By Sylvester Samba……………………………..
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Mr. Ady Macauley yesterday brought together senior media practitioners and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and updated them on the successes and challenges since he was appointed as Commissioner.
Addressing the gathering, Commissioner Macauley commended the media and CSOs for their show of commitment in the fight against corruption.
The ACC Commissioner said the fight will only be won if the commission continues to maintain such good relationships with the media and CSOs. He promised that his commission intends to do more in strengthening the relationship with these two powerful groups.
Commissioner Macauley further explained that plans are underway to organize a training program especially for journalists on how to spot corruption issues as well as protecting themselves at the same time.
“We want to see how journalists will be protected in reporting corruption …transparency is the key in the fight against corruption…if you are doing something and hiding at the same time it is wrong”, the Commissioner noted.
He maintained that his commission has been engaging NGOs to bring credibility in their various offices. He added that for the sake of credibility, the ACC has prosecuted 15 CSO officials on corruption issue.
The Commissioner pleaded and cautioned journalists to show more interest in publishing corruption issues that are worth investigating.
In his statement, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Mr. Kelvin Lewis called on the ACC to increase the amount given to whistle blowers if they want to succeed in the fight against corruption.
The SLAJ President made reference to Nigeria where millions of dollars were discovered because whistle blowers were given huge amounts of money as inducements.
Mr. Kelvin Lewis also called on the ACC to continue to provide more training for journalists as a way to intensify the fight against graft.
Mr. Lewis used the opportunity to plead with the ACC Commissioner to help SLAJ in the fight against the Criminal Libel Law.
He said corrupt politicians are using the Criminal Libel Law to protect themselves in offices.