February 7, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Head of Outreach Unit at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has urged residents of Sussex Community to resist and report cases of bribery related activities to the commission.
Glennis Kaitibi was speaking over the weekend during a meeting with residents with regards the ongoing ‘Pay No Bribe’ campaign.
The ‘Pay No Bribe’ (PNB), which was launched over a year ago by the ACC with support from the British Department for International Department (DFID), is an initiative that allows citizens to report bribery acts to the commission.
The campaign is an important tool in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone, because corruption is believe to be pervasive throughout the state, although there has been improvement, the menace involved in access to basic services threatens economic gains made since the end of the war in 2002.
During the meeting, madam Kaitibi noted that Sierra Leoneans sometime pay bribe out of ignorance, adding that the campaign can only be regarded as a success when more reports were received from citizens.
“Bribery is affecting all of us in this country and is eating into the fabrics of our society. We need you on board to report act of bribery if we are to move forward as a nation,” she said.
With regards the campaign, she stated that it would run for a period of three years with the main aim of minimizing or stopping the high spate of bribery in the country.
She explained that the PNB reporting platform provides citizens with the unique opportunity to register an incident via a hotline phone number (515), the PNB website or on a mobile application in Krio, Mende and Temne ,and that the recorded data would allow government to monitor public sector corruption trends, and use quantitative evidence to design more effective anti-corruption policy and processes.
According to her, the first phase of the campaign will focus on key institutions including the Ministry Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Sierra Leone Police, Guma Valley Water Company and Ministry of Energy, where bribery was believed to be very high.
Also, Sahr Kendema from Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), urged residents in the community not to involve themselves in any form of bribery.
According to him, the ACC alone cannot stop bribery and corruption in the country, which was why they needed collective efforts from all and sundry to get rid of those engage in bribery.
“It is only by reporting bribery the ACC and civil society organisations will know the problems affecting the ordinary citizen. It behooves all of us to join the fight. Solutions can only be sought when the problems are diagnosed,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, those present pledged to support the ACC in the ‘Pay no Bribe’ campaign by reporting act of bribery in their community to the commission, using the 515 hotline.