Liberia: Liberia Less Corrupt Under Weah-led Government?
MONROVIA – The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has drawn up a comparison from data attained from Transparency International’s 10th Global Corruption Barometer capturing the corruption index of 2019 which shows that corruption in Liberia was minimized in 2019 compared to its soaring heights in 2015 when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was President.
According to the report which can be found at https://www.transparency.org/en/gcb/africa/africa-2019/results/lbr
, overall bribery rate under the Sirleaf’s regime was at 69 percent compared to 53 percent under George Weah’s leadership.
Has corruption increased rate under the CDC-led government in 2019 was at 47 percent compared to the 73 percent in 2015 under the Unity Party.
Transparency International further concluded that only 6 percent of respondents in 2015 believed that corruption had decreased while 14 percent of respondents in 2019 held the belief that corruption has decreased.
The corruption perception index among officials of government stood at 70 percent in 2015 but dropped to 49 percent in 2019.
In the Legislature, corruption perception was at 68 percent in 2015 and 49 percent in 2019.
According to the international corruption watchdog, the police has also recorded a decrease in corruption under the Weah-led government, especially in 2019 when the corruption perception in the police was 62 percent compared to the 77 percent in 2015.
Corruption in public schools between 2015 and 2019 experienced only a five percent improvement. In 2015, it stood at 45% and in 2019, 40%.
Public clinics and public health centers experienced a minimal improvement of in the corruption reception in 2019’s 43 percent compared to 52 percent in 2015.
Transparency International is a global movement working in over 100 countries to end the injustice of corruption.
The watchdog group focuses on issues with the greatest impact on people’s lives and hold the powerful to account for the common good. Through advocacy, campaigning and research, we work to expose the systems and networks that enable corruption to thrive, demanding greater transparency and integrity in all areas of public life.
During his inaugural speech in 2018, President Weah said, “I further believe that the overwhelming mandate I received from the Liberian people is a mandate to end corruption in public service. I promise to deliver on this mandate. Page 4 As officials of Government, it is time to put the interest of our people above our own selfish interests. It is time to be honest with our people. Though corruption is a habit amongst our people, we must end it. We must pay civil servants a living wage, so that corruption is not an excuse for taking what is not theirs. Those who do not refrain from enriching themselves at the expense of the people – the law will take its course. I say today that you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
In recent time, there have been mounting calls by the public calling on President to remove the chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) over alleged forgery.
Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, a Nigerian national, while struggling to defend his purported Liberian citizenship produced four birth dates of himself. At the same time, neither Criminal Court ‘B’ nor the Liberia Immigration Service, could authenticate his naturalization certificate.
Upon investigation, the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) expelled Cllr. Nwabudike for fraud which they claimed their investigation established.
Following his expulsion, there have been mounting calls by the public and some opposition political parties for his removal in the interest of fighting corruption.
Many argued that it is unfair to have an individual with a tainted character head the country’s premier anti-graft institution.
Contradiction from Reality
In reaction, the Assistant Secretary General for the Unity Party says the comparison highlighted is not the format Transparency International uses.
He said, the major indicator of corruption worldwide is Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which “scores and ranks countries/territories annually based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives”.
He says, the CPI is a “composite index, a combination of 13 surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions”.
Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is considered the premiere and most credible survey on corruption worldwide principally because, unlike other surveys on corruption that show the result of a single survey, the CPI is a composite index, reflecting the results of 13 different reputable surveys.
Mr. Ali: “On this score, if we compare Liberia’s Corruption Perception Index score in 2015 against that of 2019, one finds that corruption has actually increased in Liberia in 2019. In 2015, Liberia scored 37/100 (37%) and was ranked 83 out of 198 countries (the lower the rank, the better the perception of corruption). Liberia’s CPI score in 2015 was an 11% improvement in its CPI performance over the previous year (2014) See link: https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2015/results/lbr. Unfortunately, in 2019, Liberia’s CPI score drops to 28/100 or (28%) and ranks 137/ out of 198 countries, a drop in rank of 54 points as compared to 2015. Liberia’s CPI of 2019 also shows a decline in CPI’s performance of 17% as compared to 2018. See link: https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2019/results/lbr.”