Opposition Liberty Party (LP) has descended on the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Chairman Mulbah Morlu and the Liberian government on the alleged missing money here.Speaking Sunday, 14 October at a press conference, LP Acting Chairman Senator Steve Zargo voiced concern over how government officials here are allegedly buying homes in neighboring countries in less than nine months of the CDC led – administration.
President George Manneh Weah, the Central Bank of Liberia and Finance Minister Samuel Tweah say no money is missing.But the administration has set up a special investigative team to probe the claims of missing money, while also inviting international partners including the U.S. to help with the investigation.
However, Sen. Zargo says barely nine months of being in leadership, the CDC led – government has produced the biggest financial scandal ever in the history of the country, making specific reference to the alleged missing $15.5 billion Liberian Dollars.
The Lofa Senator and LP executive notes that given the alleged irregularities and frauds that marred the 2017 elections, Liberians thought that once a new leadership had taken over on the mantra of change, the country would have headed in an entirely new direction.He charges that unfortunately, the emergence of the CDC government has allegedly revived and elevated the nightmare that Liberians experienced with corruption during previous administrations.
“From the President to the Minister of Finance; from the Minister of Finance to the Justice Minister; from the Justice Minister to the Minister of Information; from the Minister of Information to the Chairman of the CDC, on to the Mayor of the City of Monrovia, and the list goes on, there has been a stream of uncoordinated utterances embedded with lies and distortions of information,” Sen. Zargo claims.
Sen. Zargo claims that the case of the more than $15 billion Liberian Dollars is presenting a graphic picture of how the CDC government is walking itself into the pit.According to him, the Board of Governors at the Central Bank has undermined the work of the investigative team by releasing what is supposed to be its internal report that points to accountability of all printed banknotes brought into the country.
According to the LP executive, the Central Bank is an institution that remains fundamental to the pronounced investigation. “As a party that commits itself to the rule of law, we issued a statement on September 25, 2018, drawing the government’s attention to the need for a well-structured, prompt and independent investigation into this matter so as to salvage the image of our country,” says Sen. Zargo.
According to him, such step would win the confidence of Liberia’s international partners, mainly financial institutions to which this country looks for development assistance. “This, for us, is a hallmark of a matured opposition,” he adds.He says while waiting to see the government take a honest lead in unraveling what now stands as a national puzzle, “a grand scheme apparently intended to distort, confuse and finally burry the case to the bottom of the deep sea, is being dished up by operatives of the ruling CDC.”
The opposition Liberty Party says in his ‘ill-fated’ characteristic manner, the CDC’s Morlu recently opined that the opposition party (LP) must be a subject of investigation because it brought into the country a fleet of vehicles during the 2017 campaign period.
In responding to the CDC chairman’s allegation, the Liberty Party says it has never exercised any control over the vault of the Central Bank before.“We do not have any authority to order the printing of banknotes. We don’t control the ports of entry (Roberts Field and the Freeport of Monrovia). How then could we have taken portion of your more than LRD15 billion to buy pick-ups”? Sen. Zargo ponders.
Meanwhile, Liberty Party lauds the United States government for the offer of experts to help the country determine circumstances surrounding the alleged missing containers of money.The opposition party, formerly of three – time defeated presidential candidate Cllr. Charles Brumskine, points out that the government should now take seize of the obligation of availing the foreign experts all the comfort they may need to do their job effectively.
Liberty Party says it looks up to the work of the international team of investigators, calling on the government of President George Manneh Weah to move swiftly and make some interventions in the difficult situations the Liberian people face at this time.The party recommends to the government that there should be short term efforts aimed at job creation to put some money into the pockets of young people.
Furthering its recommendation, the LP says government should consider a micro-credit initiative so that mothers would have an opportunity to earn some money to send their children to school.
It calls on government to meet with the commercial transport unions in an effort to come up with realistic transport fares within and outside the city, and to also step up its monitoring mechanism of hospitals, pharmacies and clinics in an effort to intervene in the high costs of drugs and other health-related services.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley