President George Weah was not truthful in his Annual Message before the joint session of the Liberian Legislature on Monday January 27, 2020, the opposition political parties here have said.
“He was not truthful when he stated that he had met his promise of a 25% salary cut and was the first to have his salary harmonized.. Unfortunately, the President was again untruthful when he reported that citizens have enjoyed their rights under this administration and there has been no arrest nor guns shot in response to protests,” Mr. Alexander B. Cummings said when he read out the opposition parties statement on Tuesday.
According to Mr. Cummings, the Weah government is rather compounding the suffering of hardworking Liberians.
The opposition indicated that the move by the Weah’s regime to reduce civil servants salaries by 30-50%, while prices of everything- rice, oil, chicken, transportation, – are increasing by 30% is unacceptable.
“This is not harmonization. This is a wicked and malicious attack on our people standard of living,” Cummings said, adding “Instead of harmonizing workers’ salaries, it is time for the President to harmonize his frequent private jet travels, cutback on building more mansions for himself and cutback on the corruption that has taken center-stage in his government”.
Cummings further stated that President Weah was untruthful when he stated that he had met his promise of a 25% salary cut and was the first to have his salary harmonized.
“Fellow Liberians, it will interest you to note that after reviewing the president’s budget, particularly the salary component of the president’s budget of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, there has been absolutely no reduction in the salary of President Weah.
In fact, our research revealed that the Compensation portion of the budget of this current president which was $381,414.00 in 2018-2019 was increased to $494,949.00 in 2019-2020. Yet, the President in his message, thanked you for your patience and understanding during this harmonization which he promises will continue, while his budget and wealth undergoes MULTIPLCATION.” The opposition added.
The opposition further explained that they were alarmed by the president’s report on the increase in the country’s debt portfolio from 987.8miilon at end of 2018 to 1.27 BILLION at end of 2019, a 282 MILLION increase in just a year.
The CPP also note that civil liberty has eroded under the Weah administration saying “opponents and critics of the president and government face intimidation and threats regularly.”
“Unfortunately, the President was again untruthful when he reported that citizens have enjoyed their rights under this administration and there has been no arrest nor guns shot in response to protests. On the contrary, peaceful civil action, which is the bedrock of democracy, is being denied as we saw with the unjustifiable dispersal of peaceful citizens protesting current economic hardship and governmental corruption as noted by The National Independent Human Rights Commission,” the CPP added.
“In the case of corruption and unaccountability as it relates to political governance, they remain key features of this government. This is even confirmed by the 2019 Corruption Perception Index report released last week ranking Liberia as one of the worst decliners in the fight against corruption worldwide. Evidence of that is the handling of the US$ 25 million in the Mopping Exercise and the LD$ 16 billion saga.
A year on from these scandals, the government is yet to hold all those culpable as indicated in various reports. The President has shown no intention of slowing the construction of mansions and apartment complexes especially after failing to publish his asset declaration. We are left with no choice but to deem the President new found wealth as “questionable”. Yet the President wants us to believe that he is serious about the fight against corruption. He promises legislation to give the LACC prosecutorial powers but yet appoints die-hard CDC partisans and supporters to the LACC.
The President claims to fight corruption but gave no rebuttal statement to the leaked audio of his National Chairman of the CDC making allegations of corruption against him as President. This contradiction in what the president says and does is enough to let us know that it is all “mouth-talk”. The CPP stated. By Othello B. Garblah