Weah? The Spillover

By : Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

The Coalition for Democratic Change-led government yet to be formed is seemingly taking over a nation with bled coffers, as there are indications that less than one million dollars has been reported my media outlets to be what President-elect George Weah will begin his administration with.
Undeniably, a transfer of power from a democratically elected government to another democratically elected government, seasoned economists and state actors have indicated, cannot take effect in isolation of unsettled businesses of the departing regime.
As one analyst pointed out, ‘ government is continuity’ and the undone deals of the Unity Party-led administration will definitely be shouldered by the CDC-led administration, an inescapable responsibility which the analyst noted, normally brings pressure to bear on the incoming government.
At the moment, a comparison is being made in many quarters between the Gyude Bryany-led National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) which served for a little over two years and left about 80 million United States Dollars in the coffers, and the Unity Party-led government which commandeered international respect and support, but is reportedly leaving 500,000 into the national coffers, after twelve years of power.
President-elect Weah will preside over a lot of thorny national issues, including the already ratified but questionable concession agreements which are mostly likely to be meticulously reviewed by the new government to possibly right the wrongs for a fresh start of healthy investment climate in a country that is experiencing a crumbling economy.
The incoming President will inevitably capture Liberia’s domestic and foreign debt burdens; begin to closely monitor how technocrats will set the agenda to pay the debts the last regime incurred, while at the same time, attempting to fulfill promises made during the campaign period.
Already, critics at grass root level have begun echoing ‘CDC has won but we are not seeing anything presently.’ However, foot soldiers of the new regime would react: ‘We have not taken over and the problems we are facing are inherited from the outgoing administration.’
The new regime has a huge and zealous youth-driven base and ‘unprepared’ but committed supporters and loyalists who are opting for jobs and managing their high expectations seems very critical, while those with expertise are lining up with their credentials for the job market.
At the same time, pages of local dailies are capturing the expert comments and recommendations of political scientists and professionals who classified Weah as a “dummy” who could not in any way to elected to the presidency, setting the stage as to how to run the country. Meantime, inaugural fever is said to be intensifying and for elaborate media coverage, there is reportedly an emerging tussle over who should spearhead the process of attending to media practitioners during the exercise. Notwithstanding, constitutionally, the outgoing government is expected to lead the way and usher in the new government;

AFESL Congratulates Weah, Taylor

The Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) has congratulated Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor on her impressive victory as the first female Vice President Elect of Liberia in the just ended runoff presidential election.
FeJAL says it is convinced that Sen. Howard-Taylor will continue to work for the good of the people of our country especially serving as a role model for women and girls as she takes on the task as the First Female President of the Liberian Senate.
“FeJAL sincerely congratulates Madam Howard-Taylor and wish that she discharges the duties of her new positions and portfolios with caution and integrity” FeJAL said in a statement issued Monday.
The Association said it is extremely confident that the trust placed in this astute public servant by the people of Liberia will inspire her to continue the efforts in promoting the rights of women and girls as well as contributing to their empowerment thus sustaining the gains made under the leadership of the first female President of Liberia and in Africa, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
It also noted that Senator Howard-Taylor’s preferment at such position of the country’s leadership indicates that women and girls continue to have significant roles in our growing democracy and we are assured that her performance and influence will further encourage women’s involvement in a worthwhile political sphere of our country.
The females journaists body admited that Sen. Howard-Taylor’s journey has been an inspiring and amazing one counting from being a First Lady of Liberia, to a senior Senator of Bong County, a post she re-contested and won as the only female amongst the male contenders and now the first female Vice President elect of the Republic of Liberia; this is something the Association sees as an inspiration and motivation for women and girls in the country.

Jones Presents Election Certificate To District

By Yawah Jaivey in Kakata, Margibi County

Margibi County district #2 representative-elect, Ivar K. Jones, has presented his “certificate of election” to the people of his district.
At an elaborate program held Saturday at Harbel’s Field Hall, Jones presented the certificate through the religious leaders, becoming the first lawmaker-elect in the county to do so.“You elected me, I bring my certificate to present to you,” he declared.
The young entrepreneur turned politician told hundreds of citizens who graced the occasion that the presentation of certificate to the religious leaders of the district was in appreciation to them (citizens) for interceding on his behalf during the conduct of the October 10 polls.
Jones, in a bid to seek the intervention of God,entreated the religious leaders for their harmonization and continued supports through intercession.
He at the same time extended gratitude to the citizens for reposing trust and confidence in him to lead them for the next six years, promising to uphold the district’s development agenda proffered to them (constituents) through his manifestos.
Jones said: “The first line in our platform speaks and maintains that we will give equal opportunity to all and the qualification for that is you should be a Liberian; it is against such backdrop that we have gathered both Muslim and Christian leaders here today to present this certificate. This certificate I don’t deserve it, it is not a right neither a privilege, but is by the grace of the Almighty God because I have never been a politician before and I say again it is His grace because I competed among people who understand the dynamics of Margibi County politics more than I do.”
The Margibi County representative-elect said that without divine wisdom to lead the district, those development issues outlined in his manifestos will never be actualized, adding that those developments promised the people are not intended to offend anyone, but to improve the lives of the people of his district, Margibi County and Liberia at large.
He reminded the religious leaders that as the elections are over, it is now their responsibility to assist the leadership of Margibi County and Liberia to bring unity and reconciliation among them, thus aiding to foster the needed developments.
In a related development, Jones barely a week following the naming of his office staffers, used the occasion to unveil them andat the same time called on his competitors in the October 10 polls to put aside their political differences and join him to propel and continue on the development needs of the district championed by his predecessor.
“We are counting on everyone to work along with this leadership to ensure that district number two is a better place for all of us. We believe that by presenting this certificate to the Almighty God, He will be with this team, district number two, Margibi County and Liberia,” he maintained.
For his part, Sheik Jusuif Moseray, on behalf the Muslims of the district said he was not surprise of the Margibi County electoral district number two Representative-elect for showing his gratitude because from the onset of his political endeavor, he (Jones) was the only candidate that requested them to intercede on his behalf and craved their supports as religious group. Moseray praised the Muslim Community for the huge supports given to Jones and challenged them to collectively work with him in order to foster the development agenda of the district and subsequently Margibi County.
He, however, expressed anticipation that Jones will not disregard the engagements and interactions with his constituents in time to come.
Speaking on behalf of the Christian Community, Apostle William N. Johnson said they were glad that their Rep-elect would return to them with appreciation, noting that this was the first time for an elected official to come back with “certification of election” for the religious community to receive and at the same time request them to intercede on his behalf.

LIBSWU Extols President-Elect Weah

The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union (LIBSWU) is extolling Montserrado County Senator, George Manneh Weah, President–Elect of Liberia, following Tuesday, December 26, 2017 Presidential Run-off Election.
LIBSWU wants the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led Government under President-elect Weah to focus on national healing, reconciliation, peace and development as a means of moving Liberia forward.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union is also appealing to the Executive and Legislative Branches in the CDC- led Government to give the much needed attention to the Liberia Broadcasting System as the “National Broadcaster” to be more effective and efficient in the dissemination of information to the Liberian people.
LIBSWU at the same time mentioned that: “Currently employees at the National Broadcaster are the slightest paid in the Sub-region as compared to their professional colleagues. A situation that needs to be addressed”.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union further calls on the First Branch of Government, members of the 54th National Legislature to fast track the passage of a bill to make LBS a Public Broadcast Institution. This the Union said will make LBS independent in its operations.
The transformation of the Liberia Broadcasting System into a Public Service Broadcaster has been tabled before the House of Representatives almost nine years now.
It was firstly submitted to the 51stLegislature together with a bill to establish an Independent Broadcast Regulator and the Freedom of Information Act in 2008 by the Press Union of Liberia and partners.
Meanwhile, LIBSWU is commending the Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, for conceding defeat in the December 26 Presidential Poll and congratulating Senator Weah for being the winner.
LIBSWU indicated that the move by Vice President Boakai which is first in the political history of Liberia signifies that Liberia’s emerging democracy is maturing and called on all Liberians to reflect on his historical speech in making their country a better place on the continent of Africa.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union in a release issued in Monrovia, thanked President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf for her role played in maintaining a peaceful Liberia for twelve years and rebuilding its image among the comity of nations.
The Union further commended the Liberian people for the peaceful participation in the December 26 Presidential Run-off Election and called on them to join hands to work together and put behind them their political differences.
LIBWSU also praised the Regional Block ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and European Union including the United States Government and other friendly countries for their numerous supports given Liberia during the entire electoral process.
“Their supports had built Liberia’s democracy and helped greatly in the overall socio-economic development of this country” LIBSWU release concluded.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union (LIBSWU) then the Liberia Broadcasting Workers’ Association got Union Status in 2013, under the leadership of Maxwell Johnson, as President.
LIBSWU is now in negotiation with the LBS management to sign a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CAB) with the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Management.
The Union can also signagreement with other entities in Liberia for the promotion and wellbeing of LBS employees.
The Union recently participated in the National Convention of the National Labour Congress of Liberia where its current President Moses K. Dorbor, served on the Grievance Committee that ushered in a new leadership for that organization.

Weah? The ‘Kinja!’

By:  Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

President-elect George Weah is expected as of January 22, 2018 to begin steering the state of affairs of Liberia amidst expectations and anxieties drawn from the much publicized ‘change’ which the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has promised Liberians to come about.

So far, President-elect Weah seems to be making   positively fundamental moves to engender unity and reconciliation among Liberians following the political bickering associated with the just concluded electoral process.

In less than no time, Weah reached out to Vice President Joseph Boakai whom he defeated in the December 26, 2017 presidential runoff, encouraging him to provide his expertise as the new government intends to move the country forward with the participations of every Liberian, irrespective of political affiliation.

This move followed when VP Boakai conceded defeat, coupled with his expressed willingness to work along with the President-elect whenever he is called upon, thereby signaling a trend of forming a government of inclusion under the CDC-led administration.

Though it is too early to grade the performance of the President-elect, his utterances are being analyzed to be reconciliatory with repeated vow that the new government will not fail the Liberian people.

However, the governed are keen to seeing the composition of the technocrats of the Weah-led government, wondering whether those with tainted records, who over the years had aided and abetted reportedly the spoilt system, will not make their ways through to implant ‘business as usual’ in the  new administration.

Like President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did in 2006, though President-elect Weah has not given his inaugural speech, he has promised to fight corruption, but how is he going to carry out the fight remains to be seen.

Meantime, analysts say Weah  may put up a lot of surprises  to show his commitment  to ensuring the change he has advocated  for since  2005; hence the  first batch of appointees need to be careful  how they run the day-to-day affairs of their respective assignments.

 

 

 

 

“I was Misquoted”-Deputy Minister Sirleaf

Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for administration Varney A. Sirleaf has reacted to a media report in which he is quoted as warning President-Elect George M. Weah against mistakes of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Minister Sirleaf made specific reference to the Wednesday, January 3, 2018 edition of the frontpageAfrica news outlet which referenced an interview granted by him to the BBC in which he was reportedly asked to advise President-Elect Weah.

But, the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister refuted the purported report, noting that he was misquoted by FrontpageAfrica. “I was misquoted,” he contended.

Sirleaf said, in the interview he was rather rubbishing criticisms that President Sirleaf did nothing good during her administration.

In a recent interview with BBC’s Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, Sirleaf expressed disappointment in critics who are bent on characterizing President Sirleaf as a failure, especially in the fight against corruption.

He said a lot was done to fight corruption, but the slow pace of court proceedings which delayed most cases could not be attributed to the President as failure.

It was this expression of his disappointment in critics that was misinterpreted by the newspaper reporter as a disappointment in the President.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister has called on the media to present the facts.

 

Parting Urge -Citizens Want Active WASH Commission

A cross section of citizens from West Point Township in Monrovia are making a parting urge on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to ensure that she make the WASH Commission active.

President Sirleaf is expected to turn over power to Amb. George Weah on January 22, 2018, and the WASH Commission is yet to be function since she constituted it some months ago.

The citizens said if this is not done before she leaves office as president, it could certainly undermine efforts and gains made by WASH Civil Society Organizations and Development Partners which is aimed at creating an enabling WASH environment across the country.

The citizens made the statement during a one day citizens Dialogue on the WASH Commission organized by the Liberia NGO Network, LINNK with funding from Water Aid Liberia/ Sierra Leone.

They noted that the commission will become operational by when the president appoints officials to occupy key positions at that newly established entity.

The West Point Residents said President Sirleaf as WASH Ambassador of Africa must ensure that she puts the necessary mechanisms in place before for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector of the country before her tenure ends.

Providing an overview of the one day dialogue, the chairman of LINNK, George Kayah said the dialogue was intended to create the platform for citizens to be aware of their rights when it comes water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.

Mr. Kayah indicated that issue of water is a human right matter that the entire world has recognized and as such Liberia as a signatory to several accords must respect these protocols by ensuring it provide safe water , sanitation and hygiene.

He urged the citizens to always engage their representatives on the provision of safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene.

The WASH CSO Advocate told the citizens that lots of efforts have been exerted that local organizations and the National legislature to ensure the passage of the act creating the WASH commission.

In a related Several development, WASH Advocates are calling on the president to appoint officials to the commission.

The WASSH actors believe that when this commission become operational it will help in resolving the issues of fragmentation funding and governance of governance.

It can be recalled that in October of last year the Liberian Senate concord with the House of Representatives in passing the WASH Commission bill.

Many Liberians, especially underprivileged and marginalized viewed the passage of the bill the law makers as timely and life saving .

According to them,   the passage of the bill certainly bring to fruition the dream of many Liberians who are faced with the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene.

 

 

Increasing Forest Value -EPA, LFSP Get US$37M Projec

By Mafanta Kromah

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP), is working on a US$37million project.

Supported by the Norwegian Government, the project focuses on three areas including the protection of areas under forest covered in targeted forest landscapes, Emission Reductions and carbon sequestration and people in targeted forests adjacent communities and increasing monetary values of the forest.

Beneficiaries are communities mostly dependent on forest resources from the northwestern region of the country, covering Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount and Lofa Counties; and the southeastern region; Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Rivercess and River Gee Counties.

EPA says other collaborators include: Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo–information Services (LISGIS)

It also explains that the forest plays an invaluable role to the survival of humans; providing services such as water, carbon storage and biodiversity.

Liberia requires the development of a management plan to provide guidance on use, access and management of forest resources, considering the legal framework to convey legal rights and responsibilities.

Providing certain historical facts relative to community forest in Liberia, the statement recalls that Community forestry first came to importance in the mid-70s and continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number, stressing that some milestone achievements of recent are the establishment of the National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) of 2006 which deals with the community, commercial conservation aspects of the forest, known as the three C’s principle.

“Three Cs”s approach to forest management, whereas Community forest management is an evolving branch of forestry where by the local community play a significant role in forest management and land use. Community Forestry involves the participation and collaboration of various stakeholders,” the FDA official averred”

In her presentation, Ruth Varnie, FDA’s Regional Forester of Region One, presenting on the topic, “Community Forest Management: Processes, Practices, Rights and Responsibilities,” pointed out that Liberia is one of the few countries with legal framework that purposely addresses community rights to forest.

This framework, Mrs. Varnie averred, includes legislation and regulations that outline the process to secure community forest rights, while taking into consideration the implementation of pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of the Framework.

Accordingly, in Liberia, this requires the development of a management plan to provide guidance on use, access and management of forest resources, considering the legal framework to convey legal rights and responsibilities.

Giving some historical facts relative to community forest in Liberia, she recalled that Community forestry first came to importance in the mid-70s and continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number.

The FDA boss noted that some milestone achievements of recent are the establishment of the National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) of 2006 which deals the community, commercial conservation aspects of the forest, known as the three C’s principle.

The Splits -As Liberians Prepare for Runoff

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye

Reconciliation, which was not achieved under the Ellen-led government, remains a challenge that will greet the next government. Liberia continues to experience a divided population as indicated by turbulence in political parties-splits!

Even though Liberians are not engaged in large scale and physically violent activities, high division on political lines, is likely to create a mental menace among Liberians, and could be counter-productive to development.

Division among officials of top political parties is showing its face in  recent times, with claims and counterclaims.

The ruling Unity Party (UP) and the opposition Liberty Party (LP) are currently experiencing splits, with supporters and sympathizers following their respective sides.

Vice president and standard bearer of UP confirmed how the party is being divided in blocs, with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her followers on one side while those who believe in him on the other side.

The situation is being considered a fall of the UP, which is one of the contenders in the presidential runoff.

For the the LP, some of its executives recently endorsed George Weah of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) and the endorsement has been greeted with controversies. It appears controversial because the party’s leader, Charles Brumskine, who was in the United States during the endorsement, returned the following day and distanced the party from the executives’ decision.

But the controversies continue to grow as the endorsers have stood their grounds that it was the party’s decision to carry out the endorsement while other executives, including Brumskine, are on the counter. Brumskine maintains that every member of the party has the right to endorse any candidate; but said the executives acted on their own and not the party’s.

Chairman Ben Sanvee, vice standard bearer Harrison Kanwea and campaign chief Musa Bility have all spoken that the National Executive Committee agreed at a meeting to endorse Weah.

It is also being reported that Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP) and some supporters are planning to endorse VP Boakai, days after other executives of the party endorsed Amb. Weah.

This political bickering is being sparked by officials committing their parties to the dislike of others; something analysts say could make the future of forming political parties bleak.

At the same time, it is alleged that Professor Wilson Tarpeh has been removed as CDC’s campaign chairperson due to misunderstanding among executives of the party. Tarpeh is a professor, who may be at grief along with his supporters as well.

It may also be recalled recently that former Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) executive governor, Mills Jones was expelled as a political leader of his party, Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE). Jones subsequently resigned; and he, too, may have gone with his supporters amid the splits.

While national split is a creeping menace, pundits say institutional division, as being experienced in major political parties, is more dangerous and could undermine the peace and reconciliation of Liberia as well as development. Institutional division, they contend, is very difficult to manage, thus calling for expeditious interventions.

They noted that Liberia has a multi-party system with numerous political parties, in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone; and so they must work with each other. They also underscored the institutionalization of political parties where members will support and have voice.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

 

 

 

WONGOSOL Creates Aware On Peer Violence On Gender Based Violence

The Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) held a one day Forum in observance of the 16 Days of Activism aim at educating young people on peer violence on Gender- Based Violence in schools and communities.

The one-day Forum brought together 25 youth from various institutions and organizations including communities to discuss Gender- Based Violence reflecting on real life stories that can be documented and reported for justice purposes.

In a special statement, Madam Beatrice Newland echoed the growing wave of violence occurrences against women and girls in many parts of Liberia that need to be addressed.

Madam Newland who is currently serving as the Gender Justice Coordinator on the Funding Leadership Opportunity for Women (FLOW) Program in Liberia, reported increased reports of violence against women in Liberia, mandated that everyone fight to reduce violence against women and girls.

The Gender Justice Coordinator of OXFAM encouraged young and older men nationwide to begin speaking of the negative effect of violence against women and girls in every aspect of their lives in order to desist perpetrators from the thought that women and girls are less important or could be mistreated in relationships, on the job or marketplaces at their will and pleasure.

She recognized the efforts of WONGOSOL in her fight to reduce violence as part of this year’s Sixteen Days of Activism under the national theme, “Let’s Embrace Our Diversities for Safe Education and a Violent Free Society”; while under the Funding Leadership Opportunity for Women (FLOW)is “Tracking Violence against Women Beyond Borders.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Newland stressed that regardless of gender violence against women and girls; the government and partners and men need to support the wellbeing of women and girls and they must act now!

Nevertheless, Madam Newland maintained that due to this growing number of gender -insensitive reports, the Government of Netherlands has been moved to finance organizations including WONGOSOL,FCI, NIPO, YOCEL and Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH) to reduce violence affecting women and girls nationwide through different programs and strategies in Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Montserrado Counties as a medium to support and sustain women and girls access to justice.

During the forum, several pieces of information including video clip of violence, stories emerging from communities among families were revealed as tangible ways of how violence can be perpetrated against women and girls in the home, communities and school houses in Liberia.

In her closing remarks, Marpue Spare, Head of WONGOSOL, called on young women to begin reporting immediate inappropriate touches on their body parts by anyone to reduce violence cases.

She noted that this could be some of the factors for perpetrators to violate young people in the Liberian society, among families and elderly peoples and as the results of the limited knowledge of parents to pursuit justice; today cases are compromise leading survivors with no redressed.

Madam Speare believes that if youths are reporting incidences of violence,  the move will prevent the prevalence of sexual attacks faced by teenager’s girls as well as boys who are also being solemnized in Liberia and cannot be reported.

In conversation with this paper, a beneficiaries of the forum in person of Timothy Zahn, the Administrative Officer for the Organization of Women and Children (ORWOCH), agreed with other speakers and participants to do away with an age – old perception “that is not my business” to report violence cases”; but the immediate reporting of incidences of violence against women and girls in communities is the best approach to curb the act; despite of who the person could be.

He added that most Liberian women’s survivability solely rests on the shoulders of men and this has contributed largely to the lack of respect for women as well as the poverty level of the country economic hardships being faced by families.

Zahn believes that women have great prospects and can explore for the better, if they are given the chance by their male counterparts.

He also called on victims and families to take courage and test the legal system of Liberia to seek justice and do not compromise violent cases against being perpetrated against them.

The Administrative Officer for the Organization of Women and Children (ORWOCH) admonished the current and incoming lawmakers not to touch the already existing good laws on the book that protect the rights of women and girls.

He urged them to strengthen these laws and re-enforce them to bring perpetrators to book so as to relief women from inflicted pains they suffer each day.

For her, the President of ECOWAS Women in Liberia, Mouna Ahmed believes that Liberia needs stronger laws in defense of women, something she thinks is because of some poor traditional practices of the laws from the unset are against women and these laws can be fought only when there are stronger advocacies for women’s rights throughout the country.