President Julius Maada Bio has shed light on corruption allegations levied against his government by the Africanist Press during an interview with CNN’s Zain Asher, on his advances to root out corruption in the country.
At some stage of the interview, the CNN anchor highlighted corruption claims relating to misuse of public funds earlier levied on his erstwhile Chief Minister, David Francis, now Foreign Minister and First Lady, Fatima Bio, by the Africanist Press.
In his response, President Bio said, “It is easy to accuse or make allegation that any member of my family or the government is corrupt. We have a system. We have to prove the allegation by producing evidence but without that it is a baseless accusation.”
He said whenever there is any claim on corruption, the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission is free to come in and investigate and where there is an evidence of wrongdoing on money related to the States, government, he said, will take action.
He further said if proven by the Commission or a court of law, there are different forms of punishment, which he said, includes but not limited to repayment of swindled monies.
President Bio said when he took over power, corruption was endemic, fashionable and a way of life for corrupt public officials and that he said was evident as the country’s control on corruption index was about 47%.
He said today, the country’s control on corruption index is 80% and that he said was achieved through stringent measures instituted by his government in the fight against corruption. “For the past 3 years, we are making progress every year in combating corruption because we have made is very risky, difficult and not fashionable anymore,” president Bio said. He said with the use of the Anti-Corruption Commission, his government has recovered quite a lot of money from those found wanting of misusing public funds.