-President Weah Describes Public Debates About Corruption
By Mark N. Mengonfia firstname.lastname@example.org
Corruption is said to be rooted deeply in the Liberian society thus causing the US State Department to vilified one of former Liberian government officials as being corrupt and banning him and his family members from entering the United States of America.
At a National Anti-corruption conference ongoing at the ministerial complex in Congo Town, President George M. Weah described corruption as an age-old menace that continues to exist in the Liberian society, saying it has eroded trust in institutions and deprived communities across the country of much-needed development.
Although, the president alluded to the fact that corruption is rooted in the Liberian society, but he went on to justify that some of the public debates about corruption have been loaded with “unsubstantiated claims and politically-driven propaganda.”
President Weah upon taking office said, to fight corruption would have been difficult on grounds that nearly everyone in Liberia is somewhat linked to the other, but at yesterday’s event, he said “Today, this important occasion reflects yet another opportunity for us to tackle Corruption, which is an age-old menace that continues to exist in our society.”
Notwithstanding, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah was given the sum of US$25 million for mop-up exercise which is yet to be properly accounted for after months of public outcries for accountability, but the Liberian leader said his government has acted without hesitation wherever and whenever there has been sufficient probable cause to do so regardless of who was involved.
“These actions on the part of the government have led to dismissals, resignations, arrests and arraignment of many persons, including some of the high-ranking officials of this Government,” President Weah told the gathering.
According to him, on his instructions, the Ministry of Justice last year began the process of recuperating lost and stolen assets of the Republic of Liberia, calling on officials, both past and present, to account for resources which had been entrusted to them by the Liberian people.
Cllr. Arthur Johnson was the head of the government process of assets recovery and has since resigned based on what he calls “ lack of political will”, and since then; the ARRET is said to be dormancy but, the President of Liberia told the group that the process will continue in an equitable and impartial manner.
He said “The principal objective is not only to retrieve public resources, but also to serve as a deterrent to potential perpetrators. While these actions may not yet have gained the full traction; they deserve, they rest well with our partners both local and international.”
Corruption VS Resources benefits
Many at time, Liberians are heard saying “Liberia is a rich country with many natureal resources which are not in any way affecting the lives of ordinary Liberians due to corruption.
This statement was confirmed by President Weah at the opening session of the ongoing anti-corruption conference being held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
President Weah told the gathering “As you are well aware, our country is endowed with vast natural resources, but we still have not reaped all of the benefits that can be attained from their efficient and responsible use. By this conference, we are seeking to change that trend.”
He went on to say “But I want you to be aware that it will take the collective effort of all of us for that to happen. From time immemorial, we have come to perceive corruption as a way of life as it plagues all aspects of the Liberian society.”
Weah said in response to the concerns of corruptions, the Government led by him has four-pillar national development document, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), designates one of these pillars to improving governance and transparency.
“For example, you will recall the recent baseless allegations that Sixteen Billion Liberian dollars had somehow gone missing in Liberia, and could not be accounted for by the Central Bank. The immediate response of my Government was that this matter should be investigated thoroughly, professionally, and transparently” president Weah intoned.