“Corruption Is Keeping Liberia Backward” – Presidential Aspirant Cllr. Gongloe
MONROVIA – Presidential aspirant Tiawan Saye Gongloe has named corruption, mainly in the public sector, remains one of the main reasons responsible for the backwardness of Liberia and its citizens.
Cllr. Gongloe recently accepted a petition to contest the presidency of Liberia on the ticket of the opposition Liberian People Party (LPP).
He observed that from decade to decade the menace has deprived Liberia and its citizens from the benefits deserved.
He said the high level of disrespect for the rule of law and lack of patriotism among citizens; particularly public officials remain contributing factors towards the increase in corruption in the country.
Cllr. Gongloe made these comments on Thursday, January 6, when he appeared as guest on the Costa show via the social media.
“The main issue that has been keeping this country backward is corruption and it exists because of the lack of respect for the rule of law, human rights, lack of respect for human rights, total lack of patriotism and nationalism”.
Cllr. Gongloe pointed out that Liberia cannot be a better place to live for its citizens and others without respect for the rule of law.
He observed that disrespect for the rule of law continues to scare away investors and tourists from doing businesses and boosting the tourism sector in Liberia.
He maintained Boatswana, which was listed as one of the poorest countries in the world with less than 3M people, the high level of honesty being exhibited by past and current leaders of that nation paved the way for the betterment of the nation and the citizenry.
He described corruption as a deliberate action planned or orchestrated by people to satisfy their personal aggrandizement.
He observed that most often public officials who engaged into ritualistic or other acts to excel to power engage into corruption because of the huge sum of monies they invested in the political process.
Cllr. Gongloe noted that these officials have a mindset of profiteering three times more than what they invested during electioneering or political processes.
“There is a direct relationship between investment and returns. When they start getting their profits, we say they are corrupt”.
He vowed to institute a “camera system” as one of the ways to monitor the adhering of the rule of law not in the courtrooms, but places that Judges normally go to sit and wine and dine with parties involved into cases.
He added that anyone caught undermining the gathering of evidences intended to strengthen the rule of law, will also be prosecuted in keeping with the laws of the country.
Videotaping public officials
Cllr. Gongloe said the videotaping of government official involved or attempting to engage into corrupt acts by whistleblowers will not be an offense under his administration.
He noted that the General Auditing Commission (GAC) will not be engaged into what he called “life-time audit”, but it will be engaged into doing “lifestyle audit” to question public officials criminally accumulating wealth and showing out flamboyantly.
He added that the more will help to get “hard evidence” to prosecute those suspected or engaged into acts of corruption.
Cllr. Gongloe pointed out that a rigorous prosecution team and monitoring mechanism that will be exclusively setup to combat against graft and other acts of corruption in his government.
Cllr. Gongloe observed that the current national treasury of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah is “porous”.
He noted that due to the porosity of the country’s national budget, funding remains lacking to implement substantial infrastructural development projects.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Gongloe promised to ensure that not less than 50% committed, qualified and competent women, hold cabinet positions in his government.
He vowed to also decentralize the governance of the country to ensure that portions of revenues collected from the counties are used there for developmental purposes.
He underscored the need for the construction of storages to ensure that farmers store their produce one season after the other.
Cllr. Gongloe used the medium to call on the United States government to place additional sanctions on buyers of voters during Liberia’s political processes.
According to him, the move undermines the country’s democracy and as such, those who pay monies for votes should also be treated like those who “pay-to-play”.