New Democrat (Monrovia)

15 December 2012

Liberia: Stuck With Thieves

The President says those siphoning huge sums from the coffers of the state were inherited from previous regime, again implying that corruption is confined within certain sectors of the government.

On the platform of reconciliation, several former government officials, many from the Charles Taylor and other opposition parties, were given key cabinet and other posts.

But the President, following a cabinet meeting Tuesday, blamed many of these former government officials for the massive corruption in her government and vowed to weed them out.

"We will weed out the bad people. We inherited a lot of bad people; many of them are sitting in these offices," the president said.

On one hand, a lot of government officials have quietly asked to resign but president Sirleaf has said not all corruption allegations can go to court.

Speaking to journalists at the opening of a one day 'Ethical Leadership Training' of government officials, the president said weeding out corrupt people in government was necessary, adding that fighting corruption is not only about prosecution and dismissal.

"We are trying to change attitude; we are trying to get people to do the right thing. We are trying to fight corruption. Corruption is not just firing and prosecution. It is also about changing the mindset," she said.

Asked why some corruption allegations do not go to court, she said "human rights tell us people are innocent until proven guilty in a court so we try to respect people's rights."

She requested her ministers to take full responsibilities for their own behavior, their ethical behavior and not be hesitant or reluctant to dismiss people found in corruption practices.

Where guilt has been established people should not be reluctant to take decision, she said.

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