The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has suspended her own son Charles from the post of central bank deputy governor for failing to declare his assets to the government's anti-corruption watchdog, her office said.
Ever since the end of its 14-year civil war in 2003, Liberia has enacted a series of reforms to tackle a deeply-entrenched culture of corruption in the government.
On Monday, President Sirleaf, who has vowed to fight corruption, suspended 46 government officials who failed to declare their assets within 14 days of their appointments.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the suspension will remain in force until Sirleaf receives confirmation from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission that they have met the Assets Declaration requirements.
In addition, before being reinstated, the suspended officials will be required to pay into government revenues an amount representing the value of their salaries and allowances for the period of suspension.
Sirleaf, who was the first elected female president in Africa, was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to bring an end to the Liberian Civil War. She was first elected president in 2006, and then successfully gained re-election in 2011.
During her first-term inauguration, Sirleaf declared corruption as "public enemy number one," and vowed her commitment to a clean civil service. For her fierce devotion, the 72-year-old woman has been bestowed with the nickname "Liberia's Iron Lady."
Corruption has been endemic and permeated all sectors of society in Liberia, a country endowed with a rich mineral wealth, but which has suffered from a long period of ethnic divisions.
Nevertheless, the country has seen a significant reduction in corruption ever since Sirleaf took office.
Among other things, she ensured the independence of the General Auditing Commission, supported the establishment of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, promoted transparent financial management, public procurement and budget processes, and assured Liberia's compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a group that advocates for disclosing payments made to foreign governments by oil, gas and mining companies.
The Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perception Index ranked Liberia #91 out of the 183 countries and territories assessed, with a score of 3.2 on a 0-10 scale (0 being highly corrupt and 10 being very clean).
This was an improvement from the 2005 index, which placed Liberia at #137 out of the 158 countries and territories with a score of 2.2.
Sirleaf's stance on corruption apparently cannot be compromised, and it is evident from Monday's mass suspension that she will continue her fight adamantly against such malfeasance.
Although Liberia still performs significantly below world and regional averages in many areas of governance, its improvement in the past few years is notable. The effective legal anti-corruption framework forces officials to be accountable and transparent in handling their own assets.