Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has again said her government’s resolve to fight corruption is unshakable. The president, in yet another speech to the nation about endemic corruption in the country, called on the public to be participants in the fight against vice.
President Sirleaf’s speech Thursday came on the heels of a number of auditing reports pointing to endemic corruption in the government. As a result some Liberians are calling on the president to take serious action against alleged corrupt officials in her government.
Minister of Information Lawrence Bropleh told VOA President Sirleaf has promised a major cabinet reshuffle soon
“What you need to know is that the president was able to say that we have taken many actions since the General Auditing Commission have given the results of many audit reports. Several of those were announced today involving the Bong Mines Escrow Account where the Superintendent of Bong County is under suspension pending further investigation, the National Housing Authority, the previous administration board and management were dismissed for inefficiency...additionally, the president has said that there will be a major cabinet reshuffle,” he said.
Bropleh said the reshuffle would take place between now and the end of January 2009.
Some Liberians have expressed concern that a cabinet reshuffle by itself without legal action against suspected corrupt officials would not be enough to curtail corruption.
Bropleh said President Sirleaf intends to dismiss and at the same time prosecute corrupt government officials.
“When the president believes that there is corruptibility as it regards a ministry or the head of that ministry or persons in leadership in that ministry, she will act in terms of a dismissal and then forward to the Justice Ministry, the prosecutorial arm of government in order to have further investigation, prosecution, and restitution,” Bropleh said.
Since the release of audit reports by the General Auditing Commission, the public and some politicians have been demanding serious action by President Sirleaf to do more about corruption.
Bropleh said President Sirleaf, who in her inaugural address has declared corruption “public enemy #1, has taken serious action.
“Serious action is currently being taken and additional serious action will be taken. Let me just say to the public that those of us who serve in the highest level in President Sirleaf’s government, understand her integral leadership and her zero tolerance for corruptibility, and we will not be in the realm of trying to be corrupt in our actions,” Bropleh said.
He denied that President Sirleaf, in her address to the country Thursday, appeared to blame former government officials of being behind the criticism of active corruption in her administration.“What the president has said is that there is a lot of talk about corruption, and in all honesty, many people are beginning to understand it. But there are some who believe that unless the president dismisses every senior government minister and director general, it does not appear in their mind that she is fighting corruption. That is not the way a government operates, and that is not the way President Sirleaf will manage Liberia’s resources,” Bropleh said.