Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption laws and enforcement policies are the best in West Africa. President Ernest Koroma has practicalized his zero tolerance to corruption by ensuring that all his ministers and public officials declared their assets . Furthermore, President Koroma has not been shielding anybody from prosecution by the Anti-Corruption Commission , whatever his connections to them. Only last week, the Mayor of Freetown, Mr. Herbert Williams, who is very popular within party circles spent sometime behind bars for his troubles with the ACC. President Koroma did not lift a finger to interfere in the matter. There have been more prosecution of corrupt officials in Sierra Leone than any other West African country . We Sierra Leoneans should therefore give President Ernest Koroma credit for his valiant battle against corruption in Sierra Leone. Though many West African countries are more corrupt than Sierra Leone, we are far ahead of them in the number of people we have prosecuted for corruption.
Liberia’s President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf deserves commendation for the strong and no-nonsense action she took to suspend public officials who refused to declare their assets. A look at the names of some of the suspended officials is very disappointing for the fact that some of them were members of the reform movement–The Progressive Alliance of Liberia ( PAL ) –which harangued the late President William R. Tolbert jr for corruption until the good man was wickedly overthrown by errant soldiers on April 12, 1980. They should have set better examples and Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s strident message to them is PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. We at Cocorioko hail President Sirleaf for her action.
While commending Madam Sirleaf , some Sierra Leoneans on FACEBOOK said that President Koroma should emulate her. One wonders what there is to emulate for President Koroma. These Sierra Leoneans must have forgotten that in Sierra Leone, President Koroma did not have to suspend officials because he ensured that they declared their assets. Not only were they compelled to declare assets, Sierra Leonean government officials were forced to sign performance contracts with government. While it is a fact that corruption is one of the most difficult social problems to eradicate, President Koroma has done very well to put fear in public officials that they would be prosecuted, if caught, and thus his uncompromising, zero-tolerance stand against the malaise is in full gear. In fact, Sierra Leone has achieved far more in the fight against corruption than other West African countries.
The going is going to continue getting very rough for corrupt officials in Sierra Leone. If the government could let the ACC go on with its case against His Lordship the Mayor of Freetown, though a very top party official, nobody will escape the ACC dragnet under President Ernest Koroma’s watch. Sierra Leoneans can lay two to that . The resolve of the President is extremely strong and he deserves his share of commendation .