Montserrado County lawmakers are yet to provide clear answer as to why a recent county sitting in Bentol, Montserrado resolved to allot $78,000 each to Senators George Weah and Geraldine Doe-Sherif, besides $78,000 already allotted to each of the county’s 17 representatives.
Montserrado County Representative Josephine Francis, who attempted to clear the air amidst growing claims of corruption from the county sitting, only told “Truth Breakfast Show” Thursday, “The same development will take place in the county.”
One key concern has been to establish exactly how the two senators would implement their percentages of $78,000 each from the county social development funds, when the 17 district representatives of Montserrado are equally allotted the same amount of money to work in their respective districts.
“My dear, and the same development will take place in the county … I hope that some of it will go in my district; maybe George Weah will go in the rural part,” Rep. Francis said in response to why the two senators were allotted $78,000 each when each of the representative of the 17 districts of Montserrado had already been allotted the same amount.
She recalled that when former Montserrado Senator Joyce Musu Freeman was in office, she and incumbent Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif received their percentage of the social development fund, but said she could not remember whether it was the same amount of money.
“I know for fact Senator Weah will not take that money and put it in his bank account because he will never see the actual cash or receive a check for that money,” she claims.
The lawmaker argued that the way things are structured, the superintendent office, the Project Management Unit and the development superintendent would follow where the $78,000 would expended to receive resolution signed by citizens from sittings.
“The only place that we will see that money is on a financial record, that districts number one to 17 receive $78,000. After that meeting now, we go and call a district sitting and bring delegates,” she said.
Representative Francis argued that representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, including superintendent and development superintendent, PMU, commissioner and everybody will be there.
Controversies began here last month when Montserrado lawmakers and county authorities allegedly converged at a county sitting that Rep. Francis says was purposely intended for a $1.5 million dollars from the social development funds.
After allotting for districts and senators, she said delegates at the sitting gave some percentage to the county for administrative cost because the county has to supervise and do a lot, including construction, among others.
Each of the representatives at the sitting carried three persons as delegates to the county sitting in Bentol, she said, but denied knowledge that any lawmaker boycotted.
In order for each of the 17 districts and two senators to get the $78,000 as allotted, Rep. Francis says the superintendent has to carry the resolution signed by delegates at the Bentol sitting with all supporting documents to the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Finance and Development Planning, respectively for approval and subsequent disbursement.
“The same thing goes with the district sitting, because if we don’t do the district sitting, we will not get the money because the superintendent has to [carry] supporting documents from the district sitting with photographs, and everything send to the Ministry of Finance,” she argued.
Rep. Francis however says claims of corruption against lawmakers from the County sitting in Bentol were mere political propaganda, as she gave reflection on an initial $151,000 allotted to her district under her administration during a previous sitting two years ago.
She said her district received the money from the county social development fund at the time, and built a major bridge that had been broken down since she was “eleven years old.” By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Jonathan Browne