5 December 2012

Liberia: Gov't Undermined

"Unless the Liberian nation takes a different approach in the fight against corruption, the whole legitimacy of this government may be undermined," Liberia's Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson has warned.

Cllr. Francis Johnson Allison said despite government's achievements in the fight against corruption, the "limited success scored could be weakened by the uncooperative tendencies on the part of government institutions that stand accused of acts of corruption."

Speaking in a recent interview with the New Democrat, she said government needs to do more in the crusade against corruption.

"We need to do more. There have been lots of reforms and I must commend the government for that. But, the fact is that people who manage the systems are themselves corrupt. And if you're corrupt, I don't care how much reforms you bring in this country people will still find ways through which they can beat the system," the LACC boss said.

Additionally, she said, "We're talking about people who manage the various resources of the government including those who make decisions are themselves corrupt. There's corruption in the management of revenue, and that people are stealing and doing all kinds of things. This is an open secret. Everybody knows that there's corruption."

In order to succeed in eradicating corruption from, Commissioner Allison rallied the nation for a change of attitude from a negative perception to a positive roadmap. She called on the government to provide the commission with the necessary resources and manpower to do its job properly and effectively.

Out of 117 cases received by the LACC, she said nearly a dozen of those cases have been forwarded to the court for prosecution.

According to the LACC chief, findings from investigations conducted so far have uncovered deliberate acts of corruption.

She also blamed the slow pace of justice on the stock piling of cases at the Ministry of Justice, and also pointed fingers of accusation at certain judges and jurors for their involvement in massive corruption.

"People are plundering and siphoning government's money out of the coffers" Commissioner Allison poignantly stated. "I can only hope that we do something because a society that is corrupt cannot be stable for a very long time. It's a matter of must that we fight corruption otherwise it undermines the whole legitimacy of this government."

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