Liberia: Mr. President, Strengthen Your Fist in the Corruption Fight
THE NEWS of three potential South African investors allegedly being held hostage on the demand of US$5 million for investment opportunities was more than just an embarrassment for the nation. It is a scary allegation.
BUT WHAT was even more surprising was the President’s lukewarm stance on the matter.
SUSPENSION in this grave matter is quite insufficient to serve as a deterrence.
NOT ONLY that is not in the purview of the Makenneh Keita who serves as Coordinator for Special Projects in the office of the President to hold negotiations with potential investors, she reportedly posed as ‘Minister of Special Projects’.
IN THE LATE 1970S, a veteran Liberian Journalist, Mr. Daniel S. Drapoe published in a local Liberian paper that the Minister of Lands and Mines asked LAMCO to sponsor his son in college in the United States. Also, it was brought to the attention of President that the minister requested money from a company in Norway that wanted to invest in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
PRESIDENT TOLBERT dismissed Min. Aaron Holmes and said, “It is sad that I have dismissed by godson, Aaron. I had to do it because it was not the responsivity of LAMCO to pay the tuition of the son of a minister who may make mining decision that have to affect LAMCO in the future. Also, he should not have carrying on act that will discourage investors from coming to invest in Liberia which is contrary to the investment policy of the country.”
PRESIDENT TOLBERT to a bold stand to dismiss his godson and he set a very good precedent.
PRESIDENT WEAH should do the same.
A SUSPENSION tells the Liberian people that Ms. Keita could be call back at work with such tainted record.
CORRUPTION is one of Liberia’s major challenges and has been a major hindrance to nation building for more than half a century of Liberia’s history.
AS IT IS, ANTI-GRAFT institutions are under-funded and to some extent lack the needed expertise to fight corruption.
HOWEVER, even in the midst of all the needed resources to root out corruption, it would be impossible to fight the menace in the absence of a strong political will.
PRESIDENT WEAH’s fight against corruption will continue to be a farce until he begins to take decisive and uncompromising actions against reports of corruptions by public officials.