By: Juliana Vandy
Strategic Communications Unit - MIC
Friday 9, December 2022- Catco Hall Wilkinson Road, Freetown
The Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, on Friday 9th December, 2022 graced the commemoration of the International Anti Corruption Day organised by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) at the Catco hall at Wilkinson Road on the theme, “deepening inclusivity in the fight against corruption: persons with disability and the informal sector as critical players in the anti graft campaign” .
Delivering his keynote address at the impressive ceremony, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said Sierra Leone was commemorating the day at a very challenging time in the world and particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
He expressed delight that the event brought together people from different parts of the country and various walks of life which speaks exactly to the theme.
According to the Vice President, the mindset that fighting corruption is an elitist game is a restricted narrative to people in the formal and public sectors.
He however noted that this year’s theme underlines the importance to shift and expand the space and scope not only to talk about corruption but to fight it, bringing on board people with disabilities who also are filling the space to help fight against corruption.
“We are moving from an elitist game to the grassroots which means even communities within vulnerable groups such as people living with disability who are also at the receiving end of the consequences of corruption are going to fill in the space to help in the fight against corruption,” VP Juldeh Jalloh averred, thanking the Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission and his team for expanding the scope of their work.
He stated that as a government they have come a long way in demonstrating their commitment to fighting corruption and building an accountable governance system in Sierra Leone, pledging to continue in that path with the right approach in the fight against graft.
The Vice President highlighted the twin approaches adopted by the Commissioner in combating graft - the process approach and the structural approach.
He said the Commission had clearly demonstrated that by establishing institutions to fight against corruption and by undertaking structural reforms that enhance and promote accountability and transparency the fight is winnable.
He said the government had made progress in the structural approach and developed comprehensive national anti corruption laws at all fronts Including prevention.
The successes achieved in the fight against corruption, he underlined, include a 90% conviction rate and the government continuing to recover huge amounts of stolen monies for the first time in the history of the country.
He furthered that these recovered monies are redirected to social services including the health sector, adding that the ACC in the past four years has continued to break new grounds in the fight against corruption.
The Vice President expressed delight that most MDAs have adopted the integrity standards to ensure the ACC follows up on what they do, saying government is also involved in public education within the public sector to ensure that civil servants adhere to the prevention of corruption.
The Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala, informed that the global theme this year is “uniting the world against corruption” which he said resonates with the realities in Sierra Leone “because we have to unite in the fight against graft”, the reason why they localised the theme to capture Sierra Leone’s own realities.
He explained that the past four years they targeted different sectors in their efforts to reach out to the public, noting that
this year they focused on two main areas - the private sector and persons with disabilities who always feel left out of the conversation with the theme capturing how they can be included in the fight against corruption.
He thanked President Julius Maada Bio for his continued support to the Commission, underscoring that although the Commission receives technical support from its international partners, it is fully funded by the Government of Sierra Leone.