By Bai M. Gbala, Sr
|Charlie Brumskine with Charlie Taylor|
In an article on corruption, entitled, Anti-corruption Policy Speech (Analyst Liberia, May 12, 2027), “Small Brother” Charlie Brumskine, Counselor-at-Law, Political Leader of the LIBERTY Political Party and declared Candidate for President of Liberia, wrote what is an apparent LIBERTY Party’s major diagnostic policy prescription on “combating corruption”, the universal vice declared as “Liberia’s public enemy no. 1” by the nation’s current President.
That corruption had been rampant and is now roaring as Corruption, Incorporated, a Liberian socio-economic and political Mafia in control of the corridors of State power are not unexpected, given the prevailing “amnesty” of characteristic impunity to rebels and human rights violators.
The well-researched anti-corruption article and analysis traversed, almost, all of the critical, relevant issues of corruption, with impact of its incidence, related “consequences” and proposed anti-corruption policy actions to be taken when and if elected president. The article acknowledged “imperial presidency” in Liberia as a “form” of corruption. Indeed, we have argued, advised and recommended decades ago, and argue today, that imperial presidency is not only one of the major sources of corruption, but also, the only source from which all public policy impediments flow in Liberia, as we shall see later.
But detailed review of the LIBERTY Party’s proposed policy actions are, in fact, nothing but the Liberian political tradition of “business as usual, stay-the-course” of the century-old bag of “poli-tricks” that got Liberia to where it is today. For, the proposed policy actions are the worn-out election-time promises as:
a) “strengthening ministry of Justice; effective/efficient financial control and reporting; general auditing; avoid conflict of interest; control nepotism; merit-based civil service”; and the new, original ones – “dismantle imperial presidency” but by “Constitutional amendmentsto delete portions of”:
But as a lawyer, the Political Leader of LIBERTY Party knows that to achieve his identified objectives requires an in-depth plan of action of the critical issues of law. For example, there is rampant selective obedience-disobedience of law in which law-makers and lawyers are the major law-breakers; the pervasive, far-reaching issue of imperial, presidential power is a function of or derives from the 170-year old structure of government, the Unitary structure, defined and enshrined in the nation’s Constitution in 1847, rigidly centralized in a president and dispensed from far away Executive Mansion, Republic of Monrovia, Montserrado County.
To “dismantle imperial presidency” requires decentralization of power – administrative, economic and political – the very democratic requirement of the right to vote, the inalienable right that inheres to adult citizens by virtue of their citizenship, the instant case in point in our country, with superintendents, mayors and other county, public political officials appointed, while chiefs and others are limbo during the past 12 years.
Importantly, the Preamble to the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance clearly identified the Unitary Structure of Government as the major and only culprit of and obstacle to the century and half of socio-cultural, economic and political under-development of Liberia. But the Governance Commission, the public policy expert/advisor that crafted the Decentralization Policy, says that Liberia will remain the Unitary State.
Does the Leadership of LIBERTY have the “guts” and patriotic determination for reasonable, legal challenge for Change, given its boastful claim of “I am the most qualified”?
According to the Theory of Organizations, the structure, of any organization, defined by its Rules, Regulations, Bye-Laws and Constitutions, influences the performance behavior of individuals, the employees, in organization. The Liberian government is an organization; therefore, its employees, the “people in organization” had been and are so influenced. This had been, and is, Liberia’s major political problem – STRUCTURAL – not only the sitting President’s greed for power and wealth, as many believe.
Unless and until Liberia – the political parties, politicians and “politically-connected lawyers” – summon the “political will, courage and the guts” to replace the undemocratic system of the doctrine, Unitary Structure, all efforts made and are being made, designed to deliver needed public services efficiently, effectively, will fail and Liberia will remain the designated “failed state”, not the needed modern, functional State.
Finally, the test for believability of the “I am the most qualified” and any other such political statements, lie in the credibility of the proposed policy actions designed to address the following national problems: