Politics

Liberians urged to uphold strong integrity

The chief of party of Digital Liberia E-Government Project is emphasizing here that if Liberia will be a better place, it means every citizen should be honest, trustworthy and sincere in whatever position he or she occupies in public service.


Madam RieLukowski spoke recently at the 5th ConsultativeMeeting of KvinnaTilKvinna or TK Liberia, urging Liberians to become standard bearers of building integrity, because it’s very significant to the rebuilding process of the country.She explains that the aim and objective of the meeting was to learn more about integrity, understanding the importance of being a person with integrity and how integrity is linked to unity and culture.

According to her, there’s no doubt that the women of Liberia, when they are united, could do more than just stopping the war, and bringing peace to Liberia, saying “As we are aware, more still needs to be done, especially in a society that is male dominant, and with a history that still hangs in some parts of the country that women should not have equal rights as compared to men. There is more work to do; meaning there’s more than enough reasons that women should gather and be more united than ever before.’’

“We can all do it but it’s a choice, take back your culture with strong values and keep pushing for a better result, we must become the change we want to see”, she continues.
Keynote speaker Madam Victoria Cooper-Enchia, stresses that building integrity is important to making a country peaceful, stable and sustainable.

The gathering, under the theme “Integrity-Link to the Unity of Women” was organized by Kvinna Till Kvinna (KTK), a Swedish based organization in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Gender Advisory Office.

Participants were drawn from urban and rural women, as well as representations from Community Based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and government agencies, NGOs, INGOs, marketers, Traditional Council, entrepreneurs and young women’s organizations, respectively.

Mrs. Enchia continues that in order to achieve integrity building, the rebuilding process across the society must be as intentional as building roads, hospitals, schools, churches, mosques and businesses.

“Rebuilding integrity must be as important as teaching children to read, write and count and training doctors, teachers, nurses, lawyers, electricians, and it must be intentional.”

“I was living in Ghana in 2003 when the women sat down, locked their arms together and refused to allow the Liberian leaders out of the room until they agreed to a peace settlement; This was unity, this was solidarity, and this was women united to save their country and their families and their future”, she notes.

She recalls that when Liberia went to the polls in 2005, women were again in the forefront and elected the first democratically-elected female President in Africa, noting that the life and death nature of civil conflict made unifying women easier, as war was the common enemy.

She stresses the need for solidarity and unity of women as more important now than before because this is fight for Liberia’s core, for the fabric of society, which holds a society together.

“The Government of Liberia acknowledged that the fabric of the Liberian society was devastated during the war. Implicit in that statement is that before the war there was a fabric of the society or a set of core values. Maybe these core values can be rewoven, but it will take commitment and focus,” she points out.

She says the country may not be at physical war anymore; however, the situation remains critical, adding that although it looks different and the challenges are spoken of in hushed tones and not from megaphones, “We have a major problem at the core with integrity.”

By Lewis S.Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

23 sent to court in Maryland

Police in Maryland County have arrested and forwarded to the Harper Magisterial court 23 suspects in connection with a recent violence land dispute in the county that left property worth US$51,663.00 destroyed.


Those arrested in connection with the arson attack are: Dweh Bloh, Ylea Saba, Yeaba Saba, Emmanuel Akoko, Ghana Tiah, Yeabo Mle Sieh, NimelyYuah, Godfred Merriam, and Gba Mle Nyema. Others include, Doe Sunday, Eric Wilson, Yuah Howard, Weleh Yuah, Dweh Nyema, Hodo Himmie, Newyueah Howard, Gabriel Howard, Klabo Howard, SidaHne, Hodo Hysenon, and Tartu Clark.

They are currently reminded at the Harper Central Prison, awaiting court trial on charges ranging from Arson, Robbery, Armed Robbery, and Theft of Property to Riot, Criminal Trespass, Criminal Mischief, and Criminal Conspiracy, respectively.

The act by the alleged defendants contravenes Section 15.1, 15.30, 15.32, 15.51, 15.21 and 15.5, respectively of the New Panel Law of Liberia.

According to the state, the defendant being purposeful, intentional, wicked, willful, criminal, and unlawful, acted thereby, depraving owner of the said land of its asset and capital expended to upgrade the estate.

Plaintiff complained under oath that on Tuesday, 23 May between the hours 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. the people of Pedebo community, Maryland County refused to adhere to a court order for the conduct of an investigative survey of 260.3 acres of farmland, said to belong to Dr. James Elliott.

The farm was allegedly vandalized by co-defendant BuduYuwea, still at large, setting ablaze two houses and other items on the farm. The alleged attackers used lethal instruments, including cutlasses and single barrel gun, inflicting body injuries on their victims.

Meanwhile, Co-defendant BuduYuweh, identified as ringleader, is reportedly still at large along with several others, including Namely, Tuby Dennis, General Town Chief, Half Graway, Budu Jude Allison, General Town Chief, Kings Town; Dweh Sadalang, youth leader, Grawey, GiobaYude Merriam, Mayor, whole of Grawey, Thomas Dio, land secretary, Graweycian and Hne Wallace, General Town Chief, Grawey, respectively.

Latest report gathered from the county, says the case has been transferred to the 4th Judicial Circuit Courtin Harper.

For his part, the clan chief of Pedebo town, Ben Klah David, in an interview with the NewDawn in Pedebo recently said, he and his people are currently living in fear as a result of threatening messages from unnamed sources.
Chief David is calling on government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Carter Center to probe the situation to bring a permanent end to the conflict on said land.

He warns that failure to quickly intervene he foresee a war between the people of Pedebo and Bleejay, because he and his people will not sit to watch any of their sons and daughters harmed without retaliating.

“Even if we go to war and all of us die, we will never change our word; the land in question belongs to Dr. Elliott and we cannot just do anything because he acquired the land from the late Senator J. Hodo Manston and presented documents to justify that he bought the land from Manston and we saw the deeds and agreed, all of us know that Dr. Elliott is the owner of the land”, Chief Ben Klah Davis defended.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Chiefs must not wear party T-shirts

The head for the Traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, is cautioning chiefs and elders across the country to remain neutral and avoid wearing campaign T-shirts for political parties, stressing that the goal of chiefs is to help promote peace.


Speaking in a meeting with chiefs and elders in Nimba County on Tuesday, 13 June Chief Zanzan Karwor notes that the Traditional Council of Liberia is non-political and should not get involved in any act that has the propensity to undermine peace in the country.

hief Karwor further stresses that the October 10th Presidential and Representative elections are crucial and need the involvement of all citizens. He says chiefs should play the role of twins mothers, by refraining from pledging support or loyalty to any specific presidential aspirant in the race, but to welcome all to their various communities, towns, villages and cities as they do not know who may win the poll.

Chiefs and traditional leaders from Bong, Lofa and Gbarpolu Counties, recently pledged support to the Standard Bearer of the governing Unity Party, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

The meeting was sponsored by Carter Center, an International Non-governmental Organization. Also speaking, Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, William Tolbert, III, urges chiefs and elders to remain united in supporting here. Ambassador Tolbert continues that foreigners would not bring to Liberia, but Liberian themselves.

“If you are united and living in peace, other nations will copy your example”, he stresses. Meanwhile, Chief Karwor has pledged 100,000LRD for the renovation of the Chief Compound in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.

By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne

House endorses Ombudsman

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, 13 June endorsed an Act to amend Part XII of the Code of Conduct for the creation of an operational framework for the Office of the Ombudsman, as established in the CoC for public officials and employees of government here.


The plenary of the House of Representatives last Thursday sent the act to committee room for review and subsequent report to the body. According to the committee, as per plenary’s mandate and in keeping with the latter portion of Article 77(b) that authorizes and empowers the Legislature to make laws, indicating the category of Liberians who shall not form or become members of political parties, and Article 90 (c) that gives the Legislature the authority to prescribe code of conduct for public officials, the joint committee convened and scrutinized the act carefully and critically and recommends that plenary concurs with the Liberian Senate on the amendment of Part Xll of the Code of Conduct.

The Senate unanimously passed the act recently and sent it the House of Representative for concurrence. According to the act, members of the Ombudsman shall hold office for two (3-year) terms following confirmation by the Senate and appointment by the President, and shall be removed from office by the President for nonfeasance, malfeasance, misfeasance, and criminal acts as prescribed under existing laws and regulations.

In matters of law, the office of the Ombudsman shall have the power to conduct hearings in a quasi-judicial manner and make findings, gives reasons and conclusions in matters filed before it, while an appeal from its decision relative to violations of the Code of Conduct shall be immediately appealable to the relevant courts of Liberia.

The act also states that no person, who files a complaint or participates in any investigation or proceeding pursuant to Chapter 12.6, shall be subject to any penalties, sanctions or restrictions in connection with his or her employment or be denied any right, privilege or benefit because of such action.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf early April nominated officials to the Ombudsman headed by ex-police chief Cllr. Clarence Christian Massaquoi amid public outcry that Massaquoi is a confidante of the President’s, questioning his neutrality. The Office of the Ombudsman is an autonomous body in keeping with Section 12.1 of the Code of Conduct for public officials.

By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne

Firestone bans heavyweight trucks

The management of Firestone Rubber Plantation in Liberia says until further notice, all non-Firestone Liberia trucks exceeding 5 axles will not be allowed passage through its production area, as a result of the significant damage done to the Harbel – 15 Gate road, particularly the collapse of the Du River Bridge.


The company based in Harbel, Margibi County issued this week after the collapse of the Du River Bridge in the county on Wednesday, 7 June. The management says the Du River Bridge located on the Harbel-15 Gate road inside the Firestone Rubber Plantation collapsed under the weight of an excessively overloaded truck carrying aggregate stone for the Roberts International Airport or RIA runway project.

The company says there was no injury sustained in the incident. The Harbel-15 Gate route is the primary access to the Firestone Medical Center at Du Side, the company says further.

It adds in the statement that due to the bridge’s collapse, Firestone has been forced to reroute traffic through the center of the production area resulting in an increase in travel time to reach the hospital.

The company complains that since the RIA construction project began early 2017, there has been extensive damage to the Harbel-15 Gate road due to excessively overloaded non-Firestone Liberia trucks traveling the route.

It says the decision has been made in order to limit further damage to roads and also to preserve the integrity of other bridges in the production area.

Firestone Liberia says it is now working closely with the Liberian Government, the owner of the overloaded truck that was on the bridge when it collapsed, and contractors working on the RIA project to reach a solution to the collapse of the Du River Bridge and the excessive damage to the Harbel – 15 Gate route. --Press release

GVL rejects newspaper claims

Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) says report by the Corruption Watch Newspaper that it operates two payrolls, one for a Liberian standard and another for international standard is false and misleading.


The paper in its Thursday, 26 May 2017 print edition about GVL Payroll system claims that the GVL is operating two payrolls, one for Liberian standard and another for international standard.

GVL challenges the Corruption Watch Newspaper to provide proof of its report. The report is fake and deceptive as GVL does not operate two payrolls but a single payroll for its 3,600 employees who are heavily based in Sinoe and Grand Kru. Such hugh employment makes GVL the largest private sector employer in the Liberian South East. The company runs an annual payroll worth USD $9.5 million in annual cash wages and benefits to Liberian employees. The least employee in GVL is paid US$5.50 daily and given 50kg bag of rice in addition to health, education and housing facilities which are far above payment scheme in Liberia.

GVL believes its employment package is one of the best in the country for a company that has not earn income. Relations with GVL project communities has nothing to with employee’s payroll. GVL has a strengthened communications strategy with communities and other stakeholders in Liberia evidence by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the people of Butaw and GVL.

According to GVL Corporate Communications Coordinator Leroy Kanmoh as a result of its improved relations, GVL is developing rapidly with its project communities in Sinoe and Grand Kru. Recently, GVL broke grounds for the extension of the Butaw Junior High School to senior secondary school in the district. The project is worth USD$120,000.00.

Mr. Kanmoh says GVL has deposited into 6 community accounts at least US$92,000 dollars in community development fund across Sinoe and Grand Kru counties. The construction of 3 bed rooms Butaw clinic staff quarter is the first community development fund project funded by GVL. In Butaw alone for this year, GVL has constructed a US$52,000 road project, construction of 13 kilometer road linking Butaw seaside to the rest of Butaw is in progress while a US$33,000 nurses quarter is under construction in the district. GVL currently employed approximately 3,600 Liberians heavily based in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties. GVL donates annually to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture a scholarship grant of US$100,000 for deserving Liberian students studying agriculture and engineering. Up to date, US$700,000 has been donated to the Ministry of Agriculture. Several community development projects are being implemented by Golden Veroleum Liberia in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties including and not limited to pit latrines, road rehabilitation and schools.

Golden Veroleum Liberia is a Liberia registered long term Business Company which seeks to work with Liberians to bring real industries and factories to Liberia especially in rural communities. GVL will continue on such path and remain a major contributor to local and national development in Liberia.

How much Ellen worths?

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday 13, June released her latest assets information to the public putting her net worth (assets minus liability) at USD1, 707, 279.64 (one million, seven hundred and seven thousand, two hundred seventy –nine and sixty-four cent). The president’s income and assets declaration includes her gross annual salary of LRD1, 684, 500.00 and an annual allowance of USD72, 000.


According to President Sirleaf at the time she was filing her Income Assets Declaration form, she had only USD3, 255.00 cash on hand on February 2, 2017. The highest among in the President’s account, according to her declaration is the USD153, 006.00 which is in her Bank of America account situated in Charlotte, U.S.A.

President Sirleaf also has total investments in securities, stock, bonds, etc at 765, 317.00 all in the Vanguard Mutual Fund in Valley Forge, PA, U.S.A. and American Fund, Los Angeles Ca.

The President’s assets were declared before the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission on February 2, 2017 and it also contains her income tax returns.

“In an environment of rumors, conspiracies, lies and suspicions, it is important that those holding high public office disclose their financial status to the public”, President Sirleaf pointed out in a statement issued by the Executive Mansion on Tuesday.

“I further call on all presidential aspirants, to consider in their own interest to do the same”, she noted.
She then said that the records of her family members, including those based abroad are clear and subject to the stringent laws of said countries, thus addressing any suspicion of family members holding assets that belong to her.-Othello B. Garblah

Police install street security cameras

Authorities at the Liberian National Police or LNP have begun installing security cameras on the streets, as way a of creating a safe city. Liberia’s Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman told the New Dawn in an exclusive interview Tuesday 13, June that the security cameras which are currently being tested will be rolled out probably within the next two weeks, and that over 60 percent of Monrovia will be monitored by camera in the initial stages.


“In the next two weeks, let’s say 60 percent of the city will be monitored,” Col. Coleman said in an exclusive interview with the NewDawn at the Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

Col. Coleman says police are closely working with the Liberia Telecommunication Corporations (LIBTELCO) in undertaking the “Safe City Project” that will lead to mounting cameras at unknown destinations covering over 60 percent of Monrovia.

He says a meeting has already been concluded with the general manager of LIBTELCO on all of the areas that will be captured while awaiting extension.

The cameras will be controlled at the police headquarters in Monrovia where police operatives will be zooming in at various designated posts to capture activities on a daily basis.

The security cameras may deter and capture whatever clandestine operations among police, vehicle operators and other road users, while at the same time capturing other incidents that may be of interest to security here.

The news of the installation of street security cameras is just a tip of the iceberg, as the LNP race to gain more professional status under its youthful looking director.

Touching on arms operation in the police force, Col. Coleman says that in as much as the Police have the right to carry arms not all the officers will be armed because much of their works are not weapon related.

He says right now the police have two units which are fully armed because they have been trained to and that refers to the Police Support Unit (PSU) and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU). He said in addition the police are also considering key individuals at higher levels to also be issued arms. He named zonal and regional commanders and their deputies across the country as those being look at in that direction.

The Police Chief says recent transformation including refurbishing of the police headquarters are not being done as a result of donor funding, but rather says the police authorities have simply changed “spending priorities” and to focus on things that would improve the institution’s image.

He says police are trying to direct their spending on things that would improve the image of the police force, though he admits that the police force still has some challenges.

In the midst of challenges facing the police, Col. Coleman insists that if there is intervention that he would be seeking right now, his priority would focus on the welfare of the police officers and how to beef up the institution’s capacity.

Additionally, he says the police are also concerned about continuously promoting the “No to Violence” message across the country, especially in these elections times.
He concludes that police uniforms and mobility are also key interventions that the police would appreciate to enable the force identify its officers properly, and make effective responses to calls from the public. .More from the exclusive interview will be published in subsequent edition

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

Chiefs must not wear party T-shirts

The head for the Traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, is cautioning chiefs and elders across the country to remain neutral and avoid wearing campaign T-shirts for political parties, stressing that the goal of chiefs is to help promote peace.


Speaking in a meeting with chiefs and elders in Nimba County on Tuesday, 13 June Chief Zanzan Karwor notes that the Traditional Council of Liberia is non-political and should not get involved in any act that has the propensity to undermine peace in the country.

Chief Karwor further stresses that the October 10th Presidential and Representative elections are crucial and need the involvement of all citizens.He says chiefs should play the role of twins mothers, by refraining from pledging support or loyalty to any specific presidential aspirant in the race, but to welcome all to their various communities, towns, villages and cities as they do not know who may win the poll.

Chiefs and traditional leaders from Bong, Lofa and Gbarpolu Counties, recently pledged support to the Standard Bearer of the governing Unity Party, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

The meeting was sponsored by Carter Center, an International Non-governmental Organization. Also speaking, Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, William Tolbert, III, urges chiefs and elders to remain united in supporting here. Ambassador Tolbert continues that foreigners would not bring to Liberia, but Liberian themselves.
“If you are united and living in peace, other nations will copy your example”, he stresses. Meanwhile, Chief Karwor has pledged 100,000LRD for the renovation of the Chief Compound in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.

By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne

House summons CBL

The House of Representatives has summoned the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia to appear before plenary next Tuesday, 20 June.


Plenary took the decision on Tuesday, June 13, after a communication from Grand Kru County District#2 Representative, Numene T. H. Bartekwa, reminding his colleagues of alleged failure of Executive Governor Weeks to appear before the august body to provide reasons why the Central Bank has not been able to withdraw all mutilated Liberian Banknotes in circulation despite the printing of new banknotes to replace the mutilated ones.

According to Rep. Bartekwa, on February 9, 2017 a communication was sent to the CBL, requesting the Executive Governor and members of the Board of Governors to appear before the full plenary, but they have complied accordingly.

He says the alleged failure of the CBL Governor to appear continues to pose serious problem as the circulation of the mutilated banknotes still persist in the Liberian market. The lawmaker emphasizes that what is most important as contained in his request to plenary is that the CBL authorities should state the total amount of new Liberian Banknotes that was printed, but up till now, they haven’t do so, so the mutilated money is still in the market, which according to him, is contributing to the rapid depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the United States Dollars, which is not good for the economy.

In a recent appearance before the Liberian Senate, Executive Governor Milton Weeks disclosed that 10.9 Billion Liberian dollars currently in circulation are outside of the banking system and couldn’t be accounted for.

He blames the situation on huge quantity of old Liberian banknotes that were put in circulation and have become mutilated, while others are pocketed by private citizens and companies.

Speaking at a public hearing in the chambers of the Liberian Senate on 2 May in Monrovia, he said this problem has put the CBL in a difficult position in replacing mutilated banknotes, pointing out that currently, the Liberian government is in possession of 12.6 billon of the newly printed local currency, and of the amount, only 1.6 billion LRD is in circulation while the remaining 9 billon LRD has been distributed among commercial banks , while the rest, which he did not disclose, is at the Central Bank.

Commenting on the economic situation, Governor Weeks further explained that the mutilated banknotes continue to roam the local market, noting that some commercial banks are in the habit of giving mutilated banknotes to customers, something which, he said, the CBL has threatened to sanction violators.

By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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