Monday, June 28, 2010

Men Steal More, President Sirleaf Tells International Media

Men Steal More, President Sirleaf Tells International Media


New Democrat (Monrovia)

26 June 2010

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has given her verdict on gender and endemic corruption in the system, telling the New York Times in an exclusive interbiew that men are emphatically more corrupt than women.

"In every time and every place I've worked, wherever there has been a scandal, wherever there has been indication of impropriety, it's always been men," the President said.

The verdict comes as many women,top in the government, have been listed for alleged corruption.

The Minister of Gender and Development, Ms. Varbah Gayflor, has been accused by the Liberia Anticorruption Commission of theft, exploitation and abuse of power. The General Auditing Commission is currently auditing the Ministry, said to have received millions from donors.

The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Ms. Ethel Davies, now re-deployed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was forced to resign following US1.117m dubious transaction. Amongst those charged in $7m case at the Central Bank of Liberia are several women who served as tellers.

A yet unreleased audit report lists a female legislator for allegedly receiving about US40,000 bribe to let a contract deal go.

The Monrovia City Mayor, Mrs. Ophelia Saytumah, according to a World Bank report, was engaged in conflict of interests, awarding contract to her company and could not account for thousands of dollars.

Amongst those briefly jailed for alleged corruption was the Superintendent of Mntserrado County, Beauty Barcon. Full story:

The Nation Full of Strong Women

When she pleaded for her life, as taunting rebel soldiers vowed to bury her alive, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, now the Liberian president, remembers defending herself with her most basic strength: "You can't do this. Think of your mother."

"Women have stronger commitment. They work harder. They're honest, and the experience justifies it," Mrs. Sirleaf, 71, said in an interview in the Foreign Ministry building where she maintains her office. "In every time and every place I've worked, wherever there has been a scandal, wherever there has been indication of impropriety, it's always been men."

As Mrs. Sirleaf prepares to run for re-election next year, she is not free from controversy. While the United Nations peacekeeping force in Liberia is winding down, she faces pressure from the nation's truth and reconciliation commission, which urged that she and dozens of others be banned for 30 years from holding public office for their roles in the war. She has conceded that she gave $10,000 while abroad in the late 1980s to a rebel group led by Charles Taylor, then a warlord, but for humanitarian services.

In Liberia, she contends, men are more tempted by corruption. "In an African context, men have too much of an extended family. They have too many obligations outside their families and homes, so the demands on them are harder and more intense."

At the outset of her election campaign in 2005, Mrs. Sirleaf took on corruption as "Public Enemy Number One." She has since had to confront cold reality in a nation of 3.5 million people who struggle with an 85 percent unemployment rate, where 60 percent of the population is under 25 years old.

Mrs. Sirleaf, a Harvard-trained economist, established a structure for combating graft with an anti-corruption commission and a code of conduct for public servants. The rules ended up snaring two government ministers, including her close relative, A.B. Johnson, who resigned last month as internal affairs minister in a scandal over spending of a community development fund.

She said she was personally betrayed by those former ministers but that Liberia was still overcoming the corruption of values through war and survival.

People sought "public positions because they could engage in extortion for small services rendered," she said. "What we have done is to expose it."

Mrs. Sirleaf says she is running for re-election to achieve ambitions that stalled with the global economic crisis. "I want to be sure I leave a legacy behind and I made a difference," she said.

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of information on this website/blog, and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, I cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this website/blog. The content of any organizations websites which you link to from this website/blog are entirely out of the control of Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah's endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at said organizations site.