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Doubts Over Bong County Equipment

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The Chairman of the Bong Legislative Caucus is hopeful that the road-building machines purchased by the county with more than four hundred thousand United States dollars will be in the county this week for inauguration.

Representative George Sylvester Mulbah said that with the rainy season about to commence, the Legislative Caucus, along with the office of the Superintendent was exerting all efforts to know the current status of the machines to have them transported to Gbarnga.

Mr. Mulbah, told journalists in Gbarnga last weekend, that the Legislative Caucus and the vendor have assessed the machines, which according to him, are in a good condition, but were contacting the Ministry of Public Works to do further assessment to determine whether or not  the machines were brand new.

The Chairman of the Bong Legislative Caucus lashed at those, he called detractors, bent on accumulating political glory at the expense of leaders of the county. He appealed to them to abandon their opportunistic action as the authorities were not ‘sleeping’, but doing everything possible to have streets and roads opened in the county.

Several Civil Society and Political actors criticized the Bong County authorities for being lazy in procuring the machines to rehabilitate the roads around the county that are predominantly in devastating conditions.

The county authorities have continued to receive lashes from some quarters of the county over news that the road-building equipment were  already used, instead of the brand new for which such huge sum of money was allotted during the county sitting.

The criticism in the county against authorities has tripled based on the delays in lifting them from Monrovia to the county. Upon the arrival at the Freeport of Monrovia in January, the Caucus Chairman, George Sylvester Mulbah announced that the machines would be in the county in a week’s time, but to date, the equipment are yet to arrive in the county.

Tension is building up in the county over what many consider the deliberate delays being created by authorities to produce the equipment. The decision to purchase road-building equipment, taken at the county sitting and heavily influenced by Representative George Mulbah, was criticized by civil society organizations in the county on grounds that the county did not have any plan to properly manage the equipment when purchased.

Civil members argued and expressed fear that the machines would encounter technical difficulties resulting to parts extraction if plans were not put in place for maintenance before purchase.

They made direct reference to a tractor donated to the county by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which parts have all been stolen with only the head at the superintendent’s compound, and the wagon presently at the Gbarnga Administration Building.

They maintained that a management committee be set up before the purchase of the equipment, but authorities led by Mulbah insisted on ensuring a management committee after the purchase.

However, with the arrival of the equipment still doubtful, the Bong County authorities are dragging their feet to set up the setting up committee to manage the equipment.

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