2018 Auditor General’s Report Could Make or Break the Anti-Corruption Commission

Francis Ben Keifala

By Alfie Barrie: (Television Anchor)

Prior to the appointment of Francis Ben Keifala as the ACC boss by his Excellency President Bio, the ACC was viewed by many as a’ toothless bull dog that backs without biting’. When Ben was appointed that inertia quickly dissipate due to successive convictions and apparent speedy recovery of missing funds that were pillaged from the public purse. He was now been touted as this young, educated and unassuming Anti-Corruption czar that has rekindled public confidence which was at its lowest ebb.

In just one year he was able to recover nearly 7 Billion Leones from corrupt officials. Who will forget high profile convictions such of erstwhile public figures such as Dr. Finda Bendu, Bai Mamoud who was then Minister of Youth under the APC headed by former President Koroma and had to pay back monies he allegedly misappropriated and many more. Those high profiled convictions attracted wide spread approval from the public. In fact our approval ratings in the fight against corruption improved dramatically. Ben wallowed in that fame and at one moment he slightly became complacent and did the unorthodox by parading openly at the land mark country tree a school principal and some teachers who were caught in examination malpractice. That act had the proclivity to muddy the waters of the ACC but thanks to the timely intervention of the President, who apologized on behalf of the Commission, the storm was averted.

Fast forward to today, thanks to social media and a rapidly critical electorate, the conversation about the Ben’s strategy on the fight against corruption has now started to be even more poignant. People are now beginning to ask whether the enthusiasm that Ben had in going after former officials will still be adopted in going after current officials.

Well our industrious Auditor General has clearly cut out the work for the ACC. Even though the Auditor General’s report looks at the activities of the public service from 2015 to 2018 and I most add that most of the egregious infractions occurred under the watch of the then APC Government but there are equally flagrant violations of procurement laws and funds not accounted for that happened under this current dispensation that is worth looking into and it is expected that bigger heads should roll. So, if the ACC decides to adopt a soft ball approach to this day light robbery then the confidence in the fight against corruption will be lost and no other Commissioner will resuscitate it!.

So the ACC needs to tread carefully as the days and months ahead will determine whether the ACC is a people’s Commission or another stooge.


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