By Lewis S. Teh
The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia or CENTAL has urged the Weah administration to be non-selective in the fight against corruption.
“As Liberia joins other countries to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the International Anti-Corruption Day, as the national chapter of Transparency International (TI), the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) would like to call on the national government to be sincerer, robust and non-selective in the fight against corruption”, says Executive Director Anderson Miamen.
Addressing a news conference Thursday, December 9, 2021, at CENTAL head office in Sinkor, Monrovia, Director Miamen noted that December 9th each year is celebrated as International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD).
He says the day is set aside in recognition of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNODC), which was signed in Mexico in 2003. On this day, different sectors of the society join forces and renew their commitments to strengthening the fight against corruption. This year’s celebration is being held under the theme: “Your Right, Your Role: Say no to Corruption.”
He says It is about time that the government “moves away from theoretically tackling the vice and starts to do so holistically and practically”, adding that the need to bring to an end the culture of impunity that is regarded as one of the main enablers of Corruption in Liberia cannot be overemphasized.
“It is about time that those who are in positions of trust act with integrity and transparency in their dealings, especially so when citizens are reneging in trusting their leader.”
Director Miamen notes that CENTAL’s recent State of Corruption Report, which was released August 2021, observed that more citizens said they trust the Media, Religious Institutions, and Civil Society to do a good job at fighting against Corruption than the Executive, Legislature, and even public integrity instructions.
He says these calls for concern, as these are the institutions and bodies statutorily mandated to lead the charge against Corruption in the Country. He adds that besides, over 90 percent of citizens surveyed said Corruption is a major problem in the Country, a similarly worrying trend that calls for sober reflection on existing efforts and plans to tackle the menace.
The CENTAL boss details that corruption has significantly contributed to the current poor state of the Liberian society; it has deprived ordinary citizens of a better living standard, while the few privileged, who sit at the echelon of power, abuse public trust and resources at the expense of the vast majority of the population.
“Sadly, he says, “It is a glaring reality that the fight against the disease is far less supported by the state, especially those who have the power to strengthen to do.”
He reveals that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission has been making efforts to rebuild public confidence in the Commission and Government’s Anti-Corruption efforts, saying CENTAL highly welcomes this development, given that LACC has been in the media for all the wrong reasons before now, including but not limited to allegations of Corruption and misdealing involving some top officials of the institution.
He emphasizes that as the LACC implements her mandate and makes marginal progress, it is important to do so with outmost robustness and impartiality—giving equal attention to all cases and allegations of corruption as they come in, including the Commission’s vice chairperson, Cllr. Kanio B. Gbala, who was recently accused of conflict of interest regarding his involvement with a potential conflict of interest saga at the National Port Authority of Liberia.
“We urge the LACC to give the case involving its own the fullest attention, as the public awaits logical conclusion of the matter, just as all other corruption cases before the body. How the Commission treats the case involving one of its own will send a very strong message about its preparedness, robustness, and impartiality in dealing with all cases and issues of Corruption in the Country.”
This he said is necessary to clear any dark cloud that may exist over the Commission, which has the proclivity to affect the effectiveness of the Vice Chairman and the Commission at large.
“We call for speedy investigation and prosecution of other cases before the Commission, including but not limited to the one involving officials of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation and the recent saga involving the National Elections Commission’s alleged overpricing of thermometers used in the immediate past by-elections”, Director Miamen reminds.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/cental-ends-i-club-university-students-integrity-development-forum/