Politics 

SARNOR: “PRESIDENT WEAH IS INSINCERE TO FIGHT CORRUPTION IN LIBERIA”

By Socrates S. Saywon Monrovia – A former member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has expressed his disappointment in the Weah-led administration especially in the fight against corruption – and because of that, he says he has no confidence in Mr. Weah’s leadership.

“President Weah has failed the entire country…”    

Mr. Archie I. Sarnor, a former representative candidate in District 16 in Monstserrado County and a human rights advocate, said Weah’s stance against public officials who are allegedly accused of corruption is weak, adding the President has to show political will, have public officials allegedly accused of corruption be suspended and immediately forward to Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Smart News Liberia on Thursday, August 2, in Monrovia, Sarnor said the corruption saga at the National Port Authority/ Buchanan Port, a situation which has caught the attention of Liberians, wondering what is the President’s stance against the Managing Director of NPA – and why the President has not suspended Mr. Bill Twehway who has been accused by the suspended Buchanan Port Manager Charles MacArthur Gull of allegedly withdrawing US$1.5 million from the Buchanan Port account.

Mr. Gull in a dispatch from the United States of America alleged Twehway has allegedly withdrawn US$1.5 million from the Buchanan Port account under the title ‘Special Order’ and made away with the money without any written communication from the Port of Buchanan account department, an allegation Sarnor sees against MD Twehway as grave which should immediately draw the President’s attention for quick action.

According to the vocal rights advocate, in Weah’s administration, there are many clandestine operations being carried by some of Weah’s ministers and directors, who he said are close confidants to President Weah; and they’re using their closest to the President to steal government monies and also steal from international investors…

“The entire NPA needs to be audited. Corruption is at a higher peak at the NPA. And if Mr. Weah is sincere to fight corruption at the Port, Bill Twehway should be the first in line send to the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to be investigated…”, Sarnor stressed during the interview.

He alleged money entering the country lands into pockets of some government officials who he considered as corrupt, and because of that, according to him, Liberia’s development is not going anywhere – saying the stealing of public money, has affected hospitals, schools, roads, and other meaningful ventures that are marked for development.

The former CDC member further indicated that some of Weah’s ministers are eager to gain wealth through corruption which makes the country’s interest less important to them – and also difficult for ordinary Liberians to benefit from what is generated from the county’s revenues through development.

He cautions President Weah to seriously take into consideration if he wants the fight against corruption to succeed, President Weah should muster the political will and prosecutes, through the LACC those ministers deemed corrupt, and not intervene in any corruption cases, highlighting the corruption allegation involving the suspended Coordinator of Presidential Special Projects, Madam Makenneh L. Keita.

Madam Keita is under investigation through the office of the President’s Legal Adviser, Cllr. Archibald F. Bernard for allegedly soliciting a US$5 million bribe from two South African investors who were in the country seeking an opportunity to explore a possible investment in the mining, agriculture, and petroleum sectors.

And Sarnor sees the investigative panel set up by the as totally wrong saying that President should have sent Madam Keita to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the institution that has legal authorization to investigate corruption matters and not his Legal Adviser. 

“There are big hands involved in the $5 million bribery saga of which the President doesn’t want Liberians to hear the truth, that is why he set up a committee through his Legal Adviser’s office to compromise Madam Keita’s investigation.

“Some big hands in the government may have told Madam Keita to demand that amount from the investors…,” the vocal rights advocate stressed.

“President Weah has placed himself into a difficult situation for the 2023 general and presidential elections because his weak stance against corruption will seriously be notified;  voters will judge him…,” Sarnor indicated.

He then recounted his days with CDC in opposition saying he and Mr. Weah together with other CDCians, took then Ellen’s government to task, voicing against what they saw then as Ellen’s failure to prosecute her ministers including her son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf for corruption including misrepresentation of the presidency.

“We promised Liberians then when George Weah takes over as president, corruption will have no space in his administration, with the, promised also Ellen and those ministers deemed corrupt including her Rob Sirleaf will be prosecuted for alleged corruption. But regrettably, what we fought against during Ellen’s administration has tripled in Mr. Weah’s administration. Corruption has become favorable…,” the former CDC stalwart narrated.

Touching on corruption saga surrounding the LACC vice-chair, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gala for his involvement in the corruption saga at the NPA, Sarnor indicated Kanio’s investigation will produce no results judging from the past accusations and counter-accusations of corruption involving Kanio early this year with the then Executive Director, Atty. Mohammed Fahnbulleh which had LACC’s internal investigation into the matter cited only ‘administrative lapses’ regarding the Vice Chair’s transactions and fell short of concluding that corruption had occurred.

Sarnor then concluded, calling on the President to appoint serious-minded Liberians in his administration, and avoid appointing too many friends, who are not sincere to the country and to him…  Photo credit: Smart News Liberia

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