Presidential hopeful and standard bearer of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe is proposing quarterly Lifestyle Audits for public employees which involve an intensive probe into their lifestyles in order to detect sudden and suspicious affluence that may suggest fraud.
He wants salaries, and benefits of the President and all officials in the three branches of government to be published, and that any official that interferes with the functions of the police or any law enforcement officer shall, upon summary fact-finding, be immediately dismissed.
Cllr. Gongloe argued that the chronic deficit of leadership characterized by greed, a thirst for illicit wealth, and self-interest, as opposed to the welfare of the nation, is a significant factor in the current state of Liberia.
Lifestyle audits in Liberia as proposed by the presidential aspirant may indicate who in the public service has eaten what, who continues to eat, who is likely to eat, and what they like eating.
Such audits are also about conspicuous consumption reflected in expenditures of expensive capitalist toys, travel, residential housing, skyscrapers, charity and philanthropy, investing abroad, food and booze, and day-to-day expenses incurred in carrying out a particular lifestyle.
Speaking to a cross-section of LPP partisans in Buchanan, Grand Bassa county yesterday, the former president of the Liberia National Bar Association named corruption, mainly in the public sector as one of the main reasons responsible for the backwardness of Liberia and its citizens.
According to him, the main cause of Liberia’s underdevelopment is due, in large part, to the collective failure of Liberians to work for, demand, and make the necessary hard choices and sacrifices for good governance.
Cllr. Gongloe argued that corruption has become so embedded in Liberia, and declared the practice as a threat to national security, arguing that it is crippling the economic and social development of the country.
Corruption in Liberia occurred through diversion of public funds, irregular payments, unauthorized expenditures, staff fraud, and bribery denying citizenry crucial services like access to affordable healthcare, employment, and affordable education for the country’s youths, among others.
On September 15, 2022, the United States Department of Treasury designated three senior officials of the Liberian government for involvement in significant public corruption.
Former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, Solicitor General Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and the Managing Director of the National Port Authority Bill Tweahway were sanctioned by the U.S. Government and immediately suspended by President George Manneh Weah.
The trio subsequently resigned under public pressure. Editing by Jonathan Browne