Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Liberians demands leadership in corruption fight - ITREALMS

Leading Civil Society Organizations in Liberia [Center for Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL), Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) and Naymote Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE)] have called on the President, George Weah, to take charge and show leadership in the fight against corruption, reports ITREALMS.

A joint statement made available to ITREALMS, they expressed deep concern over emerging national issues that have the propensity to derail political and economic gains made over the past 13 years.

These concerns range from the management of the Liberian economy, respect for rule of law and the constitution, limited political will to robustly fight corruption as well as the dwindling of civic space for citizen’s participation in the democratic process, and freedom of press and of expression.

“We have keenly followed with dismay the deteriorating rate at which the Liberian Economy has weakened over the past 13 months. For example, the exchange rate between the Liberian Dollar and the United States Dollar is scarily plummeting, the costs of basic commodities have doubled over the past 12 months, despite the decision taken by the government to reduce tariffs on 2,000 commodities in May 2018.

“With the pace at which things are proceeding, if pragmatic steps are not taken by the government to salvage the economy, we are afraid that we would be heading down the slope of hyperinflation. This is making life unbearable for many, especially ordinary Liberians and rural dwellers, many of whom are without jobs and better livelihood opportunities.

“Generally, short-term measures undertaken the CDC-led government, including the '25 million mop of exercise' have not worked, thus leading to perpetuation of the problems. On the other hand, the Liberian Legislature seems to be dragging its/her feet in providing the necessary administrative oversight in helping to resuscitate the economy and improve the governance landscape.

They also commended the government for establishing committees to investigate a number of corruption allegations and scandals, including the national housing authority corruption saga, the alleged 16 billion missing money and the US25 million mop up exercise as well as establishment of the Concession Review committee to review all existing concession from the previous government.

“While we applaud the government for these steps, we are extremely disappointed in the slow pace at which these investigations are proceeding,” CSO declared.

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