UPP sold to Wento?

Two executives of the opposition United People’s Party or UPP have been accused of allegedly selling the UPP to Mr. McDonald Wento now Standard Bearer of the party.

Mr. George Brown and others were elected in 2005 in Greenville, Sinoe County, during the party 4th National Congress empowering them to conduct the affairs of the party and presents the corps of officials to be elected to partisans of the party which was violated by former Senator Blamo Nelson and T. Q Harris.
Brown made these revelations when he spoke on Wednesday, 22nd March to this paper in Monrovia.
The disgruntle official of the party also disclosed that news about the sale of the party was made to him by the National Treasure Blamo Nelson and Secretary General T.Q. Harris during a meeting they held with him at the party’s National Headquarters in Sinkor.
According to Brown, the two executives of the party told him that Mr. McDonald Wento now Standard Bearer of the UPP gives US$12,000.000 to the party to be elected.
He also quotes the two men as saying that out of the money, US$10,000.00 was deposited into the party’s bank account in line with the guidelines of the National Elections Commission or NEC.
He added that the balance US$2,000.00 was expanded on acquiring a new party office (which currently house the party), furniture and the painting of the office.

He maintained that the entire transaction was done without approval of the party’s senior partisan, Dr. Marcus D.G. Dahn who is presently in the United States of America for medical treatment.
He disclosed that decision to give the party to Mr. Wento was unconstitutional because there were no turn over from previously elected officials and that the so-called newly elected executives were elected in violations of the Sinoe County resolutions which is binding on the party.
He claimed that he and dozens of grass rooters of the UPP living in various parts of the country are preparing to file a law sue at the Supreme Court of Liberia to revoke the so-called elections that elected and endorsed Wento and others as officials of the party.
Political commentators closely watching the ongoing saga within the party are of the strongest convections that the UPP entire deal could be revoke by the Supreme once evidence shows that the guidelines of the 4th congress was violated by the officials.
They also said that the party chances of participation in the 2017 presidential and legislative elections is in danger should Brown sue the party at the Supreme Court which has the constitutional responsibility to interpret the laws of Liberia.
When contacted Wednesday, 22 March, Mr. Blamo Nelson confirmed the allegation but said that it was a good thing that they official spent the money to show accountability and transparency.
He said that Mr. George Brown is not an official of the UPP as he claimed to be and was never a delegate to the party’s recently held congress in the Borough of New kru Town that brought Mr. Wento as UPP’s Standard Bearer.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah


NEC certificates Nyumalin

The National Elections Commission or NEC on Wednesday March 22, 2017 certificated Mr. Francis Sakila Nyumalin of the Union of Liberian Democrat (ULD) as winner of the February 28, 2017 By-election in District # 1, Lofa county.

The ceremony was held at the Commission headquarters on 9th Street Sinkor. Presiding over the ceremony, the Co-chair of the NEC, Cllr. Sarah Toe thanked the people of Lofa county District #1 for their peaceful participation in the February 28 By-election.
The winner of the election, Mr. Nyumalin of the ULD obtained 3,149 votes representing 32.0% followed by Mr. William Tamba Kamba of Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) who obtained 2,996 votes representing 30.5%.

The total number of valid votes cast stood at 9,832 with invalid votes totaling 771 bringing to the total of 10,603 voters turnout in District # 1 By-election in Lofa County.

Earlier, the runner-up, Mr. Kamba of (MOVEE) had protested the outcome of the By-election on grounds that the 771 invalid votes were alarming. The MOVEE candidate later withdrew his protest which prompted the certification of the winner, Mr. Francis Nyumalin.

In another development, the National Elections Commission has completed the payment of over 8,000 contract employees nationwide who served during the Voter Registration Exercise.

Meanwhile, the Commission has announced the expiration of deadline of Independent Candidates requirement submission on March 20, 2017


Nuquay defies opponents

Margibi County electoral district #5 Representative Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay has challenged aspirants ganging up against him for the October elections that they are no match.

He made the comment recently in Kpadeh Town, District #5 while donating a motorbike, power saw and several other materials, including 20 bags of 25kg rice and money to residents of the area to enable them start a road construction project, promising to build a bridge there.

Aspirants galvanizing to unseat Nuquay in the district including Anthony Moses and Clarence Gahr recently disclosed that they were in discussion to form a single force that would defeat the incumbent lawmaker, who is seeking reelection.
A latest aspirant in the race, Mr. Amos Kollie Nama, has allegedly held talks with the other two (Mr. Moses and Mr. Gahr) on the need to join hands to fight Nuquay at the ballot box.

In total, four aspirants are in the district namely; Mr. Joseph Marshall, Mr. Amos Nama, Mr. Anthony Moses and Mr. Clarence Gahr, but Representative Nuquay, who appears fearless, told the contenders not one of them can step in his shoes because they are too big.

“People running around here, some of the people they brought here; they don’t even have the competence to represent our district. It is not because somebody wanted one cent or two cents from somebody so they brought them and said or this person can be representative. They can come here and talk to you, they want to be representative but when they go there, can they step in the shoes that we wear? My shoes are too big for them. They just can’t, they don’t have the competence, they don’t have the qualification, they don’t have the IQ, they just cannot”, Nuquay said.

According to him, desiring to become a representative is one thing and being able to do the job he has done in the district is another.

He argued further that if the district was such that the leader has done nothing, then it could be fine for them but it is difficult for them because he has transcended the district leadership from local to national leadership.
He pointed out that some of the aspirants don’t have ordinary high school documents but they claim to be qualified.

By Ramsey N Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi -Editing by Jonathan Browne

UMC Weala District gets new supt.

The Weala District Conference of the United Methodist Church or UMC in Liberia has received a new district superintendent, recently inducted by Bishop Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr.

Rev. J. Methuselah Sackie was officially given the gavel of authority to head the district in ceremony held at the St. Peter United Methodist Church in Weala, Margibi County.
The occasion was graced by members of Bishop Quire’s cabinet, pastors and elders of the United Methodist Church, including House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and other officials in the county. District Superintendent Sackie succeeds Rev. Paye Cooper Mondolo.

Turning over office, Rev. Mondolo thanked the UMC Family, especially Bishop Quire for affording him the opportunity to serve United Methodists in Weala.

He also commended Bishop emeritus Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, who appointed and for the period he served, pledging that he is prepared to work with District Superintendent Sackie whenever he is called upon.
Rev. Mondolo called on the Weala District Conference to work along with the new Superintendent, who he described as a brother for the enhancement of the church.

Outgoing district superintendent recalled that when he took office in Weala, there was absolutely nothing to start with, but noted that it now has an office with all necessary documents well kept.

He named Rev. Methuselah Sackie as among others who benefited from scholarship under his administration.In response, Rev. Sackie expressed happiness and thanked God Almighty for his preferment, describing the UMC as a home for the homeless, while lauding Bishop Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr. for appointing him to lead the UMC Weala District.

He narrated how he managed to have reached where he is today as a Master’s degree holder in Theology and now serving as one of the youngest District Superintendents in the United Methodist Church.
He appreciated Rev. Mondolo for supporting his education and also extolled Speaker Nuquay for immensely contributing in making the induction program successful.

Rev. Sackie described his ascendency as a challenge that requires he works hard to impact the lives of members of the UMC, especially in the Weala District, promising to work closely with Rev. Mondolo to improve the district.
Meanwhile, Bishop Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr. has cautioned United Methodists in the district to unite and work with Rev. Sackie as they did with his predecessor, cautioning against deceit.
Making remark, Speaker Nuquay thanked the UMC Family for working with him over the years and promised to continuously work with Rev. Sackie.

By Ramsey Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi -Editing by Jonathan Browne

Police dialogue with civil society

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Col. Gregory O.W. Coleman says democracy in Africa is suffering due to lack of cooperation between security apparatus and the public.

According to him, democracy suffers from legitimate issues of concern all over the Continent, not only Liberia, adding that these concerns have sparked up lot of reforms, and it is against this regards he added that the LNP is trying to find a solution between citizens and the State.

Col. Coleman made the observation on Wednesday, March 22, at the Paynesville Town Hall outside Monrovia during a stakeholder’s dialogue involving civil society, and youth groups.
The forum brought together authorities from the security sector and over 50 participants from the 17 electoral districts of Montserrado County.

“We know that democracy is suffering; it is against this that we are taking all these steps to engage the public to know their say in the execution of our duties”, the Police IG remarked.
He said the initiative is not Monrovia-base, but would reach citizens in all 15 counties of Liberia. “We want to build up that partnership to restore hope and confidence in our citizens across this country.”

Meanwhile, Col. Coleman has stressed a need for the public to support the police adding, because the price of peace is expensive.
He said the lives that were lost to get Liberia to where it is today cannot be paid for, saying it is the responsibility of every citizen to work with the police in sustaining peace.

Police spokesperson Sam Collins narrated that the intent of the dialogue is to create a smooth working relationship between the police and the public to create a violence-free society, particularly during the October elections.
Collins added that the exercise in confirmative with recent dialogue held with members of the Press Union of Liberia in making sure that Liberia have peaceful democratic elections.

“This is an old police with a new vision, we all are aware that this police cannot achieve its goals without the full cooperation of members of civil society, various youth groups and the general public as we gear toward the election process”, he concluded.

By Lewis S. Teh -Editing by Jonathan Browne

MHA observes Down Syndrome Day

A local non-government organization under the banner “My Heart Appeal Incorporated has observed its 5th anniversary for children living with Down Syndrome in Liberia.

The local NGO says March 21 each year is celebrated globally as World Down Syndrome Day, where the voices of people with sickness, and those who work and live with them, grow louder.

The organization was founded in the American State of Maryland in 1996 as a non-profit institution to meet the special education and training needs of people with disabilities.
Speaking at the official celebration on Tuesday, March 21, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Madam Lovetie Major said, the organization was inaugurated in 2001 and has since defined its target population as the mild, moderate or severe intellectually disabled. 

MHA is now incorporated in Liberia with future plan to extend to other West African countries as well. It looks forward to laying a solid foundation in the sub-region.
The celebration, which was held at the Christ The King Catholic Church in Gaye Town, Old Road, brought together officials of from the Ministries of Education, Gender, and Health, respectively, including parents and children face with Down Syndrome and other forms of disabilities.

CEO Major said key objectives of the celebration include generating funds to support the mission of My Heart’s Appeal Incorporated, providing a safe campus in Liberia, to give teens and adults in West Africa with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to get training in order to become productive as well as training programs for teachers and assistants to work effectively with them.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”, she noted.

She said her passion grew and was extended so that other individuals could have chance to learn without discrimination either on the basis of sex, culture or religion, saying “It is the belief of this corporation that all individuals deserve the inherent and socio-political rights to all the privileges enjoy by those we call normal people.”

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund transforms

The tax exempt entity known as the Sirelaf Market Women’s Fund has transitioned to the Sustainable Market Women’s Fund (SMWF) with the outgoing president of the Liberia Marketing Association, Lusu Sloan, appointed as Executive Director.

The transformation was announced at the 61st session of the Commission on Status of Women in New York, thereby taking effect as of April.

Madam Sloan takes over the SMWF with a mission to promote education, entrepreneurship, health and agriculture while its Board of Directors chaired by Madam Olivia Shannon will be reconstituted as the governing body.

The organization’s office has also been relocated to the Jorkpen Town Market, one of the markets initially renovated under the program. The SMWF formerly the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund was named in honor of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whose grandmother was believed to be a market woman.

Reasons for the transformation was not clear but the Board of Directors praised the accomplishments made in the last 10 years and announced that the archives of the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund were being transferred to the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, a division of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Archives in the United States.

The Board recognized the successes of the organization during the Ebola crisis for which the post-Ebola era is now being documented, including literacy training and engagement of market women as change agents in their respective communities towards support from the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality and the African Women’s Development Fund.

-Editing by Jonathan Browne

PAC scrutinizes 6 audit reports

The Joint Public Account, Expenditure and Audit Committee (PAC) of the Liberian Legislature has scrutinized six audit reports emanating from the General Auditing Commission or GAC.

The reports include the Ministries of Public Works, Agriculture and Youth and Sports and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Liberia Electricity Corporation and the National Oil Company of Liberia.

The committee detailed that the revision process was followed by conduct of public hearings, but identified flaws as reported by Auditor General Madam Yosador Saadatu Gaye, ranging from procurement malpractices, poor human resource management practices, ineffective project monitoring mechanism, internal control issues and inadequate banking reconciliation, among others.
It drew a general conclusion about the existence of systematic weaknesses within the procurement and monitoring of construction contracts offered by government Ministries and Agencies.

The committee further recommends that the Internal Audit Agency enforced  a robust implementation of the Auditor  General recommendations on internal control issues and subsequently furnish the Auditor General on the progress attained.

The committee has also requested that all funds to be restituted should be deposited into the Government of Liberia’s recovery account established at the Central Bank of Liberia by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and copies of flag receipts provided to the Chairman of the Joint Public Account Audit and Expenditure Committee and the Auditor General respectively and issues of Financial Irregularity  with legal implications handled by the Ministry of Justice in consonance with its mandate.

By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne

USAID/GoL launch new ICT support project

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Government of Liberia (GoL), today launched the USAID Digital Liberia and e-Government Project in Monrovia.

In support of the GoL’s e-Government Strategy, the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project will improve the GoL’s performance and bring it closer to the people through the development of internet and computer technology capability. This USAID funded project will improve the GoL connectivity and institutional capacity that is necessary for the provision of effective services, progressing Liberia towards the creation of a sound national ICT platform now and for future generations. Liberia will be in a better position to tell its story, engage with the world and enhance health, education, agriculture and other public outcomes, and promote economic growth and private sector development.

Speaking at the project launch, the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine A. Elder, noted that of the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project builds on momentum started before the Ebola crisis in strengthening Liberia’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to future crises.

The US Ambassador emphasized that the Project will support several GoL Ministries, Agencies and Commissions to improve decision making and management. She added that the Project will identify sustainable government digital initiatives and help the GoL take advantage of various technologies to digitize institutional systems and processes.

Reaffirming the United States Government’s partnership and continued support to Liberia, Ambassador Elder expressed the hope that the effective use of ICT and digital tools will enhance, expedite, and make permanent the many GoL reform efforts in procurement, transparency, decentralization, and improved public service delivery.

Liberia Consoles Ghana

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a condolence message to the Government and people of Ghana following the death of at least 20 persons and injury of 22 others.

Twenty people, mainly high school students, died after a large tree fell on them at the popular Kintampo waterfalls, in the Brong-Ahafo region, one of the highest in the country.
The tragic incident occurred on Sunday, March 19, 2017.

The students were swimming when the freak accident happened. Wind and heavy rain appears to have caused the accident. Rescue teams used chainsaws to cut through the fallen tree and free those trapped underneath. Twenty-two others were reported injured and treated at local hospitals.

A Foreign Ministry release states that in the message to her Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in her own name, extended heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Ghana, especially the affected families.

The Liberian leader further expressed the hope that the resilience and strength that the people of Ghana have always demonstrated during moments of challenge will be a bulwark or consolation during this difficult period.

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