The New Democrat newspaper (New Democrat, June 27, 2014) reports that “despite Liberia being independent since . . . 1847, the country is still controlled by individuals who pay allegiance to the USA”. They are dual citizens - Liberians who are naturalized citizens of foreign countries but claim Liberian citizenships. Case in point, the paper says, “is the President’s son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf, former Senior Advisor to his Mother/President of Liberia and an admitted US citizen with Passport #218198381, in Liberia on permit of residence (visitor, work?) since June, 2010, and former Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Corporation of Liberia”.
Legislature struggles under Imperial Executive” - Speaker & Pro-Temp Lament: A Reaction
According to the Analyst Liberia newspaper (Analyst Liberia, June 30, 2014), “The Constitution of Liberia, since the birth of (this nation and) government in 1847, is pillared on three-hinged legs – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary – professedly bequeathed with equal, coordinate powers in the governance of the state. Though much of the people’s power is theoretically, technically placed in the hands of the Legislature whose elected members directly represent every facet of the nation, the President, head of the Executive Branch, has stolen the entire show”. Therefore, according to the newspaper, the Speaker and President Pro-Temp of both the Lower and Upper Houses of the Nation’s Legislature, the constituted law-making body that served, diligently, under imperial executive during these 167 years of the nation’s existence as an independent, sovereign nation, now realized that the National Legislature is “drowning in subservience, struggles under imperial executive” (Highlight & italics mine). This effort is our Reaction.
Corruption is one of the biggest themes on the lips of Liberians today. This issue has become prominent in the national debate because President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during her inaugural address on 16 January 2006, said ‘corruption will be public enemy number one’. Today, the President’s critics are judging her by this statement claiming that ‘not much is being done to prosecute corrupt government officials’.
The President’s address (New Dawn & FrontPageAfrica, May 29, 2014) on the nation’s Economy is a must-read for its deeply-penetrating, down-to-earth analysis in simple language of our economy’s performance - positive and negative.
It was an atmosphere of glee amongst Liberians when news about Jindal’s investment interest in Liberia first emerged about two years back. The arrival of the Jindal Chairman Naveen Jindal and his meetings with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf were further reassuring that this $18 billion group will turn the fortunes of the country.
This case study is on the Republic of Liberia, Africa’s first independent republic, located on the west coast of Africa. The country maintained an aristocratic republican democracy for 133 unbroken years (Sawyer 1991), but later slipped into a devastating 14 years civil war, which ended in August 2003. The war killed about 250,000 people of the country’s four million population, and damaged key infrastructure and basic social services including homes, electricity, education, health and water facilities, bridges, roads, air and sea ports, and telecommunication (UN in Liberia 2013). Peace and security have been restored to Liberia, following a transitional government instituted by the Accra Peace Accord, and the holding of free, fair and transparent elections in 2005 (CPA 2003). The first post war elections brought Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first African female head of state and government, to power (UNSG Report 2006).
Cash transfer (CT) is a form of social assistance that occurs in three forms. It can be cash given to individual households, cash grants or cash for work and voucher programmes, and cash as an alternative to in-kind transfers such as agricultural inputs or non-food-items (Farrington et al. 2006). These three forms of CT are intended to address risk, and reduce chronic poverty and vulnerability. Cash transfers have proven to be a cost effective intervention for poverty alleviation. Although they have a positive impact on poverty reduction, mainly education and health outcomes, the evidence remains inconclusive on the sustainability of such approach especially on sustainable economic growth and development (Arnold et al. 2011).
The 2nd quarter of the fiscal year has practically ended, the beginning of quarter 3rd had started, yet Liberia and Liberians are yet to know how a portion of the projected US$582 Million budget are being spent and how much more is going to be borrowed in our name to provide for services that we can neither see, nor feel. Appearing before the National Legislature, the Minister of Finance predicted a budgetary shortfall of around US$74. 5 million at the beginning of quarter three of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013/2014. With series of budget shortfalls, the United States of America (USA), through its Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Debora Malac, urging the Government of Liberia to discontinue the spending of money it does not have. Ambassador Malac said the Liberian Government is facing a serious budget shortfall, which has impacted its ability to execute “ambitious activities” it has planned to benefit the country and its people.
At a well–attended meeting (FrontPageAfricaonline & New Dawn, May 20, 2014) under the banner of the Liberia Peace Initiative, Mr. George Weah, the host, Peace Ambassador & CDC Political Leader, introduced the occasion and said, “make no mistake, this is no easy task, this will not be a quick task . . . what we are able to do by coming together will change trajectory of Liberia towards a unified and prosperous country . . . We are not in a crisis”. The perception of many Liberians has been, with unfounded and false accusations that it was the citizens of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties who planned and “orchestrated the civil war”.
The Honorable “Tom” Jucontee Woewiyu - the acid-tongued, pseudo-revolutionary and member of the legendary Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL); founding Member, Defense Minister and Commander-in-chief, with military command/control, planning/strategic authority over the fighting forces of the insurgent, National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL); second-in-command of civilian/policy-making authority of the illegal organization (NPFL) that battered and laid the Liberian nation’s cities, towns and villages in ruins; looted homes, offices, business houses, commercial/industrial plants, including our only, Mount Coffee, Hydro electric plant; and dished out mind-boggling plunder, destruction, atrocious brutalities of rape, maiming, torture, mass murders, summary executions, human suffering and death, upon innocent men, women and children, and brought the Republic of Liberia face-to-face with near-total collapse – “lied”, has been arrested and held on charges of Perjury, upon arrival at the Newark, New Jersey, USA, International Airport.