Some of the Corrupt Liberian Lawmakers
By Josephus Moses Gray
July 3, 2004
The reports of corruption within the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) headed by Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant is said to be rocking every sectors of the Liberian society, with the first Branch of Government being no exception.
In the wake of mounting public concern about the level at which corruption is thriving in the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA), the body has taken some major steps to expose members who are involved in the act of corruption.
Besides the public, some employees of the First Branch of Government have in recent time filed a complaint to the NTLA Plenary-the highest decision making body of the House on grounds that certain lawmakers were in the habit of pocketing their employee’s monthly salaries and benefits, while some of the employees were on a daily basis being dismissed and replaced with family members of lawmakers.
It was against this background that the Plenary body constituted a Special Ad Hoc Investigating Committee headed by Montserrado Lawmaker, Julius Parker, former Superintendent of Montserrado county under the Charles Taylor administration to investigate the employees’ complaints of corruption by certain lawmakers and recommend appropriate action to deter the reoccurrence of the situation.
Though Mr. Parker is being accused of being a high school degenerate, on July 1st, the his committee released its report at the Chamber conducted in camera, with four lawmakers pinpointed for corrupt practices, ranging from pocketing employees monthly salary to illegal dismissals.
The lawmakers involved in this malpractices and corrupt attitudes include Representatives J. Tarty Tipayson of the People’s Democratic Party of Liberia (PDPL), which Dr. George Toe-Washington heads as its Standard-Bearer. Lawmaker Tipayson recently accused Chairman Bryant of being corrupt while his party-PDPL also took Charles Bennie to task for exposing corruption in government.
Others are Edward Kpulun of LURD, Madam Merriam Jaleiba of LURD, Bangalay Sirleaf also from LURD. But political observers believe that the Parker Committee needs to do more as there are more corrupt men and women in the House who need to be exposed. They noted the failure of the committee to speak on the 74 luxury vehicles purchased recently for over US$2,000,000.00 for the lawmakers.