Liberia: ANC Responds to Information Ministry’s Reaction to Cummings’ Statement on Government’s Luke Posture on Corruption and War Crimes
MONROVIA – The Secretary-General of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) has described as deceptive and dishonest, a recent reaction of the Weah-led administration, through its Ministry of Information, to the public condemnation of corruption by the Political Leader of the ANC, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings.
Mr. Cummings drew the anger of MICAT when he condemned the rising wave of corruption which has reached new and higher levels under the CDC-led government. Such is the scale of the thievery that a western official recently described the Weah-led administration as “kleptocratic and politically corrupt”. The latest report of Transparency International also lists Liberia as among the top 5 most corrupt countries in Africa and ranked the country among the 10 poorest.
Corruption, which Candidate George Weah promised to tackle in 2017, continues to undermine the development of the country, and to keep Liberians poor. According to the ANC Political Leader, the Weah-led administration cannot stop the stealing in government because those who should be stopping the stealing are the actual rogues.
“Without good examples from the highest levels of the country’s political leadership, as well as serious commitments to systems of transparency and accountability, and demonstrated political will to investigate, prosecute and punish friends and foes alike, corruption will continue to be impossible for President Weah to fight, and as Liberians continue to see, a few are getting rich illegally while the majority are getting poorer”, Mr. Cummings said.
In its reaction, MICAT referred to corruption as “street talks” and cited the KROLL Report as effectively exonerating the Liberian Government of corruption. Meanwhile, the KROLL Report which identified a number of “discrepancies and failures” specifically indicated that its limited Scoping Report “does not constitute a recommendation, endorsement, opinion or approval of any kind with respect to any transaction, decision or evaluation, and should not be relied upon or disclosed as such under any circumstances.”
According to the ANC Secretary-General, MICAT is trafficking in public dishonesty and deception using the KROLL Scoping Report, against the expressed advice of KROLL, to claim exoneration from the rising wave of corruption consuming the Weah-led administration.
On the discredited Mop-up Exercise, perhaps MICAT believes Liberians have forgotten the recommendation of President Weah’s own Investigative Team (PIT) in its call for a forensic audit of the USD25Million, which to date, the administration has failed to carry out. Instead, the administration contrived to misdirect public attention by instructing a limited “fact-finding”, as opposed to a forensic audit, by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) of Liberia.
Even under the restrictive imposition by the administration, the GAC unearthed a number of “discrepancies” and concluded “[B]ecause the above procedures do not constitute either an audit or a review made in accordance with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) or International Standards on Review Engagements (ISRE), we do not provide any assurance on the direct mop-up of excess liquidity conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia for the period July 17, 2018 to march 21, 2019.”
The GAC went on to state, “[H]ad we performed additional procedures or had we performed an audit or review of the Reports of the Mop-up Exercise in accordance with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) or International Standards on Review Engagements (ISRE), other matters might have come to our attention that would have been reported to you.”
Only an irresponsible, conniving and corrupt administration would not proceed to audit the $USD25 Million Mop-up or permit the GAC “review of the Reports of the Mop-up Exercise”, after it was recommended to do so by the PIT, in the face of the qualification of the limited Scoping Report of KROLL, and the public plea by the GAC to conduct an audit.
Of course, the Weah-led administration did not audit, has yet to audit, and has instead rewarded the Governor of the Central Bank, who is a friend of President Weah and a long-term political ally, with a golden parachute back into retirement, as Liberians continue to suffer, and the banking system bleeds from the lack of public confidence and integrity.
“The ANC and its Political Leader will continue to condemn stealing in the government because it is hurting the country and suffering the people. We do not do so to convince MICAT or anyone in the Weah-led administration whose salaries depend on not understanding the simple truth that corruption keeps countries poor. We do so because we believe in a higher standard for governance and a more accountable management of the nation’s resources for the betterment of all Liberians. Liberia deserves better,” the ANC SG concluded.