Rise to the challenge, Mr. President

A Liberian integrity group, Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia or CENTAL, urges President George Manneh Weah to be practical and impartial in dealing with corruption, and make good on earlier promise made to clean his administration of corruption.

CENTAL wants timely and impartial implementation of outcomes of ongoing investigation into the US$25 million mop-up exercise, and asks President Weah and his Coalition-led government to timely act on grave concerns raised by development partners regarding use of donors’ funds.

It warns that not doing so may limit donors’ confidence in the government and have serious implications for future funding and support to Liberia.

We believe these are serious concerns that should claim the attention of not only the President, but the entire government, if Liberia should continuously enjoy trust and support of our international partners, including the United Nations, ECOWAS, AU, the United States, European Union, France, Britain and others.

The bucks start with the President, because he is the head of government and the Head of State. He should and must be seen taking practically well-intentioned and comprehensive steps to re-assuring our partners that the government is responsible and it means well for the people.

Ever since President Weah called on the General Auditing Commission to audit the Technical Economic Management Team or TEMT headed by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah of the usage of the US$25, not much has been heard or said in public. In fact, the GAC is on record as saying, it has never received a written request since the President made that pronouncement.

We wonder how the government can be trusted, particularly in the eyes of international partners when it cannot properly manage or account for its own funds. Here is US$25 million that was withdrawn from our national reserves to mop up excess liquidity in our market in order to help stabilize the exchange rate and prices.

But instead, the exchange rate is now heading for 200LRD for One United States Dollars, and could even go beyond with exacerbating economic consequences for the already suffering masses. Yet, there is no proper accountability up to now.

President Weah should move from lip service and muster political will to take decisive actions that would demonstrate leadership. He can’t be seen pampering missteps of his officials and expect to enjoy public trust. No! It does not work this way.

Governance or leadership should be about looking at the bigger picture or the whole country; how we proceed to maintain the respect of our partners, because we need them to succeed as a member of the comity of nations.

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