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Friday, 30 October 2009

Fighting corruption...

An interesting feature of the Sierra Leone approach to fighting corruption :

The fight against corruption in Sierra Leone has taken on a new face. Government and civil society are now working together to stamp out rampant fraud.... In the past, the ACC was been described as a "toothless bull dog". But under the new regime of President Ernest Koroma – who came to power on a ticket of zero tolerance - it has been recovering its teeth. Whent Koroma’s regime took power in 2007, it was quick to review the Anti Corruption Act of 1991 and strengthen it with a new one last year.

The new act gave the ACC the power to send cases directly to court, for the first time. Previously the ACC was required to send all their cases to the Attorney General for approval first. As a result many cases against top government officials perished on the table of the Attorney General who never prosecuted these matters.
I have previously dismissed adopting this approach in Zambia for the Auditor General because it is "likely to be costly and would cut across the responsibilities of the Director of Public Prosecution and the Attorney General". I suppose if I was being consistent I would have to apply the same argument to the ACC. In addition, I am a bit skeptical that this really does work. As I have previously noted, bringing cases to the court is one thing, ensuring they don't get held up in court and serve the appropriate sentence is another.

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