Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Liberia: ‘No Strategy to Fight Corruption’ - Cllr Gongloe Dissects UP, Opposition Platforms

Human rights lawyer
Former Solicitor General, Tiawon Gongloe
Cllr. Gongloe: Despite various platforms put forth by the contesting political parties including that of the ruling Unity Party(UP), there has been no strategy by the parties toward the fight of corruption.

Written by Kennedy L. Yangian FPA Staff Writer

Source: Front Page AFrica

Barely few days to the holding of what observers consider crucial presidential and legislative elections in the country, a human rights lawyer and former solicitor general, Tiawon Gongloe has commented on what he says is a crucial electoral issue.
In an FPA interview Tuesday, October 4, 2011 surrounding issues pertaining to the pending elections most importantly the issue of corruption, Cllr. Gongloe said despite various platforms put forth by the contesting political parties including that of the ruling Unity Party(UP), there has been no strategy by the parties toward the fight of corruption.
“Corruption is a very serious electoral issue but I have not heard anything, any strategy from the opposition or the ruling party as to what to do than what they've done to fight corruption in the last six years.
According to Cllr. Gongloe the Code of Conduct Bill introduced in the Senate by him was one step to curtail corruption but the bill introduced since 2007 up to present still lay before the senate which he thinks will not be passed.

He said all of the political parties in the country are represented at the House but only few of the members were able to sit with him to discuss the bill,  instead, the Senate was able to pass a bill which just spent two months on the Senate’s floor to give political parties US$2M.

Cllr Gongloe noted that what worries him most is that the Senate was able to pass a bill to put money in someone’s pocket and leave out bill that will stop corruption and bring pride and dignity to government. Commenting on the issue of the pending election just few days away, Cllr. Gongloe called on Liberians to be patient as the Supreme Court carries out litigation into the 10-year residency clause.

According to Cllr. Gongloe government has three distinct branches which has separate powers and if matter does arise from two of the branches the matter rests with the Supreme Court to find an amicable solution as the court is noted for peace and not to ferment conflict.

Conduct of the elections

Still on the pending elections, the human rights lawyer said  that the 2011 elections was very interesting because this is the first time in more than 50 years in the country’s history for a sitting  president to compete in a highly competitive election  and has the opportunity to maintain the presidential seat.

Again, the human rights lawyer said the election is also interesting because this will be the first time in the country that if the sitting president loses the election there will be a new person to replace her as was the case of former president William V.S. Tubman in 1943.

On the issue of the election being rigged as been speculated in certain quarters, Cllr. Gongloe said there is no possibility for rigging the election because the commissioners are men and women of integrity who have history for fighting for a better Liberia.

He said those on the election don’t want to go down in the history of Lafayette Harmon 1927 who conducted an election where there was less voters than the results he announced for Charles C.D. King to win the election to become president.

Also on the issue of free fair and transparent elections, Cllr. Gongloe reiterated that members of the election commission don’t want to go down in the history like Emmett Harmon who conducted a questionable election.

Monkey Slogan

On the issue of the slogan of the Unity Party in the upcoming elections, ‘let baboon wait small monkey is still working’, the human rights lawyer said he doesn’t want to get involved with interpreting slogans but Liberians are against negative slogans because it has the propensity to negatively impact the polls.

Nmah’s Suspension

Commenting on the indefinite suspension of Liberia Broadcasting System Director-General Ambrose Nmah for airing the press conference of the opposition party, the Congress for Democratic Change CDC, Cllr. Gongloe said he doesn’t want to hear the reason given for that suspension and there should be other reasons than the one being provided.

However, Cllr Tiawon Gongloe admonished Liberians that as they go to the polls to not think of what they will get from the winner but the future and stability of the country. He promised that come January of next year when a new government is seated, he will ensure through the legislation that criminal malevolence law against the press is repealed.

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


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