By Lewis S. Teh
The Head of the National Chiefs and Elders Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzan Karwor, has rejected a rumor that the Council is supporting President George Manneh Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government.
“The Council of Chiefs and Elders, we’re independent and neutral body. We’re not supporting President Weah as being widely circulated in the public by members of the opposition,” he said Friday, 17 February 2023.
Chief Karwor held a press conference over the weekend at the Council’s office on McDonald Street in Central Monrovia to dispel the rumor.
Addressing journalists, Chief Karwor explained that the Act creating the Council of Chiefs and Elders provides that the Council is a neutral body that should have no hands in the body politics of the country.
He maintained that the Act gives the chairman the responsibility to protect and preserve the culture of the country.
“One paragraph within the Act says we should propagate government messages, and we should serve as the advisory arm to any government that will take state power,” Chief Karwor stated.
How It All Started?
According to Chief Zanzan Karwor, the rumor began spreading that the Council of Chiefs was supporting President Weah and his government when he and his lieutenants honored an invitation to attend President Weah’s petitioning program at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in central Monrovia.
“We’re not violators like the way people are violating the Constitution of this country. Our mandate says we should carry government messages, so I got to be with the government wherever they are,” Chief Karwor argued.
According to him, he used the Act creating the Council of Chiefs and Elders to settle disputes between former Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor and former House Speaker, now Margibi County Senator Emmanuel Nuquay, during former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s regime.
Additionally, Chief Karwor said he used the same Act to settle another dispute with former Speaker Alex Tyler when he insisted that he was not leaving the position following a misunderstanding with former President Sirleaf.
He said it was the elders that intervened before Mr. Tyler could step down as Speaker.
“Liberian people are full of themselves, probably because talking is free. But I think the opposition should focus more on their election and avoid linking the Council into gossip,” Chief Karwor warned.
He blamed the backwardness of Liberia on constant violation of the Constitution, suggesting that Liberia has gone beyond repair due to the constant violation.
“As head of the Council of Chiefs and Elders, I know my ethics. Our Act calls for protecting and preserving, including propagating government messages while serving as advisory arm to any government. And as such, nobody in the opposition should dare try to get on our nerves,” he said.
He accused the opposition of abusing the chances they had, saying he brought over 500 chiefs from the 15 counties and not a single person from the opposition stepped foot at the Chiefs’ compound to greet them until they returned.
He said the opposition are now trying to cause problem by accusing the Chiefs and Elder Council of taking side with President Weah and his government.
Chief Karwor said he made a passionate appeal for vehicle, but not a single person from the opposition was able to purchase a vehicle for the council.
Chief Karwor stated that it was President Weah who provided the Council with 30 vehicles, 15 ambulances and 150 motorbikes while the opposition do nothing.
“Look opposition, when you have program, call us, we will grace it. There’s no law that ban us from attending your program,” he said.
“We’re independent and we play a twin mother role in this country. But if you refuse to invite us, or fail to identify with us, don’t try to accuse us of being supporters of President Weah and his government,” he stated.