By Amin Kef Sesay – 15th August 2019
Abdul M. Fatoma, Executive Director Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), has stated that they believe that the involvement of civil society is an integral part of any successful fight against corruption. He added that CHRDI is a non-governmental organisation that mobilizes civil society organizations as key to achieving success.
At a recent public meeting he said: ‘It is our philosophy; however, that dealing with this overwhelming problem of corruption the best position for civil society is within a broader coalition consisting of three key pillars: government; the private sector and civil society. All three partners have to be involved in the fight against corruption to be credible as well as effective and sustainable.
He added that his institution does not respect borders and that it is perhaps impossible to eliminate corruption entirely, but that ‘we should all strive to make steady progress toward that goal.’ He added that ‘we can begin by putting in place the right frameworks and institutions for deterring and controlling corruption; by strengthening the rule of law and democratic institutions to ensure accountability; by fostering a culture of zero-tolerance, and also by encouraging the participation of all elements of society, including government, civil society, and the private sector, in the efforts to combat corruption
He went on to state that the strength of civil society can have a positive influence on the state and the market and that civil society organisations are therefore seen as an increasingly important mediator for promoting good governance like transparency, effectiveness, openness, responsiveness and accountability. Civil Society groups can help further and improve good governance through its policy analysis and advocacy, he said.
From the foregoing, it could be argued that the civil society groups in Sierra Leone are critical in the fight against corruption for good governance to thrive.
‘We are better positioned in a democracy to fight for effective management of public resources and against abuse of office. We have helped to expose and condemn corrupt practices; assisted in passing some anti-corruption legislation and protested against public policies considered destructive to public interest, Mr. Fatoma added.
Combating corruption requires far-reaching shifts in political culture in order to instil the precepts that corruption will not be tolerated.
For the government to succeed in fighting corruption, it needs to introduce an effective and strong punitive system that is independent and has strong commitment from political leaders.
To fight corruption effectively, the judiciary must be independent, impartial and effective.
We want to encourage the ACC to continue to stand firm in this fight and assure them of our steady support at all times.
We thank the ACC and the expert technical team for producing this brilliant working document on the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone, Mr. Fatoma maintained.