Under the dynamic astute leadership of President Bio and his no-nonsense Anti Corruption Commission commissioner, Sierra Leone is breaking records in the fight against corruption which the president and on assuming office in April 2018 described as single most destructive enemy of economic growth and development in the country.
It would not sound like sweet music in the ears of detractors and enemies of the reform minded New Direction government that Sierra Leone has climbed ten places up in the Transparency International Global Corruption Ranking since President Bio came to power.
We moved from 129 in 2018 to 119 out of 180 countries surveyed in the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI).
The country also increased its score from a stagnant thirty points in 2016, 2017, and 2018, to thirty-three in 2019, making a three points gain, scoring above the sub-Saharan average of 32.
Within the past two years, Sierra Leone has increased its score in the ‘Control of Corruption’ Indicator in the Millennium Challenge Corporation Scorecard, moving from forty-nine percent (49%) in 2017, to seventy-nine (79%) percent in 2019, making thirty percent (30%) upwards.
Similarly, Sierra Leone has also scored high in other global and regional anti-corruption rankings. In the Global Corruption Barometer of 2018, the country is ranked 3rd out of thirty five (35) African Countries surveyed on “Government’s Effectiveness in the Fight against Corruption.”
In the Afro-Barometer 2018, fifty four (54%) of Sierra Leoneans agreed that the government is performing “very well” in the fight against corruption.
Whilst the favorable report reflects the effort of the ACC in the fight against corruption, unfortunately APC do not like this fight as it was the norm whilst they held power between 2007 and 2018.
However, Sierra Leoneans who genuinely wish for progress have commended both the Government and ACC for their relentless efforts in stemming the high tide of corruption in the country and have many recommendations for beefing up the fight.
Many calls have been made for increased support for effective law enforcement to ensure that those found guilty by law of engaging in corruption are punished, thereby helping to break the cycle of impunity and freedom from punishment or loss that used to be the norm.
This they say calls for a strong legal framework, law enforcement branches and an independent and effective court system; with the media and civil society supporting the process with initiatives such as transparency and exposure of corrupt operations in the system.