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GeneralLiberia news

Resources wasted on vehicles for chiefs?

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

All of the vehicles and some motorbikes that President George Manneh Weah donated to traditional chiefs in Southeast Liberia are now grounded due to major mechanical faults.

Mr. Weah donated 45 vehicles and 15 motorbikes to the traditional chiefs in fulfillment of a promise he made to them during a nationwide tour in 2021.

In an apparent waste of resources, all of the donated vehicles and motorbikes can no longer be seen in the streets for nearly a year due to major mechanical faults and the lack of finances to maintain them.

The vehicles and motorbikes were intended to ensure efficiency in the day-to-day activities of the local county leaders.

Following our investigations concerning the usage of the donated vehicles and motorbikes, this paper has uncovered that about a year and a half now, the vehicles donated to Maryland County have been packed along the road in one of the towns.

The chairman of the traditional council in Maryland County Nelson Neal spoke about the condition of the vehicles and motorbikes during a general citizen meeting organized by Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor in Maryland.

Neal explained that their two vehicles have been packed for a year due to mechanical faults.

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Chief Neal disclosed that it will cost US$3000 to solve the problems on each of the packed vehicles.

He said they cannot afford to use their little earnings as chiefs to buy the parts needed to repair the vehicles.

“Let me say this to you Madam Taylor, we can’t afford to buy just one of those nozzles, not to talk about two. So please extend this message to the President that we need his help,” Chief Neal said.

“Although those vehicles were intended to reduce our walking, … we are still walking [daily] because of those problems,” he continued.

Chief Neal called on the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Legislative Caucus of Maryland County to address their vehicle situation.

In response, VP Taylor expressed regrets, but urged the local authorities in the county to include that in their budget during the county sitting.

Madam Taylor: “I knew this could have reached this level because [of] how much these traditional chiefs are making, not to talk about buying some of these vehicles’ materials. But anyway, I will inform the President concerning your request,” she said.

The NewDawn newspaper has gathered that most of the traditional chiefs in the county are not placed on the government’s payroll.

This paper has gathered that the they have made several attempts to engage the Ministry of Internal Affairs through their legislative caucus, but it’s yet to be done.

One of the traditional chiefs who refused to be named, lamented that he was on the payroll during former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s administration, but he was allegedly removed during the Weah-led administration.

The chief claimed that he continues to work without getting paid.

He said he cannot maintain his vehicle since he is not on payroll.

This paper has tried to hear from the chairpersons of both River Gee and Grand Kru Counties’ traditional chiefs whose vehicles have been packed behind an unfinished building in Pleebo, Maryland County. But our efforts seem fruitless.

During the official turning over ceremony of the donation at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Montserrado County, President Weah said the local leaders were doing a tedious job on daily.

As such, he said they could not continue to walk while performing their duties across the country.

According to him, the 45 vehicles, which included 30 pickups, were intended for the traditional leaders, while the 15 ambulances were exclusively for the County Health Teams of the 15 counties.

For his part, the Chairman of the National Traditional Council, Chief Zanzan Kawor, said that the initiative was laudable, stating that the donation from the President had shown the highest level of love in the country.

He assured the public that the items would have helped the traditional leaders to be more effective.

But the traditional chiefs in the Southeast say they are still challenged because their vehicles are grounded.

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One Comment

  1. Did I read all of the vehicles? Stop this broad day lie. Just yesterday, I saw three of those vehicles moving about their normal business

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