Two groups including company workers and a family that claims a leased property have held separate protests outside the Legislature, demanding Senate Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh to pay them different sums of money allegedly owed them.
Mr. Singbeh is said to be the president and Board Chair of MHM – Eko Liberia, a company that allegedly leased 50 acres of land from the late James D. Lorwoe.
The late Mr. Lorwoe’s wife Mrs. GarteeLorwoe and other family members held protest Tuesday, 2 April demanding US$20,000, representing four years lease payment; while MHM – Eko Liberia workers also protested for US$77,300, representing 17 months’ pay.
The two separate protesting groups all carried computerized well – printed and giant – sized banners with inscriptions and photos of Mr. Singbeh, as they stood at the entrance of the Capitol Tuesday.
The protesters departed from the usual posters that are usually written on with ink and chose to use expensive giant size printed posters, while others carried Mr. Singbeh’sphoto inserted on a huge banner.
Mrs. GarteeLorwoe, a mother of four children, alleges that Mr. Singbe has refused to pay the family four years money for a leased property, and he doesn’t respond to their calls either.
In a letter of complaint to Margibi County Sen. Oscar Cooper, the Lorwoe Family allege that MHM Corporation had allegedly signed an agreement to pay US$5,000 annually to the head of the family in honor of Mr. Lorwoe.
They alleged that the late Lorwoe only received payment for one year, and no other pay has been made since.
“He leased land from [my] late husband …, he leased 50 acres of it,” she narrates.
According to her, this transaction took place in 2013, during which time Mr. Singbehmade a down payment for the first year, at the time Mr. Lorwoe was still alive.
Since her husband’s death, Mrs. Lorwoe claims that Mr. Singbeh has refused to make further payments in honor of the lease agreement to the family to whom he owes US$20,000.
For their part the MHM workers, informed Sen. Cooper in a separate letter that the company general manager Mr. KarelSophor told them to stay home for administrative reason, but promised to pay them a monthly salary of US$100.00 each.
After paying them for three months from June to August 2017, the workers claim that the company refused to make further payment.
Earlier, the workers’ spokesperson Mr. Francis G. Kerkulah claimed that Mr. Singbeh has refused to pay workers for 17 months.
He says Mr. Singbeh has been the president for the company since 2013, but he often allegedly snubs workers each time they engage him for their pay and benefits.
According to him, about 21 persons are affected, and they are claiming US$77,300 from Mr. Singbeh.
He says the workers include rock miners, carpenters, and machine operators, among others.
Mr. Kerkulah says they do not have the financial strength to fight Mr. Singbeh in court.
In responding to claims made by the protesters at his office on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Mr. Singbeh says if the company is owing the Lorwoe family, it should be for 2017 and not the number of years claimed by Mrs. Lorwoe.
Further, he notes that he should not be the one owing the family, but the company.
In relations to company workers’ claims, Mr. Singbeh says he has his employees that he pays.
Mr. Singbeh believes that the protest is being allegedly stage managed, pointing accusing fingers at Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean and a foreign national that he claims want his company turned over to them.
He raises concern over the kind of expensive banners that the protesters carried, which he believes are a testament that somebody is behind the protests.
Mr. Singbeh says the way forward is for the court to give its decision on the matter.
By Winston W. Parley