The General Auditing Commission seems to be having the winds in its sails these days with several accusations leveled against top officials of government. The GAC reports have reached a point where it has started to set teeth on edge. From Laurence Bropleh to Augustine Ngafuan, while passing through the doors of Ambulai Johnson, John Morlu’s GAC has triggered the noise everywhere.
Flipping through the newspapers in his office, John Jarshua a Managing Director of a local company keeps shaking his head, while sucking his teeth probably at what he is reading. “Ben, come please.” He calls his deputy. “Have you read the papers today?” He asks his deputy. “Not yet, sir.” Ben replies. “Well you need to go through it my brother. This GAC report will surely cause damage for lots of people in this country. Can you imagine that after Bropleh and Ambulai Johnson it is now Ngafuan who is being accused of financial malpractices?”
“But chief, why do you think this is going to cause damage for lots people?” Ben asks his boss. “I am saying this because I have noticed that the report gets to the press before the executive branch of government, or even the accused person, can get it. That way, whether you are guilty or not, once the matter has been in the press, your image will be affected. For me, that is not the proper way to make the report. I am not against the process, on the contrary I think it is the best way to fight corruption, but it will be excellent if the report could reach the president and the accused person before getting to the press. At least let the one who is accused get the chance for self defense before the press starts publication on it.” John Jarshua says.
“Chief, I think you are right but don’t you think by proceeding that way the report could be exposed to several temptations that could stop the publication? I think you know that money can make things change overnight.” Ben says. But John Jarshua was not looking at the situation from that perspective. He looks around and asks me: “Mr. Journalist, what do you think of this? Do you think it is the proper way of proceeding?”
“I prefer to listen so that I can learn more from you.” I say. That answer irritates John Jarshua so much that he begins to shout. “You journalists are nothing but trouble makers. I never expected anything good from you any way. Instead of you journalists sensitizing the GAC on the importance of getting the report to the President and the accused person first, you are there fanning the flames of confusion in the country.” He says to me. At that juncture, I pack up and leave.
I get in my car and head for Paynesville to see my sister who sells in Red-light Market. I meet my sister in the midst of the same debate, but a punchy one this time around. “I will beat the hell out of you today. Look at her, foolish woman.” A lady held on both sides by two men, says while trying to free herself and “beat the hell out of” my sister. I ask the lady to know what is annoying her so much.
“Look my brother, your sister is trying to defend rogues in this country. We are talking about the people who are stealing money from here; she is saying that the way you journalists can talk about it is not good. What, she want you people to close your mouth?”
“I am sorry Madam. She is my sister.” I say. “For your business I will leave it, but tell your sister to take time when she is talking about these corrupt people and how the press talks about it.” She replies. I turn to my sister and warn her jokingly not to talk against the press any more. I then leave the market, on my way back to downtown Monrovia, I make a brief stopover at a restaurant in Sinkor.
In the restaurant, the same debate, a political one, between a government official and one opposition politician. “These kinds of reports are politically motivated. John Morlu is simply trying to weaken the political strength of the ruling party. If this was not politically motivated, he could have sent the report to the President and the accused first before giving it to the press.” The government official says.
“Shame on you man. You have nothing to say, just shut up. You guys are just a bunch of corrupt people.” The opposition member says.