Editorial: The US Closely Following Corruption In Liberia

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THE UNITED STATES is closely following corruption activities in Liberia, and so political observers believe that the beginning of the corruption troubles of the government of President George Weah with the United States of America has arrived. On Thursday, September 10, 2020, the US Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, announced the public designation of the former Director of Passport and Visas at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrew Wonplo, due to his involvement in significant corruption when he served the passport bureau.

SENIOR OFFICIALS OF the George Manneh Weah administration have over the years been accused of economic crimes and crimes against humanity. A few months after President Weah was inducted into office as President, he demolished his home on 9th Street and began to reconstruct a villa on the premises, which seemed awkward in the face of a stricken economy with a people living below US$1 a day. A few months later, the National Legislature allocated US$1 million in the 2018/2019 fiscal budget for the First Lady, Clar Weah, and hugely cut the allocation of the little token regularly placed there for the Liberia National Student Union (LINSU), Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), the Group of 77 and other democratic actors.

IN THE SAME year, the Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Tamba Koijee, was accused of brutalizing members of the opposition when the CDC Youth League went to campaign in district #13 during the by-election held after Senator Saah Joseph was elected to the Liberian Senate.

BY THE LAST quarter of the year, the allegation of missing L$16 billion added to President Weah’s woes, which is still considered the biggest corruption scandal in Liberia in recent times. The following year was marred by inadequate funding to pay civil servants’ salaries, demonstrations, counter-demonstrations, alleged assassinations and so on. Many wondered what was the official stance of the nation’s traditional friend and ally, but the US apparently was watching the unfolding from the hilltop of Mamba Point.

NOW THAT PRESIDENT Trump has announced a corruption fighter to be the replacement of former US Ambassador, Christine Elder, it is being speculated that the American government is ready to go after the corrupt officials of its traditional ally nation. The appointment of the new US Ambassador, Michael A. McCarthy, seems like the first step towards the endeavor, as the Ambassador-Designate McCarthy, a seasoned diplomat with cordial ties with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has told the Trump administration that he is prepared to help minimize, if not curb, corruption in Liberia. The statement of the ambassador-designate cannot be underestimated given Trump administration’s stance against corruption and crimes against humanity. 

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