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Liberians blamed for lawmaker’s corruption

By Lincoln G. Peters

Female lawyer and peace advocate Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh says Liberians are responsible for the corrupt nature of lawmakers across the country, accusing the citizenry of making uncontrollable demands which are outside the three cardinal functions of a lawmaker.

Addressing local authorities at a conference recently in Monrovia, the Establishment Coordinator of the influential Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) for women’s empowerment, leadership development, international peace and security, argued that if citizens can hold their leaders accountable, lawmakers will not put their personal interest above the people’s interest.

Cllr. Chesson-Wureh reminded the local officials of lawmakers’ three responsibilities which include lawmaking, oversight, and representation.

But she noted that Liberians have turned the function of lawmakers around by requesting them to carry out social development initiatives for their communities instead of holding them accountable for not making the right laws, and decisions that will seek their protection and welfare through the national budget.

Notwithstanding, Liberian politicians, especially those seeking elected seats, have often faced criticisms here for making promises which are sometimes outside of their responsibilities to win votes from potential voters.

Some legislative candidates sometimes promise to build schools and roads, erect hand pumps and pay school fees, among others. These promises tend to hunt those who get elected when their constituents begin to demand fulfillment of these promises.

But speaking to a cross-section of mayors and commissioners from Bong and Montserrado counties, Cllr. Chesson-Wureh said it’s not the responsibility of lawmakers to build schools, clinics and do other projects for their citizens as many are requesting them to do.

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Instead, she noted that lawmakers are to ensure that all of these projects are done through the budget.

“You just have to understand that lawmakers are not there to build a clinic, [or a] market building,” said Cllr. Chesson-Wureh.

She said the problem with Liberians is just common follow-up, lamenting, “We are not doing follow-up on our lawmakers and because of that they too are not holding the government accountable to ensure what government promised and legislation in the budget is implemented.’’

She called on Liberians to make sure that they hold their leader accountable so that they can ensure that what is legislated in the budget is implemented.

She indicated that things will only change when there are people to hold their leaders accountable for their promises and legislation.

According to Cllr. Chesson-Wureh, people must take the responsibility to make sure that the right things are done to change their surroundings.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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