The Government of Liberia has reportedly appropriated US$400,000, amidst serious economic hardship and grinding poverty for a presidential taskforce headed by the Director-General of the General Services Agency or GSA Madam Mary T. Broh to cleanup garbage infested Monrovia and its environs.
The political leader of the opposition Liberia National Union or LINU claims the presidential taskforce constituted recently by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted a budget for US$400,000 to give the capital a facelift despite full budgetary allotment for the Monrovia City Corporation.
Mr. Nathaniel Blamah said it is unfortunate and unrealistic that a country already struggling economically would invest such huge amount for a cleanup that should be executed by a statutory institution, in this case, the MCC.
Speaking to The NewDawn on Monday in Congo Town, suburb of Monrovia, he said the presidential taskforce should have included the Ministry of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA for effective and responsible execution.
Since it was established, the Mary Broh-led taskforce has reportedly failed to call a meeting of stakeholders. Instead, the former Mayor of Monrovia is seen in the streets of Monrovia daily demolishing structures of poverty stricken citizens and business centers without warrant from the court.
“Madam Broh is not court or magistrate to break down people’s homes and business centers without court warrant. That’s barbaric and uncivilized. We think from the political party end the President should do something about it,” Nathaniel said.
According to him, the action of the GSA boss undermines the statutory functions of city mayors throughout the country. When Madam Broh was contacted via mobile phone, her cell phone rang endlessly without any response.
However, the LINU leader stressed if President Sirleaf feels some of her mayors appointed across the country are not working, she has the constitutional power to replace them, but taking the work of a sitting mayor and dedicating it to another presidential appointee, contravenes the Constitution of Liberia. He did not specifically point to any clause in the Constitution that is allegedly being violated by the President.
The LINU leader maintained that Monrovia does not need any presidential taskforce for cleanup campaign, arguing that if funding being allotted to Madam Broh and her team given to the appropriate authorities, the city governments would do much better.
He called on Broh to concentrate on retrieving the fleet of cars that were bought or donated to the government during the deadly Ebola fight, which have reportedly gone missing than running behind people, who are hustling for daily survival.
“Madam Broh should consider collecting those missing Ebola cars which is in her authority as head of the GSA then running behind peaceful people, who are hustling for survival. These people are taxpayers and citizens that deserve some level of respect and dignity,” he further emphasized.
Madam Broh is a public figure with a paradoxical character. At one point, she receives barrage of condemnations from citizens for excesses in the line of duties, sometimes forcing her to resign, but no sooner after she is gone, then there is public outcry for her to return; such have been the experiences both at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Monrovia City Corporation respectively where she previously worked before her current post at the GSA.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne