Sierra Leone Corruption Crackdown and Accountability: A Comparative Assessment of SLPP’s 2018 Manifesto Commitments and Subsequent Achievements
By the Sierra Leone Live Team
Welcome to our in-depth comparison of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party’s (SLPP) 2018 manifesto pledges against its reported achievements in the years following. Our primary focus will be on the critical issue of fighting corruption and improving accountability, a cornerstone promise of the SLPP’s “New Direction” campaign. Corruption is not only an impediment to economic development and social justice but also a significant obstacle to the democratization of Sierra Leone.
The SLPP government pledged a robust stance on corruption, viewing it as a matter of national security, and proposed many strategies to tackle it. We have dissected these promises and matched them with the actual accomplishments reported in 2023, providing a clear picture of the government’s performance in this area.
To facilitate further citizen engagement and informed decision-making, Sierra Leone Live will also provide a set of 25 targeted questions alongside this analysis. These questions are crafted to help you, as citizens, critically assess whether the SLPP government has delivered on its 2018 manifesto promises in combating corruption and enhancing accountability.
- Fight Against Corruption as a National Security Issue:The achievements report shows the recovery of tens of billions of Leones by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), suggesting that the SLPP worked in its anti-corruption stance as promised. The seizing of assets from corrupt public officials further highlights the government’s dedication to this issue.
- Review of the ACC Act:The manifesto promised to review the ACC Act within the first 100 days in office, including provisions for publishing asset declaration forms. The achievement report states that the Anti-Corruption Act was amended, which is in line with their promises.
- Leadership in the Fight Against Corruption:The achievement report doesn’t directly address the commitment of the political leadership to fighting corruption. However, the actions taken in amending the ACC Act and recovering funds from corrupt officials indirectly show leadership involvement.
- Categorize and Measure Corruption:The achievement report doesn’t specify whether corruption was categorized and measured as per the economic costs, as pledged in the manifesto.
- Implementation of Recommendations in Annual Audits:The achievement report does not mention the implementation status of recommendations from annual audits.
- Adherence to the Access to Information Act:While not specifically mentioned, improvements in corruption perception under the SLPP government, as measured by Transparency International and the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law in Sierra Leone, suggest an increase in transparency, which could be tied to implementing the Access to Information Act.
- National Public Sector Transparency and Accountability Initiative (NAPSTAI): The achievement report does not mention this initiative specifically.
- Support to CSOs:The achievement report does not mention support for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) or their capacity to prepare shadow reports.
- Inter-agency Cooperation:The achievement report does not explicitly mention improvements in inter-agency cooperation to prevent, detect, and punish corrupt practices.
- Results-Based Management (RBM):The achievement report does not specifically mention the implementation of RBM.
- Social Accountability:Improvements in the corruption perception index might suggest increased social accountability, although this isn’t directly mentioned in the achievement report.
- Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) and District Budget Oversight (DBO):They do not mention these specific elements in the achievement report.
- Code of Conduct for Public Officials:The achievement report does not mention the enforcement of a comprehensive code of conduct for public officials.
- Special Anti-Corruption Division in the High Court:The achievement report does not specifically mention the establishment of this division.
- The achievement report mentions the award of SL 79% in 2022 by the MCC, an improvement from 49% under the previous government.
- The Afro Barometer recorded a decline in the public’s perception of corruption from 70% to 40%, showing a marked improvement in governance.
While certain actions have been taken to fulfill some promises outlined in the 2018 Manifesto, notably the fight against corruption and the review of the ACC Act, the achievement report does not comprehensively respond to all points outlined in the Manifesto. Further detail would be required to fully assess the fulfillment of each promise.
We thank you for your time and commitment to understanding the complexities of these important issues and for being an engaged citizen. Your interest in scrutinizing the government’s performance against its promises is crucial for a thriving democracy and a future where corruption has no place.
Remember, each one of us has a part to play in building a better Sierra Leone. In a separate post, you will find the survey with 25 questions. We encourage you to look into this and provide your valuable insights. This is your opportunity to express your views on the government’s efforts to fight corruption and improve accountability. Let us stand together, demand accountability, and shape the future of our beautiful country.