ACC Chief “Sentenced” To 5 Yrs: With More National Assignment

It may sound scary when the headline is glanced at for the first time and readers on a first look will begin to ask question as to when the ACC chief has been sentenced. But the headline stops at a point that gives no conclusion as to whether the ACC Chief has been sentenced to prison or where the headline did not state.

Ironically, it was not a prison sentence or a jail term that the ACC Chief will have to undergo, but to station at the Anti Corruption Commission office and man it for another period of five years. This means the ACC Chief will not seek employment or be employed by another other institution, organization or establishment for another five years whilst he would be serving as head of the Commission.

The reappointment of Mr. Joseph F. Kamara came into effect last week, whilst his first term was to conclude in September this year. It sent some waves of shocks and disappointment to many who were expecting that his contract would not have been renewed for the second term. The decision of President Koroma to renew the contract of the ACC Chief was done after several assessments have been taking into consideration, which prompted the president to take an irreversible decision

A statement to staff of the ACC from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Lydia Hastings-Spaine, reads:
“I write on the instructions of the Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to inform you that it has pleased His Excellency the President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to reappoint him as Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission for another term of five years. The Commissioner wishes to thank the Board, Management and Staff for their contribution, support and encourage all to continue in the spirit with the fight against corruption.”

Mr. Kamara’s first term expires in September this year. His reappointment did not come as a surprise to many people, especially so when the country has made consistent progress in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index and the Mo Ibrahim Index during his term.

The Commission’s Public Education and Outreach Department has also heightened community and public awareness on issues of corruption, making transparency and accountability a subject of discussion in many forums across the country.

During his leadership, the Commission and the country have received many local and international accolades and awards for efforts in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. In addition, the ACC has improved internal controls in many ministries, departments and agencies of government through its systems and processes reviews. This has resulted in a corresponding increase of revenue in revenue generating institutions like the National Revenue Authority, Immigration Department, Ministry of Fisheries, National Registration Secretariat and Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority.

On the prosecution side the Commission continues to investigate and prosecute individuals for offences under the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. There has seen a high conviction rate like the one hundred percent conviction rate achieved last year by the Commission.

Reacting to the news of his appointment, the Director of the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), Ibrahim Tommy, described this development as “good news in the fight against corruption in the country.” Mr. Tommy said Mr. Kamara has during his tenure personified the fight against corruption and has been well known across the country for his stance in the fight. “This will give us an opportunity to implement the current National Anti-Corruption Strategy with the effectiveness that it deserves”, he said.

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