Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fire killed 7 Liberian in South West Philadelphia

(Philadelphia, PA) A fire described as “tragic and terrible” on Friday night (December 27, 2008) killed 7 Liberians and left several others wounded with conditions ranging from critical to serious. According to Harris Murphy ‘who escaped from the fire in the basement of the town home, all of the victims were very confuse and terrified when they found out that the fire had blocked their only exit to the town home basement. When asked how he escaped, Mr. Murphy said he used his 13 years fire escape training strategy which his colleagues refused to use. Murphy said after he realized that the fire was fully blazing to the only and main exit to the basement, he (Murphy) determined that their only option was to apply the technique he applied. Mr. Murphy said he asked everyone to go in the bathroom and drop in the bathtub for few seconds. He said every one in the basement ran in the bathroom but refused to get out of the bathroom. Mr. Murphy said he dropped in the bathtub and had his clothes wet to help delay fire getting to his skin while elbowing his way out. As Mr. Murphy narrated his story, crying voices of sympathizers, family, & friends increased from the crow surrounding him. Most parts of Harris Murphy’s head and hands were bandaged as he narrated the horrifying moment he survived. He said while at the hospital, several local and international journalists talked to him from his hospital bed. Most of the journalists that came from the accident scene could not believe that someone escape from the basement of the town home. Murphy said he was later asked to help identify some of the burned bodies in the hospital. He said of the seven bodies, he could only identify his closest friend “Henry Gbakoloi Ward”, whom many considered a brother to Harris Murphy. According to Mr. Murphy, the fire started in the basement of the town home where a mini restaurant was operated by a Liberian lady by the name of Chris Teah. The building was a three story apartment building occupied by renters from Liberia. According to the eyewitness who narrowly escaped death, the fire came from a kerosene heater that was used to provide heat for the basement’s mini restaurant. He said a strange blast came from the heater which started the fire. After the fire started forming blaze, it reached to a gallon that had kerosene in it. The restaurant owner, “Chris Teah” took the kerosene gallon and decided to run upstairs with it. In the process, kerosene spilled on the floor of the basement of the town home. The town home basement according to Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers did not appear to be equipped with smoke detectors. The commissioner said they did not found any smoke alarms at all, which they are very sadden by.
The owner of the Basement “Chris Teah” is among few of the survivals of the tragic accident. According to eyewitness Harris Murphy, Chris Teah needs a serious psychological evaluation after leaving the hospital. He said three of the children that died in the fire were Teah’s grand children and from what I (Harris Murphy) witnessed Teah display at the hospital last night, she will definitely need serious counseling.
According to CNN, Six of the victims- three adults, a teen and two children were found in the town home’s basement huddled together. A 2 year old boy who was pulled from the burning house by Philadelphia firefighters was later pronounced dead at the Philadelphia children hospital pushing the total number of death to 7.
Early clues suggest a kerosene heater may have started the blaze. The Philadelphia fire marshal has not officially determined the cause of the fire.
During my one hour visit to the tragic scenes, I briefly spoke to some members of the Liberian Community association in Philadelphia. One of the officials who was only identify as Jacobs, informed me about an urgent meeting scheduled for Sunday December 28, 2008 at a church few yard away from the accident scene on 65th street and elmwood avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. When Jacobs was asked about the planned role of the Liberian community association in Philadelphia, he said you are invited to the meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A rejoinder to Aloysious T. Togba’s allegation

By: Sam K. Zinnah

(Clayton, Delaware) Mr. Togba or PMP, am not quite sure what you are trying to portray here. Are you telling me or other Liberians that we don’t have the right to know who’s stealing from Liberia?
From my understanding as a human service major student, media institutions are not suppose to be cheering squad for any administration. For decades, most Liberian media institutions served as cheering squad for government but from what we are seeing now, things are changing and those changes are becoming worrisome for close minded people like you “Mr. Togba or MP”. In an effervescent Democracy, media institutions serve as mouthpiece for the massive. These institutions are used to inform the public about the good or bad work of a seating administration to help the voting public decide how to cast their next ballot. This has been the complete opposite in the case of Liberia over the past decades or centuries now. For your information, FPA has gained the credibility that most Liberian news Medias has not reached since their establishment.
One good thing we now know about so-called government sensitive information is that it has always been fully loaded with criminal activities ranging from economic looting to threesome sex scandals. How can a sound minded person tell the whole world that an audit report loaded with corruption scandals is “sensitive information”? Am not even sure this “Togba” name is real. This name is probably used by some of those that have find their legs caught in the corruption webs.
The role FPA is playing now is one of the many opportunities that were promised to Liberians during the 2005 campaign by the Elle Johnson Sirleaf team. We were promised that we will have free and transparent administration. It was even based on this pillar that officials and nominees were asked or required to declare access prior to confirmation (for those positions that required confirmation by the national legislature). So, for someone like you to come out now swinging at a news media considered by most Liberians and the international community as “Liberia’s CNN”, raised serious doubt about the name you seem to be hiding behind. One of the good things we are enjoying about free world press now is the availability of advance technology.
I see your attack on FPA as the beginning of the smell of what lies ahead of the Knucklesgate II scandal. According to sensitive information I have on hand, the head of the so-called “hand-picked” Dunn commission “Professor Dunn” is currently in queue as one of the many applicants for the consultancy of the governance Reform Commission (GRC). The very administration that Professor Dunn is charged with investigating is responsible to approve or deny applications for this lucrative contract. What would any sound minded analyst predict as the future or the outcome of the “Dunn Commission”.
Ahead of the “handpicked” Dunn Commission, I have used my personal technical skills to conduct my own investigation. I hold a diploma in computer network engineering technology from the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) in Ghana. I also attended the Cittone Technical Institute in Pennsylvania, where I did software engineering prior to transferring to Delaware Technical and Community College in Delaware State where I later change my major to human services.
For your information, all communication sent from your email account can be verified by what is referred to as IP address. From the various emails from Mr. Knuckles’s yahoo account, there are huge inconsistencies about statements he made after the chain of email was released by FPA. Let me hold back for now until the official reports are released by the Dunn commission.
Mr. Togba or PMP, from now onward, we will not keep quiet. We will talk & write until rights overcome wrong in Liberia.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Committed UN Police Force Needed to Strengthen Liberia National Police

By: UNMIL News

UN Envoy Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj has said that in addressing the challenges in strengthening the rule of law in Liberia, UNMIL still needs a committed police force to continue to build the capacity of the Liberia National Police (LNP). She made these remarks during a ceremony to honor the Nepalese peacekeeping contingent for their role in strengthening the rule of law in Liberia.
· The contingent has undertaken medical outreach programmes as well as building bridges and roads in Liberia. “These will all have an impact on Liberians as they strive for the development of Lberia,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) added. She urged the Nepalese awardees and all other UNPOL to “continue working hard to ensure that the Liberian police force develop the confidence they need to take up the baton as UNMIL departs.

In Economic Sabotage Case: Bryant’s Poor Health Obstructs Hearings
(The Parrot, The News)

· Hearings into the economic sabotage case involving five former officials of the erstwhile National Transitional Government (NTGL) yesterday failed to proceed due to the poor health of one of the defendants, former NTGL Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant.
· The Judge of Criminal Court “C” Emmanuel Kollie however said the trial would resume Friday and hoped the defendant would have recovered and will be in court. “The case was postponed because we cannot conduct this trial in the absence of any defendant who is a party to this suit,” he added.
· Recently, the case was again suspended when one of the defendants, Richard Devine, travelled to the United States on national assignment. The five former officials of the NTGL who are being tried on corruption charges are Edwin Snowe, Jr., former LPRC Managing Director and his deputies, Richard Devine, Siaka Sheriff; and G. Andy Quamie who were indicted in February this year for embezzling over US$1 million from the corporation.

“Liberia’s Prosperity Depends on Quality Education” … U.S. Envoy Says
(The News)

· United States Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas Greenfield says it is imperative for authorities, parents, students and everyone to note that the future of Liberia and its prosperity greatly depend on quality education. Ambassador Greenfield spoke Monday when she and Mrs. Grace Cavert Nelson, wife of United States Senator Bill Nelson of the State of Florida presented additional 20 scholarships to 15 girls from the June L. Moore Public School and five boys from Cecelia Dunbar Public School in rural Montserrado County.
· The scholarships were provided under the Ambassador’s Girls Scholarship Program (AGSP) funded by American taxpayers through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The 20 scholarships awarded to primary school pupils bring to a total of 5,796 the number of scholarships awarded under the AGSP since its inception in 2004.

‘Perpetrators Fired at Us’ … Claims State Witness in Timor Massacre Case
(The News, Daily Observer, The Inquirer)

· One of the survivors of the June 7, Timor massacre in Grand Bassa County, in which 14 persons were killed, Vanjah Francis yesterday told the court that their attackers fired at them with single barrel guns, AK-47 rifles and also used machetes and acid water to kill the men. Vanjah said the number of persons killed during the massacre were 21 out of the total of 47 persons hired to brush a farmland in the area.
· He said during police investigation, 45 bodies were recovered while the villagers later found additional six bodies. The witness said following his escape he arrived in Kakata and saw Senator Kaine with the alleged ringleader riding in a vehicle marked “Sen. 22” heading towards the crime scene.

Radio Summary
Local Media – Radio Veritas (News monitored today at 9:45 am)
Criminal Court “A” Denies Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by JPC
· Criminal Court “A” has denied the petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus filed by the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission (JPC) against the government on behalf of 22 Liberian deportees.
· In its ruling, the Judge of the court, Boimah Kontoe said the motion was dismissed on grounds that it was filed in two courts in violation of the law.
· The JPC recently filed parallel petitions before the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and Criminal Court A in Monrovia.
· On Monday, the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County also dismissed the JPC writ of Habeas Corpus citing similar concern.
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

UN Envoy Decorates Pakistani Peacekeepers with UN Medals
· Speaking at an award ceremony for over 3000 Pakistani peacekeepers serving in UNMIL, UN Envoy Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj lauded them for going beyond their call of duty by providing humanitarian assistance to communities in the country.
· Ms. Løj said they have helped the Liberian Government and UNMIL in the rehabilitation of major roads in the country.
· Also speaking at the programme, the Head of the Pakistani contingent, Ghulam Murtaza reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the peace process in the country and UN initiatives in the world.
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Liberian Deportees Want Consulate in Washington Withdrawn
· Liberian deportees from the United States are calling for the withdrawal of the Consulate at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, Mr. Christopher Nippy.
· The deportees claimed that Mr. Nippy refused to visit or give them audience to explain their cases but immediately issued travelling documents for their deportation.
· Recently 22 persons were deported from the U.S. for various crimes they committed in that country.
· They are presently at the Zwedru Correction Palace in Grand Gedeh County undergoing rehabilitation before being release to their families.

Education Ministry Purchases US$4.5M Primary Textbooks
· Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Education Minister, Dr. Joseph Kortu said the ministry has purchased 200,000 primary school books valued at US$4.5 million.
· The books which comprise reading, math and social science materials are expected to be distributed to schools throughout the country.

Star Radio (News culled from website today at 8:30 am)
Finance Ministry Vets Pensioners’ Payroll
· The Ministry of Finance says it is in the process of thoroughly vetting the regular pensioners’ payroll of government.
· In an interview, the Comptroller General of Liberia, James Boker said a lot of names exist on the payroll that should not be there.
· He indicated that the volume of the government’s regular pension payroll has swollen beyond expectation, putting the amount of names presently existing on the payroll at 14,000.

Truth Commission Investigates Allegation Against One of Its Commissioners
· The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) has ordered an investigation into allegations that one of its commissioners was a member of the defunct rebels United Liberation Movement of Liberia (ULIMO).
· The TRC mandated its Inquiry Unit to immediately investigate the allegations that Commissioner Sheikh Kafumba Konneh served as a major supplier of arms to ULIMO.
· Former rebel General Ofori Diah who made the accusation said the commissioner recruited him into the group during the 1990s.
· The TRC said the allegation is the second against the Commissioner saying it initially received a letter this year from a Liberian in the diaspora claiming that Sheikh Konneh was a member of ULIMO, a claim he has since denied.

Reports Speak of Brewing Tension at Guthrie Rubber Plantation
· Reports from the Guthrie Rubber Plantation in Bomi County say unknown persons have burned down the security post in the area.
· In an interview, several employees said the guard post was set ablaze on Monday by the men.
· The employees claimed that tension is presently brewing at the plantation as most of the plantation Managers gave abandoned the area
· One report said a company vehicle which was enroute to the compound was recently turned back by angry men.

Labour Ministry Launches Major Clean-up Exercise
· The Labour Ministry in collaboration with the Liberia Emergency Employment Programme has launched a major clean-up campaign of Monrovia and its environs.
· The Acting Coordinator of LEEP, George Saah puts the cost of the campaign at over US$70,000.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

UNMIL Public Information Office Complete Media Summaries


The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on Wednesday released its bi-annual report with concerns over the weakness in the criminal Justice System due to the absence of key personnel, and inadequate resources for essential rule of law institutions, including the Judiciary, the Liberia National Police and the Corrections services.
· The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu told journalists that the report covers human rights issues monitored by the Mission Human Rights and protection Section.
· Highlighted in the report are prevailing human rights concerns in the country, including measures being instituted to address them, and that these concerns also include challenges being faced in the criminal justice system and delay in making operational the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, and the prevalence of rape and other violence incidents.
· The report covers the period November 2007 to June 2008. According to the Mission, some challenges still remain despite steps taken by Government to address some of the human rights concerns.

New Rape Court Dedicated to fast track cases
(The News, Heritage, The Analyst, New Democrat)

· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday dedicated a new circuit court, Criminal Court “E”, at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia to prosecute cases of rape and Gender-based Violence (GBV).
· Speaking at the dedication ceremony, President Sirleaf observed that governance and rule of law continue to pose challenges in Government’s overall effort to meet its development priorities.
· An Executive Mansion release issued in Monrovia said the President praised the Danish Government for providing the funds for the renovation of the court.
· She hoped the establishment of the court would help confront the increasing wave of sexual violence n the country

Deportees Sent to Zwedru Correction Palace
(New Democrat, The Inquirer)

· Twenty-two Liberians recently deported from the United States of America have arrived in the country.
· The deportees arrived yesterday and were immediately sent to the Zwedru Correction Palace in Grand Gedeh County.
· Speaking to journalists, Immigration Commissioner, Col. Chris Massaquoi said the deportees were sent to Zwedru to face further security screening and rehabilitation.
· The 22 Liberians including one female were convicted of crimes ranging from rape, drug abuse, assault, armed robbery, overstaying amongst others.

Violence Erupts in Nimba Again
(Daily Observer)

· [sic]Incidents of land disputes in some parts of Nimba County seem to be far from over as latest reports indicate another round of attacks. This time, the attacks took place on a farmland belonging to the Statutory Superintendent of Saclepea, David W. Queeglay. According to Mr. Queeglay, during the attack over 100 marauding armed men set ablaze his three rice barns and made away with an amount of L$36,000 and several other valuables. The attackers, he claimed destroyed whatever they met in their path and looted several heads of cattle and then violently cut down most of the 12,000 rubber trees on the farm. When contacted, Nimba County Inspector, Thomas Suah acknowledged that the county authorities were aware of the incident. According to Inspector Suah, the office of the Superintendent Robert Kamei has already dispatched a team of joint security personnel to the disputed area to conduct an immediate investigation and bring the situation under control.

Egypt Offers Training For Nurses, Midwives
(The Informer, The News, Heritage)

· The Egyptian government has offered eight scholarships to five Liberian nurses and three midwives to undergo specialized advanced training at the Egyptian National Research Centre in Cairo. According to a statement from the Egyptian Embassy in Monrovia, the beneficiaries are expected to leave Liberia December 15, 2008 to undergo a 25-day intensive medical training in Cairo.
· The Egyptian Embassy hoped the training would build the capacity of the health practitioners so as to provide good health care to the people of Liberia. At the same time, the Embassy said five Liberian students are expected to depart Liberia soon for Egypt to undergo various disciplines including agriculture, commerce, among others.
· The students, the statement said, would spend four years in that country studying at various universities after which they would return home to contribute towards the development of their country. The Egyptian Embassy also mentioned that three Liberians are currently in Egypt undergoing training in peacekeeping.

Radio Summary
Local Media – Radio Veritas (News monitored today at 9:45 am)
22 Liberian Deportees Back in the Country
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

UNMIL Releases New Human Rights Report
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

President Sirleaf Dedicates New Rape Court
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Popular Musician Accused of Atrocities Faces TRC Today
· Popular Liberian musician, Michael Davis alias Sundaygar Dearboy appeared before Liberia’s Truth Commission(TRC) to explain his role in the country’s decade-long conflict.
· The musician has been accused by several TRC witnesses of committing crimes such as rape and torture in Grand Bassa County while fighting with the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) during the civil conflict.
· Appearing before the TRC public hearings early this year, the commission’s first witness, David Saweh linked the musician to the rape and subsequent death of his sister.
· Mr. Davies has however termed their testimonies as “baseless” accusing a Commissioner of the TRC of staged managing the testimonies against him a claim denied by the TRC.

Criminal Court “A” Hands Down Ruling in Angel Togba Murder Case
· Criminal Court “A” will today hand down ruling into a motion file to dismiss the case involving Hans Williams and his Fiancée Mardea Paykue who are accused of killing little Angel Togbah last year.
· Lawyers representing the accused filed a motion on grounds that the state has failed to produce medical report on the case before the indictment.
· The State however said there were no laws that required such documents to be filed before the indictment.

16 Dismissed AFL Soldiers Stage Protest
· 16 officers dismissed from the Armed Forces of Liberia have staged a peaceful protest demanding that they see President Sirleaf.
· The soldiers were dismissed in September this year for what Defense authorities termed as “Gross Insubordination”.
· Reports at the time said the “disenchanted” soldiers of the 23rd Infantry Battalion of the AFL protested their relocation their apartments to accommodate more than 500 of their colleagues who had graduated from the Sandi Ware military barracks at VOA.

Star Radio (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
President Sirleaf to Deliver Major Policy Statement Today
· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf today delivered a major official policy statement on corruption in Liberia.
· In a live broadcast statement the President outlined policy measures the government has already instituted to fight corruption.

Labour Ministry, American Bar Association Sign MOU
· The Labour Ministry and the American Bar Association’s sponsored-Africa Rule of Law Initiative have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding.
· Under the MOU, the American Bar Association would provide legal assistance to the Ministry.
· A Labour Ministry release said the two agreed to establish a framework to place an Attorney-at law in the ministry.
· The Attorney at-law will assist the ministry in the determination of Labour disputes in accordance with the country’s Labour laws.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another round of disappointment

By: Sam K. Zinnah

In my personal opinion, the main objective for political governance in post-war Liberia should be to secure democracy by instilling checks and balances, which have been absent throughout Liberia's long history. Such political system “in a way” would limit or reduce the president or group of people’s power to no longer usurp so much power and wield such extraordinary influence over the fate of the majority and by so doing provide the conditions for sustained growth and development - not white washing old buildings and referring to them as development. The first task of political democracy in Liberia should to ensure equal and unhindered access for all to state power, which as history has shown had been the most contentious issue in Liberian political life that to a large extend fueled the violence that we witnessed in Liberia for 14 years. Liberian leaders have either lacked a vision or the will to enforce whatsoever vision they had for the development of the country. The Constitution, which should provide the framework for governance was disregarded and treated with discontent by the very people who should have upheld it. Liberian politicians are more talkative than doers. I grew under the perceptions, which of course I refused to accept, that only "doctors/well learned people" could govern Liberia. This explains why all of Liberia's past and present leaders had spent their energies seeking out doctorate titles, even if honorary, in order to bolster their position and create the erroneous impression that they were the custodian of knowledge.
The native head of state Doe even fought for a doctor degree, thereby discouraging Liberian youths from pursuing academic excellence. In my personal view, the conditions for democracy to strive in post-conflict Liberia and to ensure stability in the Liberian political system should go along the simple scenario of reduction in the President's powers, while at the same time strengthening, scrutinizing, and increasing the power of the National Legislature and securing the independence of the judiciary. With this in mind, the following would address those issues that have over the centuries, decades, or years paralyzed the Liberian political system:
Constitutional Reform - The objective of constitutional reform should be decentralization of state management - giving more power to the regions to determine local policies and development priorities, including such areas as education, social infrastructure and human development, as well as the power to implement these policies such as forming their own budgets, financing developmental policies, collecting certain types of taxes etc.. Likewise local authorities should be held accountable for what happen in their regions and they should be made less reliant on central authorities. Local authorities should have a share in managing state assets on their territories and gaining incomes from it as well for financing projects. To avoid outright manipulation of local authorities, particularly Paramount, Clan and Town Chiefs, article 56, clause B of the 1986 Constitution be revisited and the power of the President to remove these local officials be transferred to a credible and well scrutinized National Legislature acting upona specific number of signatures of the local population in the respective localities of these officials, certified by the national election commission as valid. In this way, we might not have town chiefs coming to bring resolutions of support to the president out of fear of losing their jobs. Given that Liberia is a small country of less than five million and that the level of illiteracy is high, and in view of the fact that power had been the root of all evils in Liberia in as much as incumbents had feared parting with power because it will not be gotten back again, a revisit of article 50 of chapter VI of the 1986 Constitution which states that " person shall serve as President for more than two terms is highly recommended. It should “however”, be re-emphasized, nationally accepted (under international monitored) that no person who have held office for more than 2 separate consecutive terms should be allowed to contest further. Efforts should be made to exploit the opportunity for amendment that is provided for in article 93 of chapter XII of the 1986 Constitution.
Another major case in point for reform should be the Liberian judiciary system. Over the decades, the world have watched the Liberian judicial system make mockery of the word “judiciary” Therefore, there should be a need to revisit article 68 of the Constitution. To avoid a repeat of the Chea Cheapoo scenario, the continuous disgraceful behaviors of Johnny Lewis, it is highly necessary and recommended to exert the independence of the judiciary by making it much harder to nominate & confirm judges, particularly the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia since in fact those are the country’s judicial strength
Owing to the rhetorical and political tactics Liberians and the world saw during the Doe and Taylor regimes, it is recommended that a cap or restriction should be placed on the number of times a president can grant pardon within one term. Article 59 of the Liberian Constitution is to wide-ranging without such cap. This explains why Taylor was able to abuse the system by, on several occasions, granting pardon to journalists that his government had accused of treason, even before these individuals were brought to justice, thereby undermining the Liberian judicial process and reinforcing Liberia's status as a banana republic. The President should not be allowed to grant clemency before the judicial process runs its course, and particularly in such cases as treason. Such ugly practice was recently observed again when the Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf began pointing proof less fingers against Charles Julu & Moses Dorbor.
Social aspect
Social transformation is one of Liberia’s’ complex issues yet to be well analyzed by Liberian government or Liberian sociologists. From all indication, what has worked for one county or group of people have not work for the next. Triggered by the planetary crises, the Liberia should be undergoing a whole-system of transformation of all aspects of society, from consciousness to economy, from values to politics, from technology to organizations. Some of these forms could be used to transform cultural, society, and community in Liberia.
Liberia’s social aspect’s long-term goal should be to rebuild the country's damaged social infrastructure in such a way to serve as a stimulus for economic growth, as well as to provide opportunities for ex combatants, internally displaced persons and refugees to get involved in productive activities. In this respect the things that matter most to ordinary Liberians would need to be addressed such as health care, infrastructure, education and jobs. One of the mistakes of the past was that development in Liberia was never people-centered. It has always centered literally speaking in the Executive Mansion & in the President’s inner circle’s pockets. Such or similar activities are resurfacing in different forms again. This time, the government is allocating county development funds which have been skimmed into internal affairs minister’s (Ambulai Johnson’s) pocket and the rest to the counties. Once these funds land in the local areas, the intended beneficiaries are left waiting in limbo. This explains why the people as a whole feels themselves estranged from the process of state governance and this in turn provide an inducement to the population to eventually take to violence as a means to realizing themselves when and as soon as this became possible. The simple fact is that there will never be integration or healing the wounds in Liberia unless people begin to feel empowered, that they have a stake in the country's future. No amount of speeches of zero tolerance on corruption, international rhetoric and talking would do. instead of internal Affairs Minister “A.B. Johnson” acting in dual capacity: for eg; county development official whilst serving as Minister, the Liberian legislature should pass a historic law that will comprehensively establish national development benchmarks that will serve as a blue print against which all current and future national development policy from one administration to the next in a consistent manner to ensure speedy and systematic development of Liberia. That historic law should also empowered the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct systematic audit to ensure that county development funds are not continuing to end up in bank account of senior government officials in Monrovia.
A huge percent of the Liberian population was of the strongest conviction that the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led Government was going to lift Liberia from the very low level of poverty to a better level or to that of the neighboring countries but those hopes are now slowly falling on frozen ears. Since the inauguration of this Government, corruption has been at the all time peak in Liberia. Lots of people are now wondering whether President Johnson-Sirleaf has formed part of the queue of Liberia’s disappointment or is in the process of forming a part. Bold and confident decisions are required in this regard. Take for example the case of the President Sirleaf’s cabinet ministers that work on the Delta mining bidding that was recently canceled by the administration because of the alleged crook & dubious deed involving some of the president’s close aides. The alleged involves are still driving luxury vehicles to work while the victimized company is in an uncomfortable financial pain. Is this a part of the President’s definition of zero tolerance of corruption? What a disappointment again!!!
On the issue of education, the government should concentrate on beating down the cost of education in postwar Liberia while seeking to increase enrollment and set the conditions for quality education in the country. Due to the consistent level of corruption in past Liberian government, there is a huge impression that Liberian students are more focused on politics than in pursuing academic excellence. There is an impression that government does not have much interest in promoting education because it feared opposition to its policies. Attempts by Doe to promote the Agriculture College of the University of Liberia by providing free education as a means to allure students, for example, faltered in part because the government did not have any clear idea as to how to make use of these skills and it was actually not committed to developing agriculture and it was used as a propaganda stunt. Government should put its priorities straight in the education sector: science and engineering as well as information technology. These will prove crucial to the development of Liberia and the creation of jobs.
The economy
The objective of reform in the economic sector should be to ensure accountability, reinforce support for the political system, promote transparency, combat corruption and protect the interests of Liberians to manage their economic affairs thereby fulfilling their fundamental rights as prescribed in chapter III of the 1986 Constitution.
In Liberia, the word politics has become another term for dishonesty and corruption. President Johnson-Sirleaf needs to explore or design different avenue for implementing punity especially when it comes to members of her inner circle. There is already an ever mounting crisis of public confidence in Liberia’s political leaders. President Sirleaf’s failure to exercise her campaign promises (zero tolerance on corruption) is just consider as “another round of disappointment”. The entire world no longer believes what Liberian politicians say because for too long their words never match their deeds. There is nothing in life that can destroy a man’s credibility faster than making a promise and not keeping it. Liberian politicians see government jobs as the easiest way to get rich overnight. Much of the problems are rooted in the fact that many educated people in Liberian society enter Government with very low or no moral character and have little or no respect for public property. This has been encouraged in the past and now because there has been no system by which new and succeeding administrations would be compared by law to pursue and prosecute perpetrators of public crimes in Liberia. Instead, these financial hawkers run away from Liberia and spent some time in foreign country (ies) and later return to Liberia with their stolen riches. They used the same stolen riches to elbow their ways back to public offices. There is a need for an internationally monitored commission of inquiry to probe into the activities of all civil servants in Liberia so that Liberians can try to control the high rate of corruption and save money that could be used to implement development projects in Liberia.
The proposed internationally monitored commission of inquiries foremost in this regard should be to rigidly enforce or to enact laws that will ensure the disclosure of wealth and to speedily exceed to the UN Convention against Corruption. Same commission could also advocate for the imposition of a ban on senior officials in leadership position in Liberia from having foreign bank accounts and to oblige them to submit every six months full and complete information on their financial transactions as well as transactions of their close family members. Foreign accounts held before coming into office should either be closed or not allowed to increase in monetary holdings.
As part of the process of improving tax collection in the first stage and popularizing the idea of paying taxes, it is suggested that tax payments be codified (that is, every citizens and businesses should have a tax code for receiving benefits or conducting transactions). Also, the tax office at the Finance Ministry should be given an autonomous status while under the ministry in order to make it more effective.
Development will never come to Liberia if we continue to rely on foreign companies to do everything. History attests to this. The Indian, Ghanaian, Nigerian and Lebanese business communities in the country have never productively participated in Liberia's development. In fact, they have always tended to set themselves apart from Liberians. A requirement should be to make these people to integrate in Liberia, just as most developed & developing countries are now encouraging dual citizenship or foreigners to integrate or assimilate in their communities. Foreign banks in Liberia have never been a catalyst for local development. In the light of these, Liberia will have to either compel foreign financial institutions to actively participate in the nation's development priorities or embark on a course of creating our own local financial sectors even if it means direct state financial intervention. I am of the belief that in countries such as those on the African continent, state intervention is require since without it the living standards of the people will never be improved. Events on the continent over the past years have proved this. No countries among the developed Western nations have made it to their current level without significant state interventions. This is why I’ve considered that the insistence of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF that African states turn over development priorities to market forces as a plot. These international financial institutions are encouraging or largely silent with respect to state intervention in the former Soviet Union while criticizing such in Africa. Without state intervention in housing, electricity and other areas in countries of the former Soviet Union the plight of most of the citizens in these countries like for example Ukraine would not have been much better than what we see in Sub-Sahara Africa today. But of course, these countries are in Europe and only Europeans have got the right to benefit from state intervention. In the case of Liberia, we have never had any significant industries for development before the civil war besides the extractive mineral sector. For example, Liberia have never had significant domestic industries managed by Liberians that could produce consumer products such as diary products, or even sugar, needless to mention alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. Coca-Cola and Club Beer factory are all foreign-owned without any Liberian shareholding. So if we are going to attract investments in the post-conflict future, Liberia like many other Sub-Saharan African states would see these investments going to the mineral sectors and not basically towards manufacturing, where jobs could be created but how would such be implemented when President Sirleaf is refusing to drastically punish some of her cabinet ministers that are involved in dubbing major potential investors in the mining sector?. In such a painful situation, it is now up to the government of Liberia to build-up the credibility to attract investors to boost the mining and other sector of the country.

Sam K Zinnah
Delaware State

Friday, November 21, 2008

United Nations Daily Newspaper Summary

By: U.N.M.I.L News

Former Taylor Associate Denies Committing Atrocities

(The Inquirer, New Democrat, Public Agenda)
· Testifying at the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation of Liberia (TRC) public hearings a former deputy director of police in the regime of President Charles Taylor denied ever committing atrocities during the civil conflict.
· Representative Saah Gbollie told commissioners of the TRC to direct inquiries into alleged atrocities of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) to detained former President, Charles Taylor presently facing trial for war crimes in The Hague.
· The New Democrat reports that during his denial, Representative Gbollie threw invectives at Commissioner John Stewart.
· Meanwhile, Commissioner Stewart has vowed never to attend the ongoing public hearings saying the leadership of the TRC has refused to warn witnesses against unruly behavior before the body.
· Under the theme: “Understanding the Conflict Through its Principal Events and Actors,” the ongoing hearings are addressing the root causes of the conflict, including its military and political dimensions.

Press Union of Liberia Gives Chief Justice 48-Hour Ultimatum
(Heritage, The Inquirer, Daily Observer, Public Agenda)
· The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has given Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis a 48-hour ultimatum to return the camera which he confiscated Thursday from journalist Sando Moore of the Daily Observer or face the wrath of the media.
· In an interview, PUL President, George Barpeen also requested an apology alleging that the Chief Justice Lewis is in the constant habit of intimidating journalists during their reportorial duties.
· The Chief Justice yesterday ordered the seizure of the camera for allegedly photographing him.

Court Begins Jury Selection in Detained Senator’s Case
(The News, Daily Observer, Heritage)
· The selection of a 15-man empanelled jury to hear the murder case involving Margibi Senator, Roland Kaine and 14 others began yesterday a the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
· During Thursday’s proceedings at Criminal Court “B” five out of the 15 jurors were selected with the balance 10 to be selected at a later date.
· Senator Kaine is charged with murder for his alleged involvement in the killing of 14 men during a farmland dispute in Kolleh Town, Timor District.
· Two other bodies were discovered in the river where the killings took place while 16 other persons are still said to be unaccounted for.

Criminal Court “C” Reschedules Economic Sabotage Case
(News, Democrat)

· Criminal Court “C” has rescheduled the economic sabotage case involving former Transitional Chairman, Gyude Bryant and four others for next week.
· The court’s decision comes after both the Defense and Prosecuting lawyers cancelled submissions and resistance during Thursday’s hearings.
· Meanwhile, State lawyers want the re-arrest and subsequent detention of Mr. Bryant and his co-defendants for failing to turn up in court during the hearing.
· The former Transitional Chairman and the four others are accused of embezzling over US$1.1 million dollars from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) during the rule of the National Transitional Government.

GAC Debunks Claims of Professional Impropriety
(Heritage, The Informer)
· The General Auditing Commission (GAC) has expressed concern about what it calls series of unfounded and sponsored attacks against the Commission.
· In a release, GAC Chief of Communication, Ernest S. Maximore said that GAC is not an enemy to any institution or government.
· Mr. Maximore said the GAC was only doing its work in assisting President Sirleaf to set up a unique control system that will produce an accountable government.
· The Movement for the Defense of the Down-Trodden has made series of allegations against the Commission as well as the Auditor General, John Sembe Morlu, II for what the group termed as acts of impropriety at the GAC.

Local Media-Radio VERITAS (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
Press Union of Liberia Gives Chief Justice 48 Hours Ultimatum
(Also reported on Star Radio, Truth F.M. ELBC and Sky F.M.)

Criminal Court “C” Reschedules Economic Sabotage Case

Former Taylor Associate Denies Committing Atrocities

STAR RADIO (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
Global Financial Crisis hits Liberia’s Micro-finance and Exports
· Microfinance and exports have been identified as areas in the Liberian economy that are experiencing the immediate impact of the global financial crisis.
· Financial experts in Liberia say most Liberian-based companies have lost credit lines from overseas banks, which are not replaceable by local banks.
· For exports, revenues from rubber and other products are decreasing as a result of the decrease in commodity prices on the world market.
· The financial crisis is also predicted to have impacts on investment, aid and remittances in the near future.
· The comments were made at a one-day economic round table chaired by President Sirleaf on the impact of the economic financial crisis on Liberia.

Local Official Reports Security “Threat” in Bomi County
· In an interview, the Commissioner of Klay district in Bomi County, Alfred Zinnah says there is an imminent security “threat” at the Klay Checkpoint following the departure of the UNMIL Pakistani contingent.
· Commissioner Zinnah said since the departure of the Pakistani contingent, Klay and its environs have been in darkness saying electricity would help drive away would-be criminals and gangsters.

Liberian Senate Urged to Prioritize Training
· Speaking at the a one-day workshop for the Research Bureau of the Liberian Senate yesterday, the Director of Research, McCarthy Weh spoke of the need to prioritize training as a key component to building a professional bureau.
· The workshop for 25 Researchers and Analysts was sponsored by the National Democratic Institute with funding from USAID.

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
Court Begins Jury Selection in Detained Senator’s Case

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Custom brokers association, another disgrace to Liberia

Custom brokers are suppose to be people with ethical, professional, and high moral character but this seems to be the opposite of the Liberian custom brokers association. The Liberian custom brokers association is notoriously known to be intruders into customers, visitors, and private citizen’s properties thus leaving Liberia or the National Port Authority with the ugly image. Hundreds “if not, thousands” of visitors & business people have been rubbed or victimized by the Liberian custom brokers association at the Freeport of Monrovia. Lots of complains have been filed against some of the major perpetrators but they are still seen roaming the yard and corners of the port with bunch of papers in their files claiming to be custom brokers. Many of their victims “including me” are now redefining the association’s name and functions. The name “custom brokers” is now defined or considered as the notorious custom of breaking into people’s barrels, containers, and even pockets at the Freeport of Monrovia.
It is becoming regretful to express to any Liberian abroad who whish to ship anything to Liberia because the custom brokers at the Freeport of Monrovia are now referred to by many Liberians as “worse than the typical waterside rouges”. It is sad that many Liberians who are opportune to share some of the wealth of the west cannot invest in our home country due to notorious behavior of the custom brokers at the Freeport of Monrovia. Usually, contacting the port authorities does not bring any resolution to ones problems. The custom duties are irrational and the path of clearance is extremely bribery and corruption.
The collection of custom duties at the port in Liberia is a good idea if the funds are used to improve and maintain the port and the country’s infrastructures but this has not been the case in Liberia, so where does the fund go? Since there are no proper accountability or used of funds collected, this is considered another form of extortion. When custom officers, on a daily basis, take home extorted goods from merchants. What do their spouses or family members say? (Sweet heart or darling, a good chopping today ooooo; more grease to your elbows yaaaa).
The incident and extent of bureaucratic corruption is everywhere a function of prevailing levels of political and economic competition. In well-developed democracies with heightened political competition, corruption is relatively rare, and in cases where there is strong evidence of it, the effects are often economically insignificant. This is because corruption is bread and nurtured in secrecy; where there is openness in government coupled with political competition, the rule of law is closely observed, and corruption personally contained (Werlin 1973).
A host of factors account for the notoriously abysmal economic growth rate or the absent of it in Liberia. Underdeveloped human resources, extremely low level of productivity, in ability to attract and sustain direct foreign investment, continuous mismatch of capital and needs, and deplorable infrastructures, but prominent amongst these is corruption.
Condemnation of bureaucratic corruption is not quite enough to contain its practice in Liberia. The fact that both developed and developing nations have laws against bureaucratic corruption suggests a universal indictment of extra-legal and executable/punishable laws against it. Since corruption is essentially an opportunistic behavior and exercised by custom brokers in Liberia, a genuine effort to stem it must begin with practical reforms of existing laws, rules of conduct, custom and tradition that govern socio-political and economic relations. For any change to be effective at the various ports of entry in Liberia, it must be drastically enforced and punishable by laws.

I recently shipped five barrels to Liberia. Among those five was one barrel containing thousands of note books for kids in one of the clans in Gbarpolu County. The barrels landed at the Freeport of Monrovia. Few weeks after intensive efforts to retrieve the barrels, My brother was later told that the barrels were not declared on the shipment manifest by the shipper. My question was “what do we need to do to claim the barrels”?. My brother went to the custom offices at the Freeport of Monrovia and called me from there. I asked the gentleman “I spoke to” the same question. His response was, “you need to pay the custom duty for the five barrels before you will be allow to take delivery of the barrels. The total duty calculated for the five barrels was USD 150.00. I immediately went to the bank and transfer the money to my brother. I instructed my brother to make sure a payment receipt be obtained from whoever he was making the payment to. According to my brother (whose name am withholding for security reason), the amount was paid to one of the custom brokers only known as Nimely. The five barrels was being kept by the brokers association. After paying the money, he (my brother) was asked to pay USD 10.00 for each of the barrels to be transported from the warehouse to the port entry. When he pay the total USD200.00, he asked for receipt but was told that he could not get receipt because the deal was off record. He was hurried out of the port and made to wait outside the port to take delivery of his barrels. With not much options left for him after almost three weeks of tireless efforts to retrieve the barrels, he went outside the Port gate and waited. In about an hour, a pickup truck loaded with the barrels arrived and unloaded the five barrels off the pickup truck. They hastily headed back inside the port. When my brother took a close look at the barrels, they were all broken into and half of the content of the barrels was gone. When he contacted them, they told him they were not responsible. My brother immediately called me and reported the incident. When my brother got home with the half empty barrels, I called him back and asked him to count the content of his share of the barrels so that could compare the available content of the barrels to the original one. When he did, I almost went into coma. Out of almost 50 pieces of jeans and 15 pieces of sneakers, he counted less than ten pieces of jeans and less than three pieces of sneakers. I went online and email the port management. In that email, I provided my contact information and that of my brother in Monrovia. I demanded full investigation into the incident and also demanded that the money paid to the custom brokers be verified. In two days of my email, I received a respond from the public relations department of the National Port Authority. In that respond, the department promised to forward the mail or the message to the appropriate group concerned. I few days, someone from the custom brokers association contacted my brother and arrange a meeting. When the meeting was finally conveyed, instead of lunching an investigation into the allegation, my brother was told that I (Sam Zinnah/victim) used derogatory worlds in the email “such as criminal working with the custom brokers association.” The association decided to take a path that they think will silence me. They told my brother to inform me that if I don’t retract my article from the media, they (custom brokers association) will embarrass me. Since that day, I have anxiously been waiting for that embarrassment but yet to see or get one.

In November of 2006, I shipped a forty footer container (TRIU9199576 seal: 19783641) to Liberia. The container arrived the week of December 24th 2006. My experience with the Freeport of Monrovia. The behavior of some custom officers became a painful memory that I will always remember. Upon the arrival of the container, all offices went on the rampage with the intention of grabbing anything as a bribe to let the container out of the port. My custom broker joined the corruption queue and thought he “and his squad could use the opportunity to empty my pocket or bank account. From December 2006 to March 17, 2007, I realized that the custom brokers Association did every thing possible to empty my pockets. The common brokers maybe the ones running in the open but something suggest to me that If the custom brokers, security officers, and other port workers “without portfolio” running around the port do not heavily oil the mouth and elbow of their bosses, they run the risk of being transfer to an area where there is absolutely no chopping or assigned unpleasant functions. So, even the biggest boss knows what’s happening in the corners. During my frustrations from December 2006 to May 2007, I was very investigative and determine to expose some of the dark forest operations at the Freeport of Monrovia. In January of 2007, my container was scheduled to be release. On the scheduled date, one of the managers insisted that he had not received the tele-release from the shipping line. While I was sitting by my phone and waiting for the latest story about the container, my cell phone rang. When I asked what the latest was? I was told that the container could not be released in the absence of tele-release. I immediately called the New York office of the shipping line and reported the issue. In few minutes, an agent from the shipping line called and confirms that the tele-release was sent and received by the Monrovia office. A copy was sent to my email address. I forwarded a copy of the document (with all the shipping information) to my agents who later printed the hard copy of the document and took it to the appropriate offices for verifications. Because there was no cash escort, my agents were told that the documents needed to come from New York directly to the port. I was referred to the GEMAP representative (Adlophus Doring) ‘at the time’ in a telephone conversation with Doring, he said the issue was above his jurisdiction. He then referred me to the port Manager “at the time”. All efforts to get the port manager “Toga Nganangana” went fruitless.
While the container case was dragging, Bobby Jimmy “one of the custom brokers who was supposedly hired by Uriah Glaypo” to clear my container, “with the help of some high ranking port officials”, elbowed his way out of the port with three forty foot containers. Jimmy’s successful exit shows that if corruption has to be combated in any of Liberia’s’ sectors, it must start from the top. These are the same people who in a long time have not only plunder Liberia’s economy, but have done everything to ensure that foreign, even Liberians abroad fear investing in Liberia. We should explain our experiences for the public to read if the heads of the National port Authority finds it frightening to read or considered.

My recent inquiry into some of the causes of corruption in Liberia has made strong connection to the culture of impunity. Much of the problems are rooted in the fact that many people in Liberian society enter Government with very low or no moral character and have little or no respect for public property. Majority of those in high ranking positions live by the three Gs: Get, Grab & Go. These crooks and hustlers fight tirelessly to get into government positions and then grab whatever opportunities they see and get out of the country “Liberia”.
The major reason why these crooks always succeed in getting into high places in government and snatching away people’s or the country’s wealth is because there has been no system by which new and succeeding administrations would be compared by law to pursue and prosecute perpetrators of public crimes in Liberia. Instead, these criminals run away from Liberia and spent some time in foreign country (ies) and later return to Liberia with their stolen riches. They used the same stolen riches to elbow their ways back to public offices and continue their usual routine.
The misuse of office by government functionaries is relatively common in Liberia in areas of public procurement, revenue collection, government appointments and contracts, licensing and permits. In these areas of specialty, graft and venality are readily executed through anyone of the following activities:
A civil servant receives from a private contractor a fixed percentage of awarded government contracts; the kick back may be in kind or cash paid directly into the beneficiary’s pocket.
Police or other law enforcement agents use their offices to extort bribes in lieu of official fees or taxes.
Customs agents insist on payment above the official rates or side payment before providing requisite services to both importers and exporters.

One victim who recently returned from Liberia told me “if you want to see how corruption can cripple a society, go to Liberia.” The victim explained how her container was broken into at the Freeport of Monrovia. She spent weeks chasing BIVA and custom at the Freeport. She said “when I finally took delivery of my container, I had lost five bags of slippers and my personal clothes I had on the container.”

After three months of hustle at the Freeport of Monrovia, my container was finally released on March 17, 2007. Instead of taking the container to the ELWA campus where the container was to be off loaded, it was forced into the Telema fishing company’s yard with custom officers, BIVA representatives, and port securities sweating to enter the container and grab something for themselves. While the container was being of loaded, some custom officers broke into one of the cars and lay away with a bag containing two laptops. In the process, one bye stander saw one of the laptops being smuggled in notorious Jimmy Bobby’s car. A police officer was called to intervene while the rest of the custom officers, BIVA representatives, and port securities were left unattended to. In the process of investigating the mysterious disappearance of the laptop bag, one of the cars from the container (a 1995 black Toyota 4 runner) mysteriously disappeared from the Telema fence. Witnesses or bystanders saw one custom officer driving the 4 running toward the port. I immediately called Star Radio and reported the incident. When the reporters arrived at the port, they were told that there was unpaid storage on the container but how the arrangement was made to get the container out of the port remains the misery of the century. After series of investigations, it was finally discovered that the 1995 Toyota 4 runner was in the process of being covertly bought by notorious Bobby Jimmy, a custom broker. According to notorious custom broker Bobby Jimmy, Uriah Glaypo (another broker) took USD5000.00 from him “Jimmy” and promised to give him the 4 runner in exchange.
From the week of December 24, 2006, the last car was finally released from the Freeport of Monrovia on May 5th, 2007. To date, one of the laptops from the container is at large.
After all these painful occurrences, should we be referring to this so-called association as one of the best in the country or among the worst tainted character organizations? Is the custom brokers association legally charged with the responsibility of breaking into people’s containers, barrels, and even plastic bags at the Freeport of Monrovia?. After the publication of my 2006 , 2007 experience with the same custom brokers association in Liberia, a journalist and philanthropist from Australia emailed me expressing her frustration over the way she was treated by the Custom brokers when she last visited Liberia with relief items intended for war affected kids in Liberia.
From own experience & observation, I think the existence of the custom brokers association is a disgrace to Liberia.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two Experts Return Home after giving technical assistance to team investigating Email Scam

United Nations in Liberia

The Inquirer newspaper reports that two experts from the James Mintz Group, Inc (JMG) who were in the country to assist the Independent Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate the alleged e-mail scam linking the President office to corruption have returned home.
· According to a release issued in Monrovia recently, the group was engaged to assist the independent Ad Hoc Committee in the identification, reviewing and analyzing certain government computers and servers.
· The JMG experts were to also take a forensic image of the hard drives and servers, and analyze the data from those computers to determine their authenticity and review other information relevant to the investigation. The investigation involves former Minister of State, Willis Knuckles alleged circulation of emails soliciting money from the Liberia Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) relative to the extension of that company contract to manage the Liberia’s Maritime Programme. Meanwhile, the Liberian Express and the Parrot newspapers report that the ‘Dunn’s Committee’ headed by United States based Liberian Professor Elwood Dunn has been allotted an amount of US$ 400,000 for the investigation process.

Over-spending, Illegal Payments at NASSCORP --Audit Report Claims
(The News, Heritage, The Monitor)

· The report of audit conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) covering the financial year 2005/6 and 2006/2007 revealed over spending and other illegal payments of honorarium and stipend to board members. The report indicated that between July 2005 and July 2007, the Board of Directors of NASSCORP awarded four increases in the remuneration it established and paid itself.
· According to the GAC, though NASSCORP Decree is explicit that the Director General of the entity shall not receive Board remuneration, the current Director General Francis Carbah and his immediate predecessor participated in honorarium and stipend payments made to the Board amounting to US$17,750.
· The Monitor newspaper quoting a GAC audit report called for the standardization of board fees for public institutions urging the government to ensure a timely resolution. Meanwhile, the Heritage newspaper reports that Mr. Carbah was over the weekend reportedly “stopped” from leaving the country to attend a World Bank Seminar on Social Security Reform in the U.S.

MTA Acquires Additional Buses to East Transport Problem
(The Informer, Heritage)

· The Monrovia Transit Authority (MTA) has announced the arrival of ten new buses to ease the transportation problem across the country. Addressing a news conference at the weekend, MTA Managing Director, Sewan Wiah said the buses came through a grant that was presented by an American based company in Holland.
· Mr. Wiah said though the buses are intended for the use of the public, he said students will be prioritized and that special arrangements will be put in place to allow them pay a minimum fee on the buses.

Press Union Elect New Leadership
(The Inquirer, The Monitor, The News, New Vision, The Parrot, Liberian Express, The Independent)

· The media reports that the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has elected a new corps of officers to administer the affairs of the Union for the next two years. Those elected are the current Secretary General, Peter Quaqua as President. Mr. Quaqua won the elections by 137 votes from a total of 245 votes cast ahead of his rival Bernard Waritay with 107 votes.
· Broadcast journalist Philip Sandi was elected Secretary General by 120 votes ahead of Jallah Grayfield who garnered 69 votes, Philip Moore 38 votes, and George Walkins 15. The only female in the race, Inquirer’s Melissa Chea-Annan and LBS’s Jacob Parley both won by white ballot for the positions of Assistant Secretary General and Vice President respectively, while Mr. Joshua Kpenneh was re-elected Treasurer after defeating Moses Whenyou of Star Radio with 143 votes to 96. Although the election has ended but there were talks amongst supporters of Waritay that the process was marred by irregularities.

NIC Debunks Bribery Claims
(The News, The Inquirer, The Analyst, Daily Observer)

· The National Investment Commission (NIC) has described as “blatant, unwholesome, and diabolical lies” a local newspaper report that its officials have received kickbacks for the rebidding process for the Western Cluster mining concession. NIC in a press release over the weekend said the story published in the November 7-9 edition of the Liberian Express under the caption “LME, NIC Officials in Bribery Scam as ‘Knucklesgate’ probe gets underway is nothing but falsehood and fabrication intended to ruin the hard-earned image of the commission.
· According to the release, the story alleges that the Public Procurement and Concession Commission has requested a halt to the re-bidding process for the Western Cluster Iron Ore Mining Concession in the wake of reports that two more officials of the Ministry of Lands and Mines and the National Investment Commission may have received kickbacks in the deal. In the face of these developments, the NIC said, it is challenging the author of the story to go beyond mere allegation and provide credible proof to authenticate the story.

German Government to Train Road Builders
(National Chronicle, The Informer, The Monitor, The News, New Vision)

· The German Government has commenced a four-year capacity-building programme for private Liberian road builders. Under the arrangement through Inwent, the German government will develop the skills of local engineers in the field of road construction and maintenance over the four year period. Inwent Senior Project Manager for Business Development and Infrastructure, Heinrich Plote said the German government has been attracted to Liberia’s infrastructure development due to the destruction caused by the civil war.
· Mr. Plote spoke at the end of a planning workshop for members of the Association of Liberian Road Constructors in Monrovia. He said his government would support members of the organization and other private road constructors and enterprises in the road sector in Liberia.
· Mr. Plote said 200 private enterprises in the field of road construction throughout Liberia would benefit from the programme and the constructors will also be taught how to prepare tenders for contracts. Mr. Plote indicated that it has been observed that Liberian companies lack capacity to singularly undertake big projects.

Radio Summary
Local Media – Radio Veritas (News monitored today at 9:45 am)
LET-USA Dedicates US$45,000 School Project in Bong County
· The Liberia Educational Trust USA-branch has dedicated a US$45,000 primary school project in Salala, Bong County.
· The dedication which was carried out in collaboration with the Monrovia Office of LET is an annex to the Martha Tubman Primary School.
· According to the Chairman of LET-USA, Robert Sirleaf the dedication is in celebration of the students of the school and the people of Salala.
· Mr. Sirleaf said the school construction project is among several others being targeted by Government.
· The head of LET-Liberia, Dr. Evelyn Kandakai said Liberia stands to benefit from a total of US$1.3 million.
· The Salala School project was implemented by the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, LACE.
(Also reported on Star Radio, Truth F.M. and ELBC)

PUL Elect New Officials
(Also reported on Star Radio, Truth F.M. and ELBC)

More Buses to Ease Monrovia’s Transport Problem

STAR RADIO (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
UNMIL SRSG Takes Night Patrol with Police
· The Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj has acknowledged that the Liberia National Police (LNP) is still faced with numerous challenges but said the mission was prepared to join the LNP in facing these challenges which include logistics and infrastructure among others.
· Speaking when she toured several police stations and depots in Monrovia and its environs Saturday night, Ms. Løj said there is nothing the UN wants more than success for the LNP in its operations.
· She said the tour gave her a firsthand impression of the challenges faced by LNP personnel, especially during their night operations.
(Also reported on Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Government to Construct National AIDS Secretariat
· Government says it would shortly construct a National AIDS Commission Secretariat to lead a national response to the disease.
· According to a release, a steering committee has been constituted to coordinate HIV/AIDS activities in various ministries and agencies. The HIV/AIDS steering committee would provide needed policy direction, institutional development and capacity building.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) News

23 October 2008

· UN Deputy Envoy, Mr. Jordan Ryan, has assured Liberians that the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is committed to achieving the broader agenda of peace building, consolidating the rule of law, and strengthening national institutions by providing support to the Liberian government.
· Mr. Ryan made the statement when he awarded UN peacekeeping medals to 300 officers of the Ukrainian Aviation Unit for their contribution to peace and stability in Liberia. Commending the peacekeepers for their support, the UN Deputy Envoy said the peacekeepers’ contribution to UNMIL is befitting of Ukraine’s legacy in UN peacekeeping.
·“Liberia and the UN will always remember your contribution in maintaining peace and security in this country, because your deployment has ensured the safe transportation of colleagues, cargo and supplies throughout Liberia,” Mr. Ryan noted. The DSRSG paid special tribute to the Contingent Commander, Colonel Taras Shliukharchuck, under whose able leadership the officers have performed satisfactorily.
·Since their arrival in Liberia in January 2004, the members of the Ukrainian Aviation Unit have flown mission personnel and VIPs, delivered cargo, organized medical flights, and provided observation flights and air escorts to force movement totalling 27,550 flight hours.

IMF Holds Closed Door Meeting With “Embattled” President Pro-Temp
(The News, The Inquirer, The Analyst, Daily Observer)

· In the wake of leadership crisis at the Liberian Senate, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday held closed door meeting with the ‘suspended’ President Pro-tempore Isaac W. Nyenabo at the Capitol. Yesterday’s meeting between the IMF delegation and Pro-tempore Nyenabo lasted for half an hour.
·The meeting followed a letter addressed to Senator Nyenabo which was dated October 21, 2008 requesting a meeting with him at his office. The meeting was intended to discuss IMF program development and the status of debt relief.
· According to the IMF Resident Representative, Mr. Michael Tharkur, the delegation was in the country to conduct Liberia’s Article IV Consultation, and the first review of performance under the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF). Speaking to reporters following the meeting with Senator Nyenabo Wednesday, Mr. Tharkur said discussion centered on the IMF program development and status of debt relief. The IMF Resident Representative praised the Liberian government for the tremendous efforts in its economy recovery program.

President Sirleaf Addresses White House Summit
(Daily Observer, The News, The Inquirer, The Analyst, The Informer, National Chronicle)

· The media reports that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on development partners to see Liberia as a “Laboratory for Innovation”. President Sirleaf said Liberia was well on its way to rebuilding institutions of government and welcoming the return of a vibrant civil society, a dynamic market-based economy and an open press.
· She pointed out that Liberia’s progress has been possible because the country was out of conflict situation and is being seen an emerging democracy in Africa. President Sirleaf made the statement during a White House Summit on International Development on Tuesday.
· The summit was attended by U.S. President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary of State Rice, U.S. government officials and members of the diplomatic corps. Speaking on the theme “The Importance of Country Ownership and Good Governance”, the Liberian leader recalled that during the period of war, Liberia was associated with terminology like “child soldiers,” “blood diamonds” and warlords.

Liberia Battles Unemployment - Launches “Cash for Work” Employ Scheme
(The Inquirer, Daily Observer, The News, The Monitor)

· Vice President Joseph Boakai will today launch the Liberia “Cash for Work” temporary employment project.
· The project is intended to provide income support to vulnerable households in rural and urban areas.
· Under the project 17,000 persons will be employed for a period of two months over a two year period nationwide.
·The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment(LACE) is to implement the project
· A release said beneficiaries of the project are expected to engage in simple work in response to the needs of their communities.
· Government and the World Bank signed an agreement in June this year to support Liberia in response to the global food price crisis.

Africa Will Have It Tough Under Obama – Two U.S. Resource Personnel Predict
(The News)

· Two American resource personnel have predicted that Africa will have it very tough under the Democratic Party’s candidate Barack Obama’s presidency. “It will not be all love, love; it will be tough love (for Africa)”, they said. Journalist Eduardo Cue, a stringer correspondent for the U.S. News and World Report and Steven Rudy Ekovich, Associate Professor in the American University of Paris’ International and Comparative Politics Department made the prediction Wednesday during a Digital Video Conference (dvc) involving representatives of some of Liberian political parties, university students and journalists. The dvc was held live between the American Embassies in Paris where the two panellists are based and Monrovia where the audience was. Speaking under the theme “United States 2008 General Elections”, Cue and Ekovich said opinion polls have put Obama ahead of his Republican rival John McCain. But in response to a question as to how an Obama presidency would impact Liberia, both men pointed out that although Obama’s ancestors are (partially) Africans, Obama is an American, and as an American President, Obama will protect and put America’s interest above all other considerations. Journalist Cue and Associate Professor Ekovich said America’s policy for Africa will “not change; neither Obama nor McCain presidency will change American policy toward Africa; reading both Obama’s and McCain’s plan for Africa is like reading the same script twice.”

Radio summary

Information Minister on Progress Made by Government after 1000 Days in Office
· In an interview, Information Minster Lawrence Bropleh has admitted that everything is not well in the country but that government has made some progress in addressing the plight of Liberians.
· Speaking as government celebrates one thousand days in power, Minister Bropleh said the salary of civil servants was increased following the identification of more than 17,000 ghost names on the civil servant payroll.
· He also spoke of reforms in the mineral industry with the setting-up of the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative and said government was committed to the fight against corruption.
· The government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power in 2006, with a promise to improve the living condition of Liberians and fight corruption.
(Also reported on Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Final Argument in US$500M Cocaine Cast Takes Place Today
· Final arguments in the US$500 million cocaine case were due to have taken place today at criminal court “C” at the Temple of Justice.
· It case involves nine Ghanaians arrested onboard the “Blue Atlantic” with 92 barrels of cocaine.
· Defense and Prosecution lawyers will try to convince jurors hearing the case to arrive at a verdict in their favour.
· The prosecution during the trial said it found that the vessel has been engaged with drug trafficking across West Africa and beyond
· French Navy troops arrested the nine Ghanaians and their vessel in an area where they found the cocaine floating at sea but the Ghanaians denied any involvement.
(Also reported on Truth F.M. and ELBC)

TRC Accused of Bad Labour Practice
· A group of aggrieved employees of the Truth Commission has accused the commission of human rights violation and bad labour practices.
·Two spokesmen of the aggrieved workers, Mohammed Cammue and John Toe said the commission terminated their contracts without giving them severance benefits.
· They also alleged the TRC has refused to pay them their transportation allowances in the tone of US$200 each for the period of seven months.
· Cammue and Toe further explained all attempts to prevail on the TRC to provide them their just benefits failed as the commission remains insensitive.
· The TRC aggrieved employees said they have since taken the commission to the Labor Court for redress.
· When contacted, TRC’s Media Officer Richmond Anderson said the commission was prepared to settle the aggrieved employees but the matter was in court.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Few minutes with Miss Liberia 2007/2008

Ms. Bendu Tita Parker in 2007 emerged as the winner of Miss Liberia 2007/2008 pageant. The pageant was organized by Miss Boss Lady Entertainment International in collaboration with the ministry of information.
During the program that gave giant size lead to Ms. Parker, she stood that underdevelopment of Liberia could be attributed to bad governance. She linked the 14 year senseless civil war to bad governance.
According to the outlined rules of the 2007/2008 pageant, Bendu was expected to receive us$10.000.00 from Kakata trading, $600.00 from Commium (a cell phone company in Liberia), Firestone scholarship of us$1,500.00 and us$500.00 from Ecobank
Recently, Mr. Sam K Zinnah “through facebook” came one-on-one with 2007/2008 Miss Liberia “Bendu Tita. Parker” who is currently on vacation in the United Kingdom. Mis. Parker declined interview but said she could spell out few of her activities in Liberia.

1. what are some of the activities you are working on in Liberia 'if any?

I do the regular charity work, with schools, hospitals, clinics, orphanage homes and the various counties. I also have speaking tours and concentrate on female education across the country. I partnership with the American library and had the first spelling competition ever in Liberia. I partnership with government of Liberia and UNMIL (United Nations Mission In Liberia) for the national anti rape campaign, partnership with government of Liberia and Liberia fistula project for a massive surgical fistula campaign, recently award over 29 elementary students scholarships for this academic year and many others

2. Thousands (if not millions) of Liberians were coerce out of Liberia during the civil war, many are either in Europe or America, if you were to ask for two major things from them, what would you ask?

I really have my own thoughts when it comes to Liberians that are away. Liberia suffered and gradually we are trying to put the broken pieces together. I will want all Liberians to return home and rebuild our nation,. at this point its a hard decision to make for many families. Most people have nothing to go back for, but we can all go back to contribute to our society. We must always put country first.
Some or many of these Liberians in question took on other citizenship while in other countries. According to the Liberian constitution, those Liberians are no longer considered Liberians; including their kids (if any) they had while in exile or refuge. how would such condition be reconciled with your plead to return home to rebuild our nation?

I don’t think dual citizenship should be the paramount issue. I believe you are still a true Liberian and that’s what runs in you, in your blood. It’s all about creating a better world for our children and leaving a legacy that will judge us tomorrow. Many Africans leave their countries in search of opportunities. In most of these cases, Africans return home when life gets better. I haven’t seen the part of the Liberian constitution that says you are not Liberian when you have another citizenship. There were issues about dual citizenship during our most recent elections, and I know it was taken care of.

Many people in Liberia look at Miss Liberia as just beautiful Liberian ladies advertising their beauty. What topic or strategy would you use to sell the idea of Miss Liberia to other Liberians who are not properly informed about you?

There is so much that our young women can learn from participating in the Miss Liberia beauty pageant. It is not just the physical beauty, but the beauty inside. It’s just simple. Give the young women the chance to display what they have inside. Support their projects. When I look at my position now, I don’t see myself as just Bendu Parker. I represent the many young women across my country. all the fifteen counties. I want people to see what i am capable of doing for Liberia. Evaluate my projects and support them. Beauty with a purpose is beauty with true essence.

The rebuilding/reconstruction of Liberia is actually a collective effort. Recently, one online Liberian news magazine published what appeared to be scams of activities allegedly involving some of the President’s inner circle, since the publication of those emails; there have been different views of Liberians in and out of Liberia. What do you or your organization make of this?
I do not speak for the miss Liberia org, I speak as Bendu T. parker, miss Liberia 2007/2008. We have serious issues to deal with. I don’t think Liberians should concentrate on those things that will divide our country. For too long, those were the issues. Let us think about those things that will develop our nation and not take us back to where we were 4 years ago. We have had enough of the confusion, war, violence and etc. anything that could take us back or remind us of the past, will not have my support.

Miss. Parker, it was nice spending few minutes of your leisure time with me this evening. what would be your last words before we draw our curtains?

liberia needs all of our collective efforts. We can create a nation we can all be proud of. I see a Liberia that the world will envy. God bless Liberia.
Once again, thanks for your time

good night

Monday, September 29, 2008

United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)

UNMIL Public Information Office Complete Media Summaries
29 September 2008

Reports from Rivergee County in south-eastern Liberia, say the bridge linking the county to Maryland County has collapsed. The bridge collapsed due to the over flooding of the Gee River caused by heavy down pull of rain. The County’s Superintendent Karku Sampson via telephone said the collapse of the bridge has prevented the movement of motorcycles and vehicles to Maryland County.
· He said the local authority of both counties are presently collaborating to ensured the speedily reconstruction of the bridge. “We are working with all stakeholders to ensure that the bridge is reconstructed in the next few weeks,” he maintained.
· Mr. Sampson also called on NGOs working in the counties to render them some technical supports in order to rehabilitate bridge which is the only major linked between the two counties. Recently, citizens of River gee and other users of the road leading to Maryland County complaint about bad conditions between the both counties.

Head of War Crimes Advocacy Group Arrested
(Heritage, The Monitor, The News, National Chronicle)

·The Chairman of the Forum for the Establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia, Mulbah Morlu has reported been arrested. The Opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) announced the arrest and detention of Mr. Morlu at a news conference on Sunday
·The party said state security picked up Morlu at about 6:00PM on Friday on Broad Street and that he has since been detained at the Headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Monrovia.
·Authorities of the NSA are yet to comment on the arrest. Mr. Gray expressed concern about the health of Morlu saying few minutes before his arrest he complained of being ill. According to him, this is the fifth time Morlu has been arrested by state security and the second time by the NSA. In previous arrest, he was taken to the police for questioning.

Container Truck Crushed Woman to Death in Monrovia
(The News, The Inquirer, The Monitor, Daily Observer, Public Agenda, National Chronicle, New Vision)

·The Daily Observer reports that thousands of grief-stricken people on Saturday, September 27, 2008 swamped the vicinity of Johnson Street-Slipway intersection when a 40-foot container abruptly fell from a trailer onto a nearby blue pick-up, subsequently crushing a woman to death.
·The Inquirer newspaper quoting eyewitnesses said the accident occurred when a truck with a container onboard from the Freeport of Monrovia and was on its way to central Monrovia to discharge goods, reportedly lost control and collided with a pick-up.
·The victim, whose name could not be immediately obtained, is believed to be a businesswoman who was said to be on her regular business routine when the accident occurred. Several individuals who thronged the accident site to catch a glimpse of the episode recommended to the government to thoroughly regulate the movement of container trucks and enforce safety rules and regulations.

Some Senators are poised to Re-instate Suspended Pro-Tempore Today
(The Inquirer, Daily Observer, Heritage, National Chronicle, The News, Plain Truth, New Vision, Liberian Express)

·The media reports that an agreement to reinstate suspended President Pro-temp, Isaac Nyenabo is expected to be announced by a group of Senators today. This followed a disagreement on the deferral of the re-instatement of Senator Nyenabo after a ruling by Chamber Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie.
·Acting Senate President Pro-tempore, Lahai Lassanah said the re-instatement order by Justice Wolokollie would be discussed next year but some key members of the Senate announced on Friday that the Supreme Court’s ruling will be enforced today. The Senator met on Friday but could not announce the reinstatement of Nyenabo due to the absence of Lahai Lassanah.
·It was gathered that Mr. Nyenabo would be asked to resign immediately following his re-instatement to end the leadership crisis at the Senate. The Daily Observer reports that credible information suggests that the United States Congress has threatened to impose travel restrictions on some members of the Liberian Senate for their failure to adhere to a Supreme Court of Liberia ruling ordering the Senate to reinstate the suspended Senate Pro-Tempore.

Chinese Company Launches New Malaria Drug …Government Pledges Support
(Heritage, The Inquirer, Daily Observer)
·A new drug set to combat malaria has been launched in the country. The anti-malaria drug called ARCO was launched by a Chinese company, Kunming Pharmaceutical Corporation, at the weekend.
·The Inquirer reports that the launch coincided with the donation of a consignment of the drugs to government.
·ARCO is a new generation of highly efficacious oral fixed does of ACT based combination therapy. Receiving the drugs, the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Bernice Dahn lauded the Chinese group for the donation and said the issue of malaria is very critical to government. She pledged government support to the initiative.
·Earlier, the Vice President of the Company, Dong Shaoyu said the medicine is very effective in treating malaria.

Judge Denies Motion to Overturn Ruling in Blah vs. Urey Case
(The Inquirer)

·The Civil Law Court of Montserrado County has denied motion to overturn its previous judgment on an earlier Motion to Dismiss a Motion for Summary Judgment in the case ‘Urey vs Blah.’
· In Judge Yussif Kaba’s ruling last week to both parties present in court, he said that the respondent’s request was denied because the court sees no justification to disturb the ruling which this motion is seeking the court to rescind. He said that because the respondent in said case was the same that filed for the motion to dismiss and subsequently filed for a summary judgment, it was the same respondent that elected to have heard the summary judgment. And according to him, the same could not be denied but it was noticed that similar and identical issues raised in one motion was in the same.

In Margibi Murder Trial, State Lawyers Want Judge Step Aside
(Heritage, Public Agenda, Plain Truth)

· State Lawyers in the suspended murder trial involving Margibi Senator, Roland Kaine have asked the Judge of Criminal Court “B” to step aside from all proceedings in the case because he is believed to be biased. The Heritage reports that the State’s request for Judge Korboi Nuta to step aside from the case comes against the backdrop of the Judge’s recent decision to grant an application filed by the defense which was intended to admit the detained Senator to bail.
· According to them, this will serve the interest and purpose of transparent justice and integrity of the proceeding. In a five-count motion filed over the weekend, State Lawyers argued that they would not receive a fair determination of the case as the Judge has already determine that that the State has no convincing evidence against co-defendant Kaine before hearing the case.

Back To School Parade to Kick Off YMCA Membership and Fund Drive
(Daily Observer, The Inquirer)

·A Back-to-School Parade involving some 60 schools in the greater Monrovia area is scheduled to take place this Friday, October 3, 2008, to mark the commencement of the 44th Membership Campaign and Fund Drive of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) of Liberia. The YMCA was founded in Harper, Cape Palmas in 1881. For over a century the organization has striven to cater to the needs of young people. The theme of this year membership campaign and fund drive is “Inspiring Young People and Communities for Transformation and Self Fulfillment”. It targets 10,000 members and US$100.000. The aim is to recruit members in all 15 counties so that the Y may extend its activities throughout the country.

Radio Summary
Star Radio (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
Group of Senators determined to Re-instate leader
(Also reported on Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Liberian Security arrest Advocate of War Crimes Court
(Also reported on Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Labour nullifies Motorcycle Union's Certificate
·A Ministry of Labour release issued in Monrovia has nullified the operational certificate of the Liberia Motorcycle Union, describing it as a self-styled.
·The Ministry said the certificate in the possession of the union’s leadership was issued by unauthorized personnel saying it has never approved any certificate to such a union.
·The statement said the proposed leadership of the motorcycle union was advised to re-file its documents to certify the criteria for legitimate certification but this has not happened.
·The ministry said the action contravenes provisions of the Labour Practices Law of Liberia, which call for all criteria to be met for granting of certificate.

Juror attacked in Buchanan - in Critical Condition
·A juror serving on the August Term at the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court, Mr. Leroy Zeegar has been attacked by some unknown men in Grand Bassa County.
·Leroy explained that the men entered his house in the Pipeline Community Friday at about 3:00 AM and chopped him all over his body and left him unconscious.
· There has been no arrest so far in connection with the act and the cause of the attack has not been officially established.
However, Leroy was a member of a jury that brought down a guilty verdict for murder against one Judoe Memei last week Wednesday.

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
Chinese Company Donates Malaria Drugs to Liberia


The media summaries and press clips do not necessarily represent the views of UNMIL.