The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) appears to be mute on circumstances leading to a violent protest staged by Liberian contractors working with Chinese at the construction site of a China Aid Ministerial Complex in Oldest Congo Town, outside Monrovia.
Riot police were deployed Wednesday, 14 January to put things under control when protesters set roadblocks along the Old Road and Congo Town route leading to Central Monrovia, with claims that there were objects thrown at moving vehicles.
Protesters chanted slogans such as “Pay Us Our Money,” and “Treat Us Like Human Being too”, among others.
Our reporter who visited the MPW was told by security officers there that the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer was not on active duty, and that others senior officials were not available up to press time to respond to the issues.
The Liberian contractors’ demonstration saw the complete disruption of normal flow of traffic, and the situation compelled some commuters to disembark vehicles and trek along the route to their various destinations to avoid being harmed.
The Liberian contractors are providing services to the China Aid Ministerial Complex and Capitol Building China Aid extension project on Capitol Hill.
This is not the first situation since these projects commenced. In 2017, contractor workers at the Oldest Congo Town Ministerial Complex project site went on a go-slow in demand of better incentives, safety, medical and respect for their rights, among others.
Following their action, the MPW at that time assured the frustrated contractors that the ministry was seeking means to resolve the problem, though it is yet to be established whether such means was found.
There was a reported incident when a Liberian contractor worker allegedly dropped from the third floor of the ministerial complex, but it was also alleged that nothing was done by the Chinese Management and the MPW to assist the victim.
During a visit at the complex work site, another Liberian contractor worker had claimed that chemical went into one of his eyes and caused him not to see clearly, but he alleged at the time that the MPW did nothing about the case.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley