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Liberia's President Sirleaf Asks Cabinet to Put Corruption Fight in Writing


Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says corruption continues to undermine all that her government is doing to respond to the needs of the Liberian people. She has threatened to elevate the fight against corruption to a new level by suggesting she would pay those who would blow whistle against corrupt officials. Now President Sirleaf has sent a letter to all her cabinet ministers and directors of public corporations to report to her in writing what they are doing to fight corruption.

Lawrence Bropleh is Liberia’s minister of information. He told VOA President Sirleaf wants to show the Liberian people on paper what her government is doing to fight corruption after two years in office.

“The president, in her inaugural address, declared that corruption would be public enemy number one as we strive to make Liberia a post-conflict success story. And so I have written to all of the cabinet members asking them to provide to the president through me what they have done to fight corruption in their various agencies and agencies so that I can have my report for the president and that can then be released to the public,” he said.

Bropleh reiterated that after two years in office, President Sirleaf simply wanted to show the country the efforts her government is making to fight corruption.

“We’ve been in office now for two years. The president now wants to show on paper what we have done to fight corruption in Liberia. Additionally, the president is the first government in Liberia’s history to have asked the general auditing commission to have to audit this government,” Bropleh said.

President Sirleaf said in her most recent interview given to an on-line Liberian news service that corruption continues to undermine all that her government is doing to respond to the needs of the Liberian people. This has left many to suggest that her government has not been as aggressive in fighting corruption.

Bropleh said President Sirleaf has done a lot to fight corruption since assuming office.

“The president has dismissed people in her government for corruption practices, she has forwarded some of those persons to the Justice Ministry for prosecution, she has worked and empowered the governing commission in order to establish the anti-corruption commission, sent the anti-corruption bill to the legislature, and has asked all of ministers to declare their assets. These are many of the things that the president has done to fight corruption in Liberia,” he said.

President Sirleaf threatened recently in an interview to elevate the fight against corruption to a new level by suggesting she would pay those who would blow whistles against corrupt officials.

Bropleh said the president is serious about her threat even though some have expressed reservation about her commitment to carry out such threat.

“There had been some questions about the government’s seriousness about this as a test case with the National Port Authority. We’re looking into that where somebody has claimed that they blew the whistle, and that they believe that the government found that the whistle they blew was enough but yet they lost their job. We’re looking into that to see what had happened. We have to do everything we can in order to make sure that we become true stewards of the people’s resources and help to make this country to become a post-conflict success story,” Bropleh said.

Some have suggested that President Sirleaf use the offices of the auditing general of Liberia to verify what the ministers would say they are doing to fight corruption.

But Bropleh said using the auditing general would not be necessary because the president’s request to the cabinet is not an audit.

“My job is to be the verifiable conduit, and I will be able to meet with each of these ministers and directors general in order to authenticate. We’re not suggesting that the dossier that we will receive would be fallacy. No! But there are certain points within them that I may need to discuss with them in order to further inform the president,” Bropleh said.

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