Liberty Party standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine alleges Monday that Vice President Joseph Boakai was allotted US9 million over three years period, while hospitals in his native Lofa County struggle to run effectively due to lack of funding.
Brumskine says Boakai office got more money than all the hospitals in Lofa combine over those three years period. He said not only the Executive Branch under the ruling Unity Party led government has ripped off the country but the huge salaries (US 15,000 per month) being collected by members of the Legislature have denied the rest of the country of much needed development citing the South East as one region that is completely backward in terms of modern civilization and development.
The South East region of the country is completely cut off from the rest of the country with no paved road networks, some of the goods and services sold there are three times the price of what they are sold for in Monrovia.
He wonders how President Sirleaf and others could sit by and allow law makers to allocate to themselves USD15000 per month. Brumskine further alleges that for every $1 generated as revenue here, 0.83 cent is share among the offices of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph Boakai, House Speaker Emmanuel Nuguay (Boakai’s running mate) and Senate Pro-tempore Armah Jallah, while the Police are given peanuts and nurses cannot afford to buy drugs for themselves.
He says while these officials of government are milking the country’s economy, 8 out of every 10 Liberian live on less than USD1.25 daily. Brumskine said he has planned to reduce his salary by 30% when elected president. He says his Vice running mate Harrison Karnwea has also accepted a 30% reduction in his salary and that all officials appointed by him will get 30% reduction in salary from the current amount being earn by officials.
Salaries of most executive appointees here vary from Ministry to Ministry and agency to agency. There have been calls to synchronize the salaries based on positions and not the ministry or agency.
However, Brumskine says by law he cannot reduce the current salaries of lawmakers here but could challenge them to do same to spur development across the country. He also indicated that salaries deducted from him and his officials will be put in a trust fund and use for welfare purposes.
On the issue of establishing a war crime court here, Brumskine who has vowed to use his legal backgrounds to ensure the rule of law here baffles the question. He says his primary concern is to reconcile Liberia and maintain the peace. He acknowledged though that there are no statutes of limitations when it comes to justice, but maintained that he would rather seek restorative justice as compare to retributive justice.
When push further that a war crime court here was important for the souls of some 250, 000 Liberians who died during the civil conflict to get justice, Brumskine said he will not run Liberia based on what some international civil servants want. The Liberty Party man said what is more important right now is to reconcile the country and try to rebuild rather than going after people.
He says he respects the role of the international community and assured that justice will be served. “I appreciate the role of the international community (for) what they have done. But please don’t make the mistake, don’t act as if Brumskine is not interested in war crime,” he said.