Since the end of Liberia’s 14 -years of civil war in 2003, many Liberian musicians have used their music to speak against corruption and other societal ills in the country.
One of those musicians who has always been vocal no matter the situation is reggae artist Nasseman, who just released an anti-corruption song about the L$16 billion saga that rocked the country recently.
The song, ‘Who Stole the Money,’ although released late, according to the singer is intended to reawaken the public interests in the L$16 billion ( US$100 million) saga, which includes the questionable US$25 million mop-up exercise by the Technical Economic Management Team led by Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah.
According to Nasseman, the song was made to mount more pressure on the authority to reveal the truth about the US$25 million mop-up exercise and the billions of missing Liberian dollars.
Nasseman explained that the song begot its name due to the lingering questions since the publication of reports by U.S.-based Kroll Associates and the Presidential Investigating Team respectively.
“Maybe other people have not noticed this, but I have. If you read the Kroll report, it says no money is missing while the Special Presidential Task Force reports says money is missing. However, the most confusing thing about the two reports is that one held people liable while the other did not. Therefore, we have been left in the dark and don’t know which of the reports to believe.
“Currently, we do not know who stole the money; although the government has accused Milton Weeks, Charles Sirleaf and few other CBL employees as the culprits,” the reggae singer said. “But not for the mop-up exercise — a situation that raises more questions of foul play somewhere.”
While it was careful to say whether or not money was missing, the Kroll report identified systemic and procedural weaknesses at the CBL and shortcomings in Liberia’s fiscal and monetary management processes that are longstanding and continue to the present day.
In contrast, the Presidential Investigation Team report disclosed that L$2,645,000,000 in banknotes are yet to be fully accounted for by the Central Bank of Liberia. However, both reports recommend a forensic investigation to analyze issues concerning the mop-up exercise due to a wide-range of discrepancies in the management of mop-up exercise funds.
Nasseman, who is an Anti Corruption Ambassador for Transparency International, added that looking at the lack of clarity in the two reports, as well as the high level of corruption in Liberia, he does not believe that the ordinary Liberians will ever know who stole their country’s money and the dark secret behind the mop-up exercise.
“I’m saying this because I have seen lots of corruption cases being dragged on in court for years without any prosecutions, and the reason for this is that the guys know that if they do their job, they will miss their bribe.
“This has been the case for years because people clothed with authority in governments to prosecute corruption cases are not willing to do it,” Nasseman explained.
Nasseman added that corrupt acts like the missing billion dollars and the dark secret surrounding the mop-up exercise are issues affecting the growth of the country.
‘Nevertheless, we continue to raise awareness on the issue and galvanize the public to demand factual answers about the country’s missing billion dollars banknotes,” he added.
The “Redemption” singer began his anti-corruption advocacy after his song “Bonkey” won the 2016 annual fair play anti-corruption music competition, which is organized by the organizers of the International Anti-Music Conference.
Fair Play is a global competition for original songs by young bands (age between 18 to 35) on the theme of anti-corruption, integrity, and the fight for social justice.
Link to the song: Who Stole the Money?