Wednesday, 25 October 2023 09:38

LACC Joins CENTAL to Increase Knowledge Around Laws and Reporting Mechanisms in Nimba Featured

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LACC Joins CENTAL to Increase Knowledge Around Laws and Reporting Mechanisms in Nimba _By Edward Blamo

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL)  have joined forces in engaging citizens around key components of the country’s anti-corruption framework. The effort proved helpful as citizens had the opportunity to directly engage with the LACC over concerns they have harbored. On October 6, 2023, a forum was held in Sanniquellie, Nimba County bringing together over 50 participants.

Gerald

“We are here to talk about corruption. But most importantly, we are here to talk about the new ‘TALKAY’ platform and its effectiveness”, said Atty. Gerald D. Yeakula, Program Manager of CENTAL, gave an overview at the forum. The first two sessions of the day focused on the TALKAY platform for reporting corruption. Developed with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the mobile application called ‘TALKAY’ provides the public the platform to report corruption allegations from anywhere without disclosing their identities. The strategy allows the use of the mobile app and website to file complaints of corruption by attaching multiple files (video, audio, document, with an option to remain anonymous or not.

Lincoln 2023

Lincoln J. Monbo of the Liberia Anti–Corruption Commission (LACC) informed participants that, so far, about 136 cases have been received through the TALKAY platform. Of these cases, he noted, bribery and molestation accounted for 49 and 30 respectively. He assured participants that the cases will be investigated. He encouraged the participants to report through the platform. All reports submitted using either the web app, mobile app, or SMS, he said will go to large-screen dashboards at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in real-time. The LACC then investigates the report and takes appropriate action. Once actions are taken, the system updates based on the action taken, and those filling reports can track the status of their report using their unique ID numbers issued when they submit their reports.

For his part, Cllr. Jerry D. K Garlawolo, LACC’s Chief Prosecutor, used the forum to give citizens insight into the new LACC law and how it will help the fight against corruption. “Now the investigators have police power. We can now go to court without the Ministry of Justice as was done in the past”, he stressed. Many believe that introducing this strategy is significant, especially when Liberia has reached its all-time low on the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International, scoring 26 out of 100. 

Sharing experiences with corruption,  Jerry Myers, a member of the joint security explained a scenario where ‘arrest fees’ requested by a police officer at the station in Sanniquellie was refunded to the victim following his intervention. For her part, student Luise Tweh explained that a teacher in her school intentionally removed her name from those to sit the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) because he did not favor her. But when she engaged the school authority and the District Education Officer (DEO), the issue was resolved and her name was returned to the roster. “Corruption impedes development”, Rev. Joe G. Wallace, a prominent clergyman reckons. To back his assertion, he referenced a book in the bible specifically Exodus Chapter 20 verses 15 which he said spoke strongly against corruption.

Meanwhile, Nelson Yador, a prominent Civil Society (CSO) actor in Nimba was quick to commend CENTAL for its efforts in fighting corruption in the county over the years. “CENTAL is always here to teach us about ways to fight corruption. And we are extremely grateful to you”, he stated.  

Like many other counties, Nimba, still reeling from a fourteen-year civil war that ended in 2003, still faces the challenge of social exclusion, poverty, and underdevelopment, all of which are byproducts of corruption and bad governance. About 90 percent of people surveyed in the 2022 State of Corruption Report released by CENTAL, think that the level of corruption in Liberia is high. But despite these, a new strategy to utilize the use of technology to nip the scourge of corruption in the bud is gaining steam in Nimba County. 

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Tubman Boulevard
Monrovia, Liberia
Phone: +231 88 681 8855
Email: info@cental.org.lr
Website: www.cental.org.lr 

 

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