The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has called on the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to timely and independently verify and publish all declared assets, income and liabilities, including those of President George M. Weah.
In a statement issued on Monday, CENTAL said it is glad to acknowledge receipt of reports of declaration of assets, income, and liabilities by President George Manneh Weah, which the General Auditing Commission (GAC) has confirmed.
Although it is belated, CENTAL lauded President Weah for declaring his assets in compliance with chapter 10 of the 2014 Code of Conduct for Public officials that requires all public officials to declare their assets.
“This is one of several steps that demonstrate concrete commitment and political will to set the necessary condition for a successful fight against corruption in Liberia,” the statement said.
CENTAL has also called on the Vice President, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Justices of the Supreme Court and other officials of government to do likewise.
“We maintain that former officials accused of corrupt acts, especially those of the immediate past regime, must be investigated and if found guilty prosecuted in keeping with relevant Liberian Laws,” CENTAL said.
CENTAL said former officials who refused to declare their assets while leaving power/government, should be compelled to do so or prosecuted, in keeping with relevant provisions of the Code of Conduct.
Finally, “we would like to admonish President Weah against repeating mistakes of former President Sirleaf, when she, among other things, shielded her officials; ignored recommendations from independent committees established to probe corruption scandals as well as appointed persons with tainted records in key government positions.”
Any anti-corruption effort that is not built on a strong prosecution and deterrent regime is bound to fail; this is the weak link in Liberia’s current anti-graft efforts, which must be addressed to decisively tackle corruption and bad governance in the country, the statement maintained.
The statement further noted that continuous violation of the Code of Conduct does not augur well for the reputation of the government and its professed desire to address graft, arguably the biggest impediment to the success of the pro-poor agenda.