Monday, 23 October 2023 14:10

In Bomi County, Citizens Encouraged To Utilize New Mobile App To Report Corruption  Featured

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In Bomi County, Citizens Encouraged To Utilize New Mobile App To Report Corruption  

By: Mark W. Boahndao

In the ongoing battle against corruption, a significant roadblock that often hinders progress is the pervasive fear of retaliation. In some instances, whistleblowers, some of whom are public servants, who dare to expose corrupt practices often find themselves in precarious situations threatening their livelihood and safety. This culture of fear undermines the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts in multiple ways—silencing the whistleblower, impeding transparency, et cetera.

To reduce the risk of exposure for whistleblowers and improve citizens' confidence to report corruption without revealing their identities, the Anti-Corruption Innovation Initiative project is encouraging citizens to make use of a mobile application ‘TALKAY’ developed to report corruption. To implement the project, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) is working in partnership with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Integrity Watch Liberia, and Accountability Lab Liberia with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

On the 29th of September 2023, the one-day dialogue held at the multipurpose building in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, citizens were not only introduced to the app, including issues arising therefrom but were provided insights into the anti-corruption laws as well as an election reference guide developed by CENTAL.

IMG 3150 Small“Corruption is difficult to report. When we report happenings of corruption, limited action is taken. In the end, we will remain the victim of it. How can we report?” – Miatta A. Kanneh, a marketer pointed out stoutly. Thankfully, the LACC graced the occasion and afforded citizens the express burning concerns. Making a presentation, Cllr. Jerry D.K. Garlawolu, Chief Prosecutor of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) succinctly explained the mandate and functions of the LACC as a lead anti-graft institution in Liberia. He further emphasized the relevance and advantages of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Acts. His presentation opened the minds of the participants to the workings of LACC and the different laws that exist to discourage them from hiding acts of corruption when it is visible.

IMG 3229 Small“We will try to report, but actions must be taken to serve as a deterrent for people who want to get involved with corruption” – Saamo Peters, a member of the disabled community. Continuous reporting of corruption is a crucial tool in the fight against this pervasive issue. When citizens witness corruption daily but are afraid to report it due to potential negative outcomes, it perpetuates a culture of impunity and allows corruption to thrive. However, optimism is high that making maximum use of technology will thrive in the war against corruption.

The one-day dialogue which brought over forty (40) citizens including heads of women's groups, religious heads, county officials, youth, and persons with disabilities representatives stimulated provocative talks and reemphasized the usage of the Talkay mobile app and other mediums of reporting. This gathering espoused the need for more citizen engagement around the country. Additionally, with the elections at the heart-point of the discussions, citizens were encouraged to make use of a Decision-Making Reference Guide that was developed to guide citizens about ways to go about in the upcoming general and presidential elections. The guide among other things highlighted issue-based decisions citizens are to make and take into consideration when voting before and after elections. 

Read 1116 times Last modified on Monday, 23 October 2023 14:58


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