President Weah’s Government Officials: Are they Old Wine in a New Bottle? Government linesmen/women are normally appointed by the president, and vetted by Parliament and paid by the taxpayers. Their paramount objective is to help the president stimulate the affairs of the nation from their individual’s administrative domain. Since the 80s, government officials have been recycled from time to time from one government to another. Some of these recycled officials are sometimes sincere, hardworking or highly fraudulent in their deportment.
Liberia has gone through a daunting task with rampant corruption being at the center stage of every emerging government. Corruption in Liberia has not been practiced by African Antelopes or Zimbabwe’s giant elephants. Corruption has been practiced by the very government officials appointed by the president to assist him/her carry out the day-to-day’s operations of the government zealously.
The employ government officials served at the pleasure and dictates of the President. Government officials are humans like us. They loved the good life, pageantries, and booties. Despite their selection to work for Liberia, the Liberian people expect so much of President Weah’s officials by embarking on extraordinary initiatives in a relatively different context characterized by doses of honesty.
The appointees are expected to enact tremendous innovations that will be incomparable to the tasks and duties of their predecessors in past governments. The new officials are expected to expose corruption, punish corruption and announce corruption in their various Corporations, Commissions, Ministries, and Agencies. They should endeavor to report any form of corrupt within their rank and file. The new officials are expected to work in alignment with President Weah’s expectations and holistic goals in the fulfillment of their salient sacrificial services to the people of Liberia. How achievable this will be, is the guess of the devil.
But President Weah is three times likely to lose the fight on corruption if, and if only those who he is appointing are not ready to stand shoulders to shoulders with him in his quest to challenge corruption head-on. The appointees should be able to walk in the shadows of President Weah’s thinking on how corruption can be defeated. In order for President Weah to fight corruption successfully, his appointees will need to make a tremendous sacrifice. They will need to first change their lavish lifestyles by cultivating a measurable and sound ethical work habit through the banner of unquestionable patriotism and absolute commitment to President Weah and the people of Liberia.
Some of the appointees are already “old wine in a new bottle” in the eyes of the Liberian people who are a testimonial to the devastation of corrupt government official in Liberia over the years. Some will be accepting President Weah’s offer with the intent to live big time life as they did in previous governments. Others are coming to the new job either to pollute the office with unethical practices such as womanizing and other nefarious activities within the limit of their individual’s official domain. Some will demand money from others to offer them jobs, while others could effectively transform their offices into hotels and motels with the intent to exploit innocent opposite sexes for little or nothing. Rampant corruption is not only about stealing or embezzling money from government coffers. It is also about how government officials conduct their persona through the demand of administrative decency and political cordiality that are reflective of the Weah’s team.
President Weah’s eyes will not be everywhere at the same time checking on his appointees to do the right thing. But the appointees are under official obligation to live up to expectations not to bring disgrace to the Presidency. They will need to enforce a self-administrative disciplinary mechanism within the scope of their individual’s offices that will help push back on corruption by embarking on the following actions: First, all appointees should be compelled by President Weah to develop a plan of action on how they will go about tackling corruption within their various Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions and Corporations. Second, each appointee should sign a written memorandum of understanding with President Weah, declaring that he/she will proceed to Prison for twenty-years, and his/her properties will be confiscated if, and if only the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Fast Track Court Courts on corruption find him/her guilty of rampant corruption. Third, each Corporation, Commission, Agency, and Ministry should be Audited by the General Audit Commission in every six-months to ensure transparency and accountability. The Weah’s government should engage the professional services and the protections of staunched whistle browsers on corruption in Liberia.