Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Liberia president to pay corruption whistle-blowers

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has issued a decree to pay and protect whistle-blowers as part of her campaign to tackle corruption.

Under the new measures, anyone giving information leading to money being recovered will get 5% of that sum.

And people who fear for their jobs after informing on their superiors will be given transfers if they wish.

A BBC reporter says the Anti-Corruption Commission does not have enough staff, so the public is being asked to help.

"This act will protect that person who blows the whistle," said acting Justice Minister Eva Morgan, who announced the new measures.

But she warned this would only apply if the whistle-blower was not acting out of "spite or revenge".

She admitted that the country did not have enough prosecutors or courts to deal with corruption.

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in the capital Monrovia says it is too early to tell whether the measure will really help in the fight against corruption, or turn out to be just another pronouncement.

He says some corrupt officials keep some of the money they steal to buy the silence of people threatening to inform on them.

Corruption was a major cause of the 1989-2003 civil war, from which Liberia is trying to recover.

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