Corruption: Citizens are Speaking Out; Is anyone listening? Featured

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By Mark Boahndao

Buchanan, April 12, 2023 – Corruption in Liberia is not a new problem; it has been present in the country for many years and continues to take on new forms. Its rampancy has become ingrained in the country's culture. Citizens continue to herald their voices about the culture of impunity where corruption is seen as acceptable and has become a norm in society. In the wake of this, there must be innovative and robust ways to tackle this menace — starting from the family to the Government.

In continuation of efforts to strengthen the fight against this national enemy – corruption, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) in partnership with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Integrity Watch Liberia, and the Accountability Lab Liberia with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has rekindled the awareness-raising around the use of technology as an innovation to report corruption and other mediums in Grand Bassa, Bomi, Bong, Nimba, and Montserrado counties.

The citizens of Grand Bassa County were awakened to the sound (music) of awareness about the TALKAY mobile app and website platform to file complaints or report corruption. Prior to street engagement, the media (local radio) was prioritized to adequately and simply disseminate this innovation of reporting corruption. Ordinarily, most citizens rely on the media to provide information and education. Using the media to increase citizens’ awareness and reportage about the act and other forms of corruption through an innovative approach has been at a pivotal point of the activities in the west central portion of Liberia — Buchanan.

As awareness-raising continues to intensify in the streets, schools, and communities, citizens continue to raise their voices proclaiming the adverse impacts of corruption and how it is gradually permeating society from the bottom to the top. Citizens are increasingly recognizing the importance of taking action against corruption and are raising their voices to demand accountability and transparency from their leaders. Despite the challenges, the fight against corruption is gaining momentum, and citizens' voices are becoming increasingly important in holding the government and its leaders accountable. By continuing to raise their voices and demand transparency and accountability, citizens can play a critical role in building a more just and equitable society.

“Corruption is being practiced by almost everyone.” Patience Dolo. As a marketer, she is alarmed about the prevalence of corruption among market women. Most of them including herself are involved in corrupt practices because the wholesalers of dry and perishable goods are cheaters. “The only way we can reduce corruption is to punish the big people. When we see their level of punishment, it will serve as deterrence for us not to get involved it in.” She added.

Love S. Flahnma, a student boldly lamented the leniency of the school administrators to take action against corrupt teachers. “If we continue to take less action against teachers, students will not be afraid to practice corruption”, She concluded.

According to the analytics of the TALKAY web platform [https://www.talkay.org/reportstatistics], sixty-three (63) complaints have been reported from twelve (12) counties since the intense outreach activities started two (2) months ago across Liberia. Rivercess is in the lead with 14 complaints and Grand Bassa holds the least with 2 complaints. Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh, Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, and Bomi falls below 10 complaints. For the project counties, Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Nimba and Bong counties have accumulated thirty-three (33) complaints so far. Most of the cases reported from these counties borders on the misuse of Government properties, misuse of public funds, bribery, and extortion. The percentage of reporting per gender is 21% male and female 16%. Cases investigated is at 5% while those under investigation is at 8% and allegation of corruption is at 87%.

As the team’s spirit continues in the awareness-raising around the country on the innovation of reporting corruption, Atty. Bendu Kpoto, CENTAL’s Legal Officer, and team members admonished citizens to vote wisely, especially by voting for those candidates based on their past track records taking into consideration transparency and accountability. And while citizens continue to express displeasure at corruption, the question lingers: Is anyone listening?

Read 4216 times Last modified on Tuesday, 02 May 2023 19:12

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Email: info@cental.org.lr
Website: www.cental.org.lr 

 

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