15 January 2013

Liberia: Lawmakers Renew Nepotism War

The war against nepotism which historians say was one of the major sources that fueled the country's crisis has been renewed with a lawmaker introducing a bill seeking to abolish its practice.

"I have presented a bill to abolish nepotism in our country. I believe that nepotism is one of the issues that have destroyed this nation," Rep. Moses Accarious Gray revealed at the Capitol Monday.

The issue of nepotism, the act of employing closed relative in workplaces, has been a concern to many Liberians with some members of the opposition accusing President Sirleaf of encouraging the act by appointing her sons and other relatives to lucrative government positions.

There has also been a mounting call on her to remove her son, Robert Sirleaf as the chair of the board of director of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), the government's regulatory agency of the oil sector.

But at the press conference Monday, Rep. Gray told reporters that the bill was not intended for the president but for the eradication of the act in the country.

"It is not intended for the president but for the entire Liberians. It is our duty as a nation that we curtail nepotism in our country.

"Since she (President Sirleaf) has failed to issue an Executive Order for the eradication of the act as prescribed in the law, those of us who have the courage to advocate for justice will (do everything) to push for the passage of this anti-nepotistic bill," he said.

Rep. Gray noted that the bill also prescribes punishment ranging from a huge fine to the dismissal of any government official who would engage in the act of nepotism. "This is intended to get (rid) of this act."

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