Legislature US$100K Mango-mango
Recently, in the Article, Periscope-Ing 2017, the year of presidential “Kafu”, we outlined expectations, realities and the activities of some presidential contenders. We observed that 2017, Presidential Election promises no surprises, in terms of change, reforms and transformation, but the outdated “business-as-usual, stay-the-course” plans of the Liberian Republican and True Whig Parties’, since 1847.
According to 2017 presidential hopefuls, the Liberian people must expect, and will get, “more of the same” of increased/increasing corruption, deceit, lies, thievery or “dee-deebah/mango-mango” (in Liberian language), particularly, from the First Branch (Legislative, caught in a US $100K “mango-mango”) to the Second Branch (Executive caught in millions of US dollar “dee-deebahs” at NPA, LPRC, NOCAL, etc., etc.) with some MDs now fighting to stay out of jail.
Some of the presidential contenders are alleged thieves who became “rich” from robbing Liberian state agencies and the treasury; others are alleged citizens, permanent residents of foreign countries; they own real estates with families living in those countries; and a number of the membership of the National Legislature are citizens of foreign countries, in conscious, flagrant violation of Article 30 of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, some presidential contenders, in response to charges that they have “no claim to political leadership” – training, experience and exposure to traditional Egalitarian/Utilitarian culture – only boasts of being “countrymen” or of indigenous origin, with claims of “grass-root” following. But, we answered the response that the Liberian presidency, political leadership of today, under law, competitive, pluralistic electoral process, is opened to all citizens (of age 18 and above), irrespective of ethnic/tribal origin, even the-then “Country, Congo or Americo-Liberian” citizenship notwithstanding.
Traditionally, Conventionally Political parties or independent, presidential contenders publish, usually, campaign literature, the Party Platform-Manifestos (as they were known, traditionally) or Mission Statements (as they are or may be known, today), spelling out, in detail, the parties’ or independent contenders’ plans and programs of action designed to achieve pre-determined goals/objectives, if elected. But, we noted, today, from one political Party Presidential Contender, a Vision of 4Rs – Reconciliation, Reform, Rebuild and Recovery, with no specific elaboration of each of the 4Rs.
Reflecting on the facts of Liberia’s historical, political experience to date, we found that This, indeed, is regrettable, deeply troubling and IRONIC, that: • The Founding Leadership of the political institutions have erected, installed, perfected, maintained, subjected and continue to subject its citizens and others to the system of profound, human debasement, humiliation and suffering, throughout the century of nationhood, although this is a nation of people founded by the people who endured and fled from human degradation-dehumanization;
• An overwhelming majority of the citizens acquiesced, submitted to and accepted this system of human torture in all its forms – socio-economic and political – without any form or level of resistance, although relatively, relevantly informed and educated;
• Some prominent, leading citizens joined, willingly, knowingly and became operating partners of a minority, political tyranny that denied the majority of the population not only participation in the affairs of the nation, but also citizenship, without organized, peaceful protest, resistance and/or challenge, although they fled from socio-cultural, racial, discrimination/segregation, human bondage & servitude, economic, political and slavery, and founded a nation on the pledge of democratic pluralism, freedom and justice, having or possessing the education, experience and platform for action;
• Some unscrupulous wealthy, businesspersons became lawful partners in the cesspool of public dishonesty (corruption), deceit and lies, thievery, politically-connected wheeler-dealers, with excessive demand for and dangerous dependence on imported goods and services, although the Liberian nation is endowed with more, in relative terms, than its share of natural resources, including more land than people, with highly-trained and experienced professionals; and, therefore, could have produced, can produce goods and services, locally, for local consumption and the export trade, but now caught in claws of poverty, ignorance, hunger and disease;
• Liberian National, political leadership is deeply entrenched, enslaved in the absence or lack of national transport/communications, all-weather roads and highways, the “Premier, Multiplier Effect”, not only for safe, efficient, mass movement of people, but also, for national, social, economic and political development, and for the for the distribution, sale and movement of goods and services, since Liberia is a small nation of 43,000 square miles that could have been, and can be, crisscrossed, North-South and East-West, by super-highways, with investment in rest stops, service stations, restaurants, hotels, motels, etc.;
• There is apparent countenance of conscious disregard of the health-threatening conditions of over-crowdedness, street-selling, 24/7 traffic jams, etc., in the nation’s Capital, the result of rising population growth, but with uncontrolled, unplanned rural-to-urban population movement, a socio-cultural, economic and political constipation that now affects rational governance of the City of Monrovia, as well as the County Capitals and other cities throughout the land.
And finally, it is Ironic to note that the GOL Policy of Annual Grants of hundreds of thousands of US dollars to Counties, including contributions from private corporations, for Social Development – Education, healthcare, agriculture, transport/communications, etc. – have now, become the major source and victim of “You Chop + I Chop = We chop”.
This is a scheme of public dishonesty (corruption) under the control of a coalition of County Administrations, County Legislative Caucuses, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and that the Major Chopping Scheme is under the control of the “Pay Master” who, according to the 2015, 168th Independence Day Orator, “must chop something from the people he pays”. That Paymaster is the powerful, Super-Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, R.L. This scheme is big; it is a creeping monster of national corruption and thievery; it MUST NOT SUCCEED, in the light of the Nation’s often-stated concerns and plans about and against corruption – transparency and accountability!! On Corruption
In a televised, panel discussion while in the USA, on whether or not, Corruption is institutionalized in Liberia, we argued that although corruption is a reality rampant in our country, but it is not institutionalized, not lawfully sanctioned.
A universal phenomenon, corruption is a vice found on all continents, in every country, culture and society, irrespective of the level of socio-cultural, economic, political, technological development and affluence. Corruption is, apparently, intrinsic in human nature. As such, Liberia and Liberians do not have a monopoly of corruption. It is shown, however, and fortunately, that corruption can be reduced, controlled and, eventually, eradicated.
Given its incidence and dangerous threat to the nation’s socio-economic and political health and progress, corruption must be minimized, controlled and, eventually, eradicated. But, in order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to know the cause(s) or the “whys, hows, whens, wherefores and therefores” of Liberia’s corruption, since we know the effect, corruption.
Liberia’s problem, we hold, is the problem of misplaced priority. Rather than identify and treat the cause(s) of corruption in the effort to reduce, control and eradicate the effect (corruption), the Liberian Nation recognized, commended and rewarded; recognize, commend and reward the results of corruption. For examples, officials of government who built, and build mansions; developed and develop real estate; founded and managed, found and manage other businesses financed with stolen public resources were commended and are commended for “development”; and promoted to much more lucrative posts for more stealing, not prosecuted and sent to jail.
Today, almost, all of the buildings leased and occupied by the government of Liberia were built with stolen public resources!! This, indeed, including all others herein defined, is ironic!!