At her last cabinet meeting prior to her state visits to India and the People’s Republic of China, President Sirleaf announced the appointment of a number of committees aimed at national economic growth and development.
Among such as announced my the President was a Special Presidential Task Force headed by the controversial former Monrovia City Mayor, Mary Broh, to clean up and beautify Monrovia. In consonance with President Sirleaf’s mandate, Broh – now Director General of the General Service Agency or GSA, on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, commenced the exercise on a rather controversial note.
Heavily protected by armed officers of the Liberia National Police’s Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU, the head of the new Presidential Task Force and members uncompromisingly demolished makeshift structures and destroyed market stalls along Broad Street in Central Monrovia, as well as invaded private homes and businesses, bringing out market tables, money-changing boxes, etc.,
etc hidden by street peddlers ahead of the November 15-December 15, 2015 benchmark set by the Executive Mansion to clean and beautify the city.
The aggressive demolition exercise also took the Special Presidential Task Force to the communities of Jallah Town, Plumkor and a few other areas, leaving many residents frustrated in tears and agony.
Unfortunately, amid claims of the lack of prior knowledge by hundreds of residents and street peddlers/vendors, Chairman Mary Broh and her Task Force continue to remain conspicuously silent on public information on the matter.
Be that as it may, one would further wonder as to why the Task Force will choose to effect a mandate ahead of its official November 15-launch without prior notice to those affected. Even if the Task Force had pre-warned members of the communities of the demolition exercise, there was neither public information nor any communication with the residents as evidenced by their expressed public frustration, agony and tears on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.
While Chairman Broh must be hailed for the level of work previously done to keep Monrovia and its environs tidy, through the implementation of the city laws, it would have been most appropriate had the people been notified ahead of the arrival of the Task Force in the affected communities. Such notice would have prepared the residents to give way for the exercise without the disappointments currently being experienced.
Moreover, the selective nature of the ongoing exercise may just be very worrisome to raise ‘eye-brows’ on the sincerity and credibility of the Task Force. Visiting Central Monrovia’s Broad Street and the affected communities of Jallah Town and Plumkor in Sinkor, one would realize the continuous presence of some makeshift structures amid others affected by the demolition exercise – this is just unfair and puts the commitment and integrity of the entire Task Force on the line.
In executing the Presidential mandate, Mary Broh and her Special Presidential Task Force must exercise no fear or favor as long as these structures violate the city and zoning laws of Liberia and covered by the current mandate of the Task Force.
In as much as Chairman Broh is held at high esteem for her uncompromising stance in upholding and implementing the city and zoning laws, the need to give these people time to allow the demolition exercise to take place cannot be over-emphasized.
Other than the foregoing observations, the over-all performance of Mary Broh is still commendable and that Liberians must all welcome such initiatives to give Monrovia and its environs face-lift, especially for this Holy Season.