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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Liberia local chiefs tackle Weah on corruption and impunity

A group of Liberian traditional chiefs and elders has called on President George Weah to set up a war and economic crimes court to tackle growing impunity in the country.

The chiefs, in a joint statement, expressed concerns over the handling of public funds since Mr Weah assumed the presidency last year.

This includes $104m (£84m) in newly printed local banknotes and $25m (£20m) withdrawn from the national reserve for infusion into the economy. The government has yet to account for these.

“The country is shaking because the government refuses to clear our doubts over how the monies were used,” the elders’ statement said.

The chiefs told President Weah “efforts and corrective measures being put in place by the government appears not to be having the desired effect.”

They also cited concerns from the country’s international partners who have referred to the “worsening situation” in the country.

They further hit out at the judiciary: “We don’t need a rocket scientist to tell us we are running into problems”, saying “money [is] running the courtrooms”.

In his response, President Weah said he will read through the document before coming up with official comment at a later date.

However, President Weah said there were clauses in the petition that are not in the right direction, but were only based on gossips.

These portion according to the Liberian leader will not be accepted but other in good fate will be considered.

“You listen to the Internal Affairs Minister, he said there was no mandate to dismiss anyone. I’m sure besides that line, there were other lines that were not in place, but we will sit and look at it.

Everything here that is good for our country, we will make sure we adapt them and those things that are not good are just mere gossips and will be out of them,” President Weah asserted.

As a former Peace Ambassador of Liberia, President Weah said his work is centered on peace and without peace, such work will be difficult.

“I hold nothing against anyone. I have an opportunity to serve as a leader of this country, I want to do my best, and I want to perform.

“All of the allegations that are levied are not my focus, my focus is to make sure that the economy of this country grows and the people succeed.

“I listen to the reader of this document, what is in this document and everything stated, I don’t want to make comment to that because I think, what we seek for is for this country to be peaceful and move forward,” President Weah concluded.

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