LIBERIA: For Outgoing Political Appointees No $1 Or $200,000 Severance Packages and Bonuses …Ex-AG Morlu emphasizes
Liberia’s former Auditor General, John Sembe Morlu II, has emphasized that there will be no approval for exorbitant severance packages, such as $200,000 and $150,000 for outgoing officials.
According to Mr. Morlu, the outgoing officials should consider this as a forewarning.
‘‘Officials working at the will and pleasure of the president, whether directly or through failed Board of Directors or Board of Commissioners schemes, will not receive severance. Appointments to leadership positions in public agencies and commissions were driven by political considerations, not civil service criteria, and the same applies to Board of Directors,’’ Mr. Morlu, in a statement, pointed out.
‘’Importantly, any severance paid will not burden Liberian taxpayers. Those responsible, including receivers and Board of Directors/Commissioners, will be sub charged. The Joe Boakai administration is resolute in demanding the repayment of severance funds granted to officials appointed based solely on political connections,’’ Mr. Morlu, who is regarded as anti-corruption czar, asserted.
The former AG mentioned that, ‘‘we have already communicated with several Board Chairs this morning, cautioning them against approving these substantial severance packages per individual. We urgently call upon the Auditor General, GAC, and Director General of the Internal Audit Agency to dispatch auditors to all independent agencies, commissions, and state-owned enterprises. This is a legal and statutory obligation to safeguard Liberia’s resources, especially during this transitional period.’’
He said commendations are due to the Internal Audit Agency for halting millions in bogus payments.
‘‘The Auditor General and the GAC must now remain vigilant, leveraging their manpower to prevent the misappropriation of public funds under the guise of severance packages and bonuses.
Our watchful eyes are on every operation within the entire Government of Liberia(GoL). Gratitude goes to ordinary, hardworking Liberians fighting within the government to halt fraudulent activities and alerting us to potential issues,’’ he stated.
‘‘Today, many Liberians, previously sidelined, are emboldened to fight for the well-being of their country. This fight extends beyond Joe Boakai; it is now the Liberian people’s battle against corruption. Their collective voice during the campaign, expressing being tired oh, is now translated into action, taking the fight directly to the corrupt,’’ Mr. Morlu accentuated.
‘‘GAC, LACC, IIA, and PPCC must act promptly, especially at NOCAL and NPA. A substantial call is resonating to form a “Citizen Coalition” in collaboration with the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia to eradicate corruption. Some are restructuring institutions like LIPI, while others are establishing Think Tanks to enhance accountability and combat corruption. Civil society and the media are actively joining this multifaceted fight—it is not the effort of one individual,’’ Mr. Morlu intimated.
He averred that the pervasive weariness of Liberians due to poverty induced by corruption is evident, saying the most significant battle lies between now and January 22, as ‘‘we strive to curb further corruption in the Weah’s Government and weed out those tarnishing the reputation of Joe Boakai. Outgoing and incoming officials are under scrutiny and surveillance.’’
‘‘Joe Boakai is aware that concerted efforts are underway to protect his legacy. Join the fight by sharing information and keeping a vigilant eye on every corner of Liberia. Together, we can make a lasting impact in the fight against corruption,’’ he added in the statement.