Blama G. Konuwah | Globe Afrique |
ONTARIO, Canada – Groups of Liberians in the Diaspora have begun initiating a drive urging the U.S. Government, especially the U.S. Congress, to halt or reduce all aid to Liberia unless Liberian lawmakers, justices and members of the judiciary, and heads of agencies in the Executive branch of government reduce their salaries and benefits at $3,000 or less across the board.
According to some organizers of the pending action who prefer anonymity at this time, the ongoing breakdown of law and order, widespread corruption, and the open theft of public funds in the country have drawn serious attention to the suffering of the Liberian people and indeed portrays the political, social and economic decline of Liberia.
“The situation in the country has recently propelled dozens of Liberians in the diaspora to initiate a drive aimed at petitioning the White House and the U.S. Congress to halt all U.S. government foreign aid to Liberia unless the country’s lawmakers and members of the judiciary reduce their salaries and benefits to $3,000 or less a month. These people need to get paid based on the economic realities in the country,” said the principal organizers in a statement to Globe Afrique.
“Liberia is unique in a lot of ways, but one of those ways is very striking: Liberia has, by far, the most corrupt legislature and the most compromised and ethically incompetent judiciary in the world. Besides, the lawmakers of Liberia and the officials of the country’s judiciary, especially the justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, earn amongst the highest salaries of any poor, aid-dependent, and third world nation,” the organizers’ statement read.
According to the organizers, the current Chief Justice and the justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia earn between $15,000 to $20,000 United States dollars in salaries and benefits, including allowances for rent for their homes – homes which they own, free vehicles, security guards, cell phones, and vacation allowances.