President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf described it in her first term inaugural speech in 2006 as “public enemy number one”, in the middle of her second term she called it “systemic and endemic” and eventually at the close of her two terms, “a vampire” that is sucking the nation’s resources and the national coffer.
Despite the President’s expressed commitment to stamp out the practice, corruption over whelmed her government so much so that a former speaker in her government and the former chair of her governing Unity Party are on trial for alleged bribery, while tens of thousands of dollars allotted in the national budget for county development vanished in thin air, leaving citizens in excruciating poverty.
Former executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, now a politician vying for the presidency is vowing to put corruption in a coffin and shine light over it, if elected.
Dr. Jones is standard bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment or MOVEE.
“We will put corruption in the coffin and put light on the coffin so that everyone would see it”, he vows at the final presidential debate here on Tuesday, 26 September.
Three presidential candidates, including one female attended the debate organized by Deepening Democracy Coalition (DDC) held in the Paynesville Town Hall, Paynesville City.
Dr. Jones, who attracts political attention across Liberia, particularly in rural areas after he initiated a controversial loan scheme during his tenure at the CBL that saw tens of thousands of dollars ditched out to rural inhabitants for business purposes says his administration will put the stick in the heart of corruption or “vampire.”
Another promise perhaps, that Liberians would have to take to the ballot box as they turn out on Tuesday, 10 October to cast their votes. Politicians are noted for making wild promises that they don’t intend to keep, and that’s why electorate should shine their eyes and not be gullible.
His contenders at the debate, Alternative National Congress (ANC) standard bearer Alexander Cummings and Liberia Restoration Party (LRP) standard bearer Madam MacDella Cooper, both vow to use the legal system to fight corruption.
MacDella says if elected President of Liberia, she would not reappoint corrupt officials from one post to another in her government.
-Story by Jonathan Browne