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AFL widows claim forceful recruitment

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

Over 500 widows of the disbanded armed forces of Liberia have accused Executive Mansion Chief of Protocol Amb. Nora Finda Bundo of collecting 600 Liberian Dollars from them to issue them membership ID Cards of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) so that they can get their benefits from government, but Amb. Bundo denies.

However, Chairperson of the AFL widows Madam Mary Allison insists that Ambassador Nora Finda Bundo has been forcing some of their members to obtain CDC Identification Cards in order to get their husbands’ benefits.

Finda Bundo

She says they are tired of suffering for their benefits under the CDC regime and expresses frustrations in the Weah-Taylor administration for providing them pocket change of 2,500 Liberian Dollars and a bag of 25kg rice each during public holidays, instead of giving them their genuine benefits. 

At the same time a spokesperson for the AFL widows, Madam Oretha Tweh, explains that some widows identifying themselves as ‘Concerned AFL Widows’ are extorting money from them to provide them Identification Cards of the ruling CDC that would enable them to access benefits of their fallen husbands, who served the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Madam Tweh revealed that some legitimate widows of the AFL had already purchased CDC ID Cards for LRD 600 from their leaders to be part of the ruling Coalition that would enable them to get their deceased husbands’ benefits.

Recently, about 2,000 widows and children of disbanded AFL soldiers, threatened to take their own lives, if the CDC-led government failed to pay their late husbands and fathers’ benefits. 

Chairperson Madam Mary Allison expressed frustration that the CDC-led government is not providing their deceased husbands’ benefits.

The widows further termed as unfair on the part of the Liberian government to treat them in such a manner, after their husbands died in the army while defending the state.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Bundoo has reaffirmed the Government of Liberia’s unwavering support to widows of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

She made the reaffirmation on Friday, 26 August while speaking to over 500 widows, who had gathered at the residence of President George Weah in Rehab community, Paynesville to express concern about how they’ve been marginalized in getting their husbands’ benefits from those claiming to be leaders of the AFL widows.

Amb. Bundoo frowns on those using her name to collect ID Card fees or other fees from the widows, noting she has no interest in instructing people to collect money from the already struggling widows.

The Executive Mansion Chief of Protocol emphasizes that the CDC-led government will not force anybody or widows to obtain CDC membership cards for benefits or any other thing, adding that the CDC remains a democratic political party, and will not force anyone to become its member.

She reassures more support for AFL widows under the Weah-led Administration, saying that the government is striving to ensure that the widows get their benefits through the required process.

She further assures President Weah’s unwavering support to legitimate AFL widows, aimed at improving their livelihood and ensuring that widows and other vulnerable persons are well catered for.

“I wish to reaffirm my support for all the real widows, these are our ma them; we cannot make palaver with your. I know and understand your plight, and I assure you that you will never walk alone, Madam Bundoo adds.

She says while government does not wish to interfere with the women’s choice to seek redress to their complaints, but the government will still feed them and provide them regular holidays packages.

Amb. Bundoo’s interaction with the widows followed series of recent demonstrations by a group of women calling themselves ‘AFL widows’, who erected various roadblocks in the streets, demanding US$100,000 payment as ‘just benefits’ for their respective deceased husbands.

This is not the first time the women had protested for their husbands’ benefit. During the regime of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, they on many occasions, took to the streets demanding their husbands’ pension benefits. Editing by Jonathan Browne


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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