Liberia: Weah Must Address the 3 Pandemics

Liberia, under the Weah administration is seriously walloping in three dangerous pandemics, including the global coronavirus, as cited recently by the chairman of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties Alexander B. Cummings in a nationwide address. Governance by the current administration has left much to be desired with increasing citizens' outcry that goes unnoticed.

Flagrant violations of the Constitution, state-sponsored violence, impunity, ineptitude and endemic corruption at the highest hierarchy of the government are the orders of the day, while transparency, accountability and rule of law have been thrown out of the window.

And so when the CPP leader last week cataloged these negative vices under the ruling establishment, most Liberians were not surprised because these are the appalling conditions they are being subjected to by the Weah administration for nearly three years.

Mr. Cummings named the three pandemics as Poverty, Rape and the COVID-19 global health crisis. They are making the future of Liberia bleak and hopeless.

"Our ship is sinking. Too many of our people are suffering. We are increasingly seeing a culture of moral bankruptcy being promoted with a determination to destroy the last piece of the moral fabric of our society. This is wicked. It is immoral, and it threatens our long-term peace and security.

Rather than deliver basic services, foster a unified and productive nation, and care for our people, those given the mantle of national leadership are busying themselves with dividing Liberians. They are too busy enriching themselves that they have either forgotten, do not know how, or just do not care, about the most important duties for which they were elected", he said.

Quoting the 2020 World Bank Report, he disclosed that 526,000 or half million Liberians under the Weah administration are expected to live on less than US$190 or 380 Liberian dollars per day, which is likely to grow poverty rate in the country by 65 percent from 54 percent in 2016.

When the government begins to systematically cut allotments for integrity or anti-graft institutions in the national budget and staff them with incompetent loyalists, Liberians should brace themselves for gross mismanagement, pillaging and amassing of wealth by public officials.

A comparative analysis by the opposition leader of the approved budget for FY2017/18 to current draft appropriations for FY2020/21 shows that allotment for the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) has been reduced from US$1.4 million to US$752,754, while the budget for the Liberia Extractive Industries and Transparency International (LEITI) suffers a cut from US$553,356 to US$220,849; budget for the General Auditing Commission has been slashed from US$5.3 million in the fiscal period to US$4.5 million; the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission from US$2.3 million to US$1.3 million, and the Governance Commission from US$1.9 million to US$1.1 million, respectively.

Liberians should not expect any productively efficient performance from these institutions because the government clearly is not interested in making them professionally functional. Their paralysis as a result of budgetary cuts leaves President Weah and his cronies to bash in broad day looting of our national coffers.

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