Corruption Is Beyond Ethnicity -ACC BOSS

By Ayodele Deen Cole

The Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben Kaifala has recently averred that the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone is beyond ethnicity.

Speaking at the launch of a new report by the Institute for Governance Research (IGR), the ACC Commissioner expressed dissatisfaction with the way and manner in which some unscrupulous people are connecting the fight against corruption to ethnicity.

According to anti-graft czar, the war against corruption is not an elitist endeavour but a fight for each and every Sierra Leonean, adding that such work is done for the poor and vulnerable people whose development has been pushed back by corrupt politicians and civil servants.

Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. stressed that his team at the Commission comprised of people from different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds, noting that the influence of political ideologies is one of the main challenges facing the fight against corruption. He therefore urged stakeholders to make the fight against corruption a priority, noting that nobody at the ACC has been sacked because of tribe or political background.

The ACC Commissioner also called for massive awareness raising and sensitization campaign on corruption issues and the ongoing Commissions of Inquiry (COIs) at the Special Court building on Jomo Kenyatta Road, New England in Freetown. According to the report released by the Institute of Governance Reforms (IGR), people across the country are totally in favour of the COIs set up by President Julius Maada Bio to investigate the economic and financial status of government officials that served in the past government.

The two-part report, which is titled “Voices and View of Sierra Leoneans on the 2019 Commission of Inquiry”, looked at how ordinary citizens view the COIs and also on the performance and behaviour of some key national institutions following the establishment of the Commission.

According to the Executive Director of IGR, Andrew Lavallie, most of the people interviewed from Freetown in the Western Area Urban, Makeni in Bombali district and Bo in Bo district were in full support of the Commission irrespective of ethnic group, political affiliation, regional or district biases. He also noted that in the last six months, the Commission has brought in some internal changes at the ACC, National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), National revenue Authority (NRA), Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) and Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL).

Mr. Lavallie furthered that the COIs have brought in some checks and balances and improved on transparency and accountability in the aforesaid institutions.