Dr. Abraham Williams   

A Passionate Letter To His Excellency The President  – 66TH Edition: Tackling Corruption Head On From The Outset – The Pathway To African Economic And Prosperity And Stability

His Excellency,

I would like to commence this piece with the retort that the greatest stain of CORRUPTIOIN is that it damages all the sane and good fabric of a democratic, just, equal and progressive society and nation. As a matter of fact, political and economic corruption are the “cold war” visages of what I consider as artificial and avoidable poverty in Africa, the breakdown of the rule of law, insecurity, bad governance and rebellions. The biggest disservice of corruption is that it robs the majority of the various peoples of Africa of equal opportunities for personal and national advancement, as well as popular prosperity. And instead, it only enriches a very few handful of patronage leaders, their families, cronies and unscrupulous public servants.

With hind eyes I remember that there were times in several African countries when an Incorruptible Judiciary was the only saving grace and last resort for justice and democracy, when bad governance and “authoritarian democracy” became the hall mark of most of our African governments, just a decade or more after their respective political independence from colonial rule. In those glorious days, positive revolutionary student movements, media and apolitical activists defeated dictatorial governments in court and the militaries were relatively professional, neutral and patriotic. But unfortunately, it was not too long when the obnoxious and sinister head of RAMPANT CORRUPTION WITH IMPUNITY invaded our courts and military, manipulatively and systematically thrust in by our selfish and callous politicians. Since then, CORRUPTION HAS INCREASINGLY BECOME THE LONE HERCULEAN MONSTER in most of our African Nations and the greatest threat and undoing of our democracies – which I now consider BOGUS DEMOCRACY. As a matter of fact I would put forward that all of our systems, structures and values that have been thriving and growing are being compromised to corruption, in Liberia, where I live and in most of Africa.

I see corruption being continually massaged and intellectually excused by most of our callous and greedy politicians and their stooge loyalists. They say to tackle corruption and decisively foster accountability in public service and national governance would mean “bringing back war.” I think this is the reverse. Even though I agree that corruption would always fight back and vigorously or intriguingly because for a very long while, corrupt leaders have been given more power and money, the truth is if those at the very helm of power muster the executive political will and place the right “army” in public sector leadership, in all three arms of government, the very few handful of people that greatly benefit from this killer of the masses and nation can be put under control, for the good of the impoverished majority and nation.

What I think needs to be done from the outset is to strengthen the anti-graft and integrity institutions, make corruption a “non-bail able” crime (a crime against humanity,) and likewise put in place an “Exclusive Fast Track Court Against Corruption.” Then prosecute all immediate former government and public officials that would be indicted by the audit and anti-graft institutions without selection of personalities or undue target of same. And meanwhile, the presidency/executive should engage the legislators to legally entirely remove the “statute of limitation” against corrupt officials as fast as possible. So those found liable could be prosecuted too. 

Proceeds and assets that would be recovered from culpable accused persons would be put into the national coffers and/used for public purposes. Except corruption is tackled in such ways, clichés like “zero tolerance towards corruption” would remain mere political clichés and governmental deception. And this would unfortunately mean institutionalizing corruption, while remaining in this vicious syndrome of avoidable poverty and gross underdevelopment. This would further lead to rampant and heartless unchecked stealing and misuse of public funds, resources and amenities, from both domestic and international revenues.

As a result, this will cause popular displeasure, frustration, demonstrations, instability and insecurity that would inadvertently move us towards civil disobedience, industrial actions, undesirable military coups and civil unrests or rebel wars that can be avoided by just decisively following democratic principles and provisions and the rule of law, without regard to persons or leaving “sacred cows to deify.” 

In conclusion, I would say that if our governments and the generality of the people handle this herculean monster of corruption decisively and sustainably, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and all of Africa would soon graduate from being “donor driven to donor countries in the earliest foreseeable future.” As I can categorically say that Africa has enough and “over plus” resources to rid us from poverty and quickly transform us into prosperity and unlimited opportunities, currently experienced by Westerners and a few countries in Africa that are resolutely fighting and controlling corruption. Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa are among countries in Africa that are making headway as a result of controlling corruption and fostering good governance – visibly it can be done!

Best Regards, 

Rev. Dr. Abraham Williams

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