By Dr. Sakui W. G. Malakpa
No doubt, corruption remains a virulent enemy of the Liberian state. Lamentably, it is only getting worse with no end in sight. Thus, any effort to attack and possibly minimize corruption is a welcome gesture. However, to win, an attacker must fight on several grounds, not the least of which are cause, moral and ethical conviction/standing, integrity, and indefatigable determination. In the absence of any of these and similar ingredients for a just and fierce fight detracts from the cause and calls into question, the attacker’s motives. It is in this light that one wonders about the September 16, 2020, National Anti-Corruption Conference.
In brief, the conference and its organizers aptly called for not only minimizing or preferably eliminating corruption but also pursuing people who have robbed the country of its meager resources. It was said government needed to ensure that these people’s booties were returned in addition to prosecuting them. Indeed, this is a major step toward addressing corruption but how do people making these pronouncements respond to charges of corruption levied against them. Of course, denial is the usual trend in such action but were they to be found guilty, will they return their stolen assets? Will they return to the Liberian people their mighty edifices? Anything short of that will render the conference another evidence of mockery, deception, hypocrisy, and an exercise in futility.
The integrity and validity of the conference are further called to question in light of its chairman. In the same way, a hen does not ask a hawk to look after her chicks, an anti-corruption conference must not be chaired by a product of corruption, a man disgraced and debarred. Thus, the chairmanship of the conference implicitly and explicitly showed the government’s unwillingness to tackle corruption seriously. In short, then, the conference was another display of outward show, an opportunity to waste taxpayers’ money, and a chance to fill the airwaves with muddle-headed sloganeering.
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