African Anti-corruption Day, adding that it was the second time it is being observed across Africa and Sierra Leone.
“We started this event last year and we have Africa Anti-Corruption Day because on 11th July 2017, following an executive council decision in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, the African Union through His Excellency Musa Fakih Muhammad, declared the 11th July as African Anti-corruption Day,’’ she said, adding that the purpose of the observance of the day was to give prominence in the anti-corruption fight in the African continent.
She said even though the day was very important, there wasn’t much media attention given to it, stating that they were observing two events at the same time-the African Anti- corruption Day and the launch of the global barometer report.
The Transparency boss said the menace of corruption was still prevalent in Africa, and as a continent, the consequence was grave and that the day was set aside to reflect on the issues of corruption and how they can moderate it in the continent.
Executive Director, Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), Andrew Lavalie, said whether government was doing good or bad in fighting corruption should not be the issue, but how to moderate it completely.
He added that only 19% believed that government was fighting corruption in 2015, but that the percentage increased to 66% in 2019.
He added that in 2015, the Sierra Leone Police was ranked the most corrupt in the country, but showed a great improvement in 2019, stating that they were seeing some level of good policing when compared to countries like Guinea and Liberia.
Patrick Sandi, Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) thanked Afro Barometer and Transparency International for the survey, for which they were gratified as a commission.
“We want to continue to express our sustained effort in the fight against corruption. The report is good and impressive when you compare it to 2015,” he said.
He stated that they believed as a commission that result is not the best and that thy will continue to apply more effort in the fight against corruption.
He noted with the support they were getting from the presidency, they have now re-positioned themselves in the fight against corruption, adding that they were in top gear in winning the fight.
“As a commission, we also want to thank the leadership of this country, His Excellency the President for the support he has continued to give us in the fight against corruption. We would also want to thank the other players, our allies,” he said.
The ACC head of outreach further said the report is an eye opener in the fight against corruption for both the ACC and other institutions in the country.
Head of Police Media, Superintendent Brima Kamara, thanked Afro Barometer and partners for inviting them, thus noting that they have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
He added that the report was encouraging, albeit the percentage being within 30%, but assured that they will improve on it.
He said they will continue to do more and assured of the SLP’s commitment in taking steps in keeping the percentage down with the view to making the institution a better one.