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Liberia: The Nexus Between Culture and Corruption – Liberia’s Burden

Picture: AllAfrica

Aba Hamilton Dolo, Probably The Most commissioners of Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Fee.


As Liberians go with new leaders, our nation is confronted with new windows of opportunities and challenges. The Sort Of challenges is the age-outdated downside of corruption. There had been countless articles, analysis and interventions aimed at addressing this vice. However, it continues to plague the nation unabated. On This article, I are seeking to shed light on some elements of our practiced Tradition and their causal hyperlink to the difficult battle towards corruption.

Corruption has its roots within the Latin phrases “corruptus”, this means that “spoiled” and “corrumpere”-to destroy or break into items. Hence, it’s logical to conclude that nothing derived from corruption can ever be right; neither for the perpetrators nor the victims. Therefore, corruption is a complicated problem, and any attempt to handle it simplistically best undermines such effort.

A vital analysis of some key options of any society finds the propensity for corruption to flourish. Basically, corruption flourishes more readily in explicit institutional, political, and cultural settings, where just right governance is weak; where govt’s role within the economic system is huge; the place civil servants are underneath-paid and poorly skilled; the place the non-public sector is small and exploitative, and where the rules of engagement are ambiguous. The Liberian society is reflective of one of the vital features as mentioned past, which emboldens corruption as a formidable nemesis.

There are ceaselessly two types of cultures in many societies; “As Is” which refers to cultural practices and “Should Be” denotes cultural values. With the growth of the global village and the introduction of a seamless world, cultural practices seem to dominate cultural values in lots of instances. Liberia is not any exception to this new phenomenon. To understand the historicity of corruption in a society, one should study the beginning of explicit unlawful practices. As a consequence, one can’t have in mind the entrenchment of corruption in Liberia, without analyzing the historical progressions of quite a lot of sorts of transactions which are at present thought to be corrupt, however their precursors are engrained in our Culture. Even Supposing these practices may be formally outlawed, They Are still regarded as morally ideal Via large numbers of individuals in some situations.

Sooner Than the emergence of western kinds of governance, the acquisition of political energy and social status were predominantly attained thru ‘patronage.’ The implied social contract was once an expectation that just a few folks regulate the resources and energy and in return redistribute wealth to their domestic and kin. Subsequently, political and standard leaders ran our society without accountability to the people, whereas the folks revered them. That explains why we justify the actions of thieves who steal and make investments their stolen tools in Liberia, whereas we abhor those who abscond with their in poor health-gotten wealth to other international locations. In our minds, one workforce of thieves, whom we benefit from, is justified as a result of forever the instruments will trigger right down to us in one type or another, whereas we condemn the other crew as individuals on a mission to “get-take hold of-go.”


One Of The Crucial influential ‘push/ pull’ elements of corruption is ‘impunity.’ Impunity breeds fertile grounds for the encroachment of corruption. Corruption takes place typically for economic advantages. Therefore, the quantity of corruption is determined by monetary calculations Via the parties concerned in the corrupt task, and the chances for impunity. If folks thought that they might be punished and no longer benefit from their crime, the inducement for being corrupt is substantially minimized. Subsequently, the straightforward calculation for the enticement of corruption is; the advantage minus the honesty value minus the chance of being caught occasions the expected punishment is larger than zero.

Regrettably, our society is beleaguered with “impunity.” I surmise from my layman standpoint that the prevalence of impunity can partly be blamed on the restorative type of justice which is inherent in Tradition values. In time past, and even now in a few of our present realities, circumstances had been deliberated By Using the ‘elders’, who in most cases saw more worth in ‘harmonizing’ issues between the perpetrator and the victim than punishment for the perpetrator. Despite The Fact That we now apply prison-rational authority, our cultural nuisances nonetheless affect our justice system.

To further strengthen the ferocity of impunity in our society, we sidestep accountability with clichés and excuses. For Example, if an individual is booked for corruption or different vices, the group, spiritual leaders, conventional leaders and our elders interfere with the felony process, Through promulgating impunity via more than a few interventions: “We’re all one’; “go away it to God,” “don’t take bread from an individual’s mouth”, and many others. In Accordance With the level of approval of impunity amongst us, the fight towards corruption is still a daunting activity.
Swimming on Land

The term “corruption” signifies a departure from commonplace requirements and practices; consequently, everybody knows that committing acts of corruption is mistaken. Alternatively, when nefarious transactions turn out to be commonplace over a protracted length, and folks don’t conceal them, such behavior permeates the society and socializes its acceptance. To That End, it’s understandable why We’re tolerant of corruption even why it threatens our existence as a nation. Many good Liberians need to do the fitting thing and do not wish to be part of the corrupt syndicate. However, the practice of corruption and its acceptance have turn into cancerous in our society.

The “every person is doing it” mentality is a perfect conduit for the rapid spread of corruption and different social vices. We’re social beings, and Subsequently are adaptive to our surroundings. The more the integrity team watches others around them have interaction in corruption with out consequences, additionally they join the fray and fall prey to depravity. As A Result, corruption becomes more embedded and suited and transmutes our value gadget. There Is A kind of ‘mob psychology’ related to the practice of corruption in our nation. It Can Be the most important for us to continue to coach our folks that “incorrect is incorrect although all and sundry is doing it; right is right despite the fact that no one is doing it.”
Abused Lady Syndrome

Regrettably, the victims of our nationwide loot are the ones who hail monetary swindlers and financial scoundrels; whereas they malign individuals of integrity and categorize them as imbeciles. We celebrate in poor health-gotten wealth and consult with financial criminals as “sensible individuals.” We glorify the pillage of our instruments and stretch out our palms to receive the crumbs that fall from the tables of folks who rape us economically, socially and morally. Society no longer cares to know the Source of wealth, and despite the fact that we do, we turn a blind eye and open our palms to the beckoning of the kleptocrats.

When a former government professional or civil servant leaves place of business without building a fabulous dwelling or purchasing an exorbitantly priced automotive, we confer with them as ‘foolish.’ We Don’t care to know how so much that particular person earned all through his/her time of employment. We Think that they Must have got a certain quantity of wealth to care for a way of life, even at our private and the nation’s determent. This anticipation places power on the typical employee to take his share of what is termed, the ‘elephant meat’ and but really feel justified.

Integrity Crusaders

There are individuals in our society who dare the established order and stand for integrity, Despite the insurmountable challenges they face. We castigate and malign them as a result of they refuse to fall prey to the attitude of the “entrapment Culture.” They’re labeled as ‘hard to get together with’ ‘industry too arduous,’ ‘perfect omo’ ‘Jesus sister/brother’ and so forth. In such cases, these individuals remain outcast on the fringes of society and refuse to compromise By Means Of becoming a member of “industry as usual.” They Are socially excluded and are ceaselessly maltreated, threatened and remoted By Means Of others in an attempt to arm-twist them in becoming a member of ‘kokojumuko.’ I salute folks On This sphere who chew the bullet and do the appropriate thing in hope for a better Liberia. The extra a lot of these folks emerge on our nationwide scene, the extra integrity position fashions the nation could have, so we can ultimately problem the distance for corruption in our u . s . a ..

My Thoughts

In My Opinion, corruption continues to do more harm to the state than the 14-12 months civil war. It hovers over our nation, snatching hopes and abolishing dreams. It subdues politicians within the corridors of energy. It blights the loyalty of some activists and advocates and exams the unravel of people of integrity. It paralyzes the productive years of tens of millions of Younger women and men and dashes the aspirations of geniuses who lack the opportunity to receive quality training. I may go on ceaselessly describing the deadly results of corruption on the populace. However, for this audience, I’m Going To restrict my reflection to these few infractions.

Regardless Of these naysays, I wake up each day believing that Liberia is gaining ground within the struggle in opposition to corruption, howbeit incrementally. I envision Liberia to repeat the Rwanda’s story as a result of we now have extra people of integrity amongst us than crooks. As I behavior anti-corruption consciousness, I see the eyes of Young men and women remove darkness from, after we talk about the day corruption can have an obscured presence in our society. Young people, just like the groups “Scholar against Corruption” and “PPAYO” who shaped themselves into an army of anti-corruption crusaders, are evidence that the corruption virus which ravishes our society today will one day be relegated to the pages of history.

Finally, as we sign up for other nations around the globe in the anti-corruption fight, I’m hopeful that the incoming executive will commit to ensuring that the combat in opposition to corruption remains consistent and sturdy, Despite numerous challenges. We as a people must not ever surrender on wrestling with the adversary, corruption, until we regain our financial and social prowess.

Creator:  Abba Hamilton Dolo is one in all five participants of the  Liberia Anti-Corruption Fee. The views expressed are hers and don’t essentially reflect any legit position.

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