BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 7, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — Integrity Commission (IC) of St. Kitts and Nevis is joining the rest of the world in observing International Anti-Corruption Day on Thursday December 9 with a number of activities including a worship service on Sunday December 5, at the Antioch Baptist Church.
On behalf of the Integrity Commission, Chairperson, Retired High Court Judge, Justice Pearletta Lanns thanked lead Pastor Lincoln Connor, the Church Executive, and members for welcoming them and their invitees to worship at the church in Lime Kiln, West Basseterre.
The invitees included His Excellency the Governor General who was represented by the Governor General’s Deputy His Excellency Michael Morton who was accompanied by Mrs Cynthia Morton; Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris; Executive Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mr Kevin Hope; and Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), Ms Tevince Coker.
The Integrity Commission team was made up of Chairperson, Justice Pearletta Lanns, and two members, Chartered Accountant, Mrs Carol Boddie, and Consultant and Court Connected Mediator, Mr Dennis ‘Freddie’ Knight. The office management team comprised of former Director of Audit, Mr Albert Edwards, and former teacher and Librarian, Ms Virginia Browne.
“I want to commend Ms Lanns on this occasion, as the chair of the Commission, and of course to recognise the importance of their work in building a strong democracy that delivers for the people,” said Prime Minister Harris at the end of the worship service.
He added: “They are watchdogs in terms of matters to do with corruption, and St. Kitts and Nevis has a long-established support for international and hemispheric efforts to fight against corruption. I am happy that they have started this outreach which will make their work, and the strides that St. Kitts and Nevis have made in this regard, even better known.”
According to Justice Lanns, since the year 2005, the 9th day of December has been observed worldwide as International Anti-Corruption Day, for the purpose of raising awareness of corruption, and to promote the fight against corruption. The designation was made by the United Nations.
“The Integrity Commission has a mandate to join in raising public awareness, and to join in promoting the fight against corruption,” she noted. “The IC was established under the Integrity in Public Life (IPL) Act, which came into force in 2018. Our offices are located upstairs Delisle Walwyn & Company Ltd Building on Liverpool Row, Basseterre.”
She pointed out that given IC’s mandate under the Integrity in Public Life Act, the Commission decided to do its part in the country to raise awareness about the issue of corruption, and against that background the Commission planned some activities to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day.
One event on the calendar of activities, talk to 5th and 6th Graders of selected schools, was however held on Tuesday November 16 because of the timeline for closure of school. Involved were the Cayon, Dr William Connor, and the Immaculate Conception Primary Schools on St. Kitts.
“We were well received – the children were enthusiastic and quite responsive,” said the Integrity Commission Chairperson. “You would be surprised to know some of the questions they asked, and some of the answers they gave to our questions.”
Other activities started with the church service on Sunday December 5, and a press conference was held on Monday December 6 at the CUNA Conference Centre, in West Basseterre. Activities will continue on Wednesday December 8 with a Panel Discussion on ZIZ Radio and TV, whose topic will be ‘Your right, Your Role: Say No to Corruption’.
“On Thursday, 9th December, Anti-Corruption Day, there will be a broadcast of the message from the UN Secretary General,” observed Justice Lanns. “Additionally, the Commission and Staff will be distributing promotional material like brochures, leaflets, and more. We look forward to your continued support of the domestic efforts of the global fight against corruption.”
In conclusion, she observed that an Essay Competition was also planned as part of the activities but had to be rescheduled for January 2022.