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CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA


MARKET BUYING AND SELLING RATES LIBERIAN DOLLARS PER US DOLLAR

BUYING THURSDAY, JANUARY 3 , 2013 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2013 THURSDAY, JANUARY 9 , 2014 L$83.00/US$1 L$84.00/US$1 L$84.00/US$1

SELLING L$84.00/US$1 L$85.00 /US$1 L$85.00/US$1

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MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.

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Monday, January 13 , 2014

Rodney D. Sieh, rodney.sieh@frontpageafricaonline.com


Monrovia - When the Korkpor bench came down with a decision last Friday to suspend Justice Minister Christian Tah, it marked only second time in Liberias history that a sitting minister of Justice, who also doubles as Dean of the high court and chief legal advisor to the President, had been dealt a severe professional blow. The court also suspended for three months, Cllr. Beyan Howard, a member of the legal team representing FrontPageAfrica in its libel defamation case against former Agriculture Minister Dr. J. Christopher Toe. The Gbalazeh Bench vs. Samuel Doe The only other time, came during the Samuel Kanyon Doe era when the late Chief Justice Emmanuel Gbalazeh struck a nerve when he suspended then Justice Minister Jenkins K.Z.B. Scott over critical comments the minister had made about the judiciary branch.Scott was suspended by the Supreme Court from practicing law directly and indirectly within the country for two years. His punishment came after he accused judges and lawyers of receiving bribes and attributed rampant jury tampering to the courts and lawyers. The minister at the time reportedly referred to judges as unprofessional.Ironically, nearly three decades later, many of the problems laid out by Scott linger. The U.S. State Department report in the past three years have repeatedly lambasted the judiciary branch, suggesting that post-war nations judicial system is not only functioning slowly but is also corrupt. The report has said that while Liberia's constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary. however, the judicial system is corrupt and functions slowly. More importantly, according to the report, Judges in the country are subject to political, social, familial, and financial pressures. Judges were susceptible to bribes from damages that they awarded in civil cases. Judges sometimes requested bribes to try cases, release detainees from prison, or find defendants not guilty in criminal cases. Defense attorneys and prosecutors sometimes suggested that defendants pay a gratuity to appease judges, prosecutors, jurors, and police officers or to secure favorable rulings from them. Jurors were also susceptible to bribes, and the Ministry of Justice increased its calls to reform the jury system. The end result has led to hundreds of prisoners being held at Monrovia Central Prison, which operates at more than four times its capacity due to the large number of pretrial detainees. Even in 1984 when Scott set off a firestorm with Gbalazeh, the problem was on the radar. The September 21, 1984 edition of the government-owned New Liberian newspaper reported that Minister Scotts remarks grew out of his unsuccessful attempts to prosecute the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Benjamin I. Collins, who had been acquitted of criminal charges and reinstated. Following his statement, the Supreme Court cited the Minister and the New Liberian Editor (Aletha J. Roberts, who was also fined $500.00 by the Supreme Court.) for contempt proceedings to count for what the Court described as their derogatory, defamatory and impugning remarks uttered, published and circulated about the Liberian judicial system.President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is yet to comment on the suspension of her Attorney General.In the case Chief Justice Gbalazeh bench to task. Doe prevailed on Chief Justice Gbalazeh at the time to reverse his decision and pointed out that the courts decision to revoke Scotts license amounted to removing him from office and that only the Head of State could remove government ministers. But legal experts say doe was acting as a dictator and not like the democracy now in the country. Doe was head of the Peoples Redemption Council(PRC) which had toppled the William R. Tolbert government in 1980, ending decades of Americo-Liberian rule. However, the Council was dissolved after the approval of the 1984 constitution and replaced by the Interim National Assembly (INA) to pave the way for elections which were held in 1985.. Cllr. Bull Recalls ILA Dilemma Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, a member of the assembly recalls that at the time of the Scotts suspension, Liberia was in an interim stage and the Interim National Assembly of which Doe was the state chairman comprised of members of the PRC and representatives from the various counties and the constitution commission.But Does hurdle in trying to impeach the Gbalazeh bench through the assembly, in retaliation for suspending Scott, according to Bull, was that the constitution of 1847 was suspended when the military took office in 1980. He brought the matter to the ILA, which raised the issue that the 1847 had been suspended that gave legislature that power to impeach the chief justice. Cllr. Bull recalls that she raised the issue that the 1847 constitution had already been suspended by the PRC and was no longer in play. The 1986 constitution had not been drafted and the ILA was not clothed with the authority to impeach the bench because the decree that brought the ILA did not clothe the body with the authority to impeach. Bull says Doe took that into consideration and realized that and did not impeach the bench but used his tactical resolution to keep Scott as Minister. And on November 26, 1984, Doe ordered Chief Justice Emmanuel Gbalazeh to take back the decision of the Court against Scott, and to immediately restore, to the Justice Minister the rights and privileges to practice law in the Republic of Liberia.Nearly three decades later, the situation involving Cllr. Tah, who played a pivotal role in several concessions agreement between Liberia and foreign firms, notably the petroleum agreement with Chevron and that with ExxonMobil, is resurrecting old wounds. Thus, the ministers suspension is being viewed by many legal and political observers as a trigger point for a potential constitutional crisis.Cllr. Christiana Tah officially assumed office of Minister of Justice and Attorney General on 13 July 2009, after her appointment by Sirleaf and confirmation by the Senate. She is a member of the Supreme Court Bar of the Republic of Liberia since 1987 and of the American Bar Association since 1994. She practiced law as legal counsel with Maxwell and Maxwell Law offices in Monrovia in the realm of corporate law, labor law, banking and general international business transactions.The tie that binds it all together lies in the fact that a key requirement to become

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Monday, January 13, 2014

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Minister of Justice is that a person had to be a Counselorat-Law prior to becoming a Minister of Justice. Ironically, when Attorney Scott was appointed by Head of State Doe to succeed Minister Winston Tubman, the Head of State by passed the normal procedure, ordered that a special ceremony be held at the Temple of Justice, at which Attorney Scott was made Counselor-at-Law and he inherited the title of Dean of the National Bar Association, making him the first person to do so in the history of the Ministry. Will Dismissal Follow Suspension? Legal analysts say, the suspension could lead to the dismissal of Minister Tah. Since the position of Justice Minister is reserved for a practicing lawyer, the six months suspension would mean Tah would not be able to sign documents on behalf of the government or represent the government of Liberia in any legal matter. However, legal analysts believe that during the period of her suspension, one of deputies can sign during the period of her suspension. Part of the ministrys function is to procure proper evidence for, and conduct, prosecute, or defend all suits and proceedings in the courts in which the Republic or any officer thereof, as to such officer, is a party or may be interested; Institute all legal proceedings necessary for law enforcement. The ministry is also responsible to furnish opinions as to legal matters and render services

requiring legal skills to the president and other agencies of the Executive Branch of Government. Oversee the codification of Liberian Statutory Law; administer the laws relating to admission, deportation and naturalization of aliens, and the regulation of aliens within Liberia.The minister is also tasked with the to the extent stated in the Aliens and Nationality Law, administer laws relating to the admission, deportation and naturalization of aliens, and the regulations of aliens within Liberia; Supervise the activities of the National Bureau of Investigation, the National Central Bureau and the National Police Force and Oversee all government activities relating to administration of the Vehicle and Traffic Law prevention and control of fires; Should her suspension hold and effected by the president, the minister could be forced out. The matter is even more complicated for Sirleaf, who political observers say, is already embroiled in a tense relationship with the national legislature. Thus, sticking it to the high court and following the route of former President Doe could strain relations between the Executive and the Judiciary branches of government. Already, speculations have been rife that Sirleaf, who is said to have been looking to replace Tah for some time. Tah was one of the last officials to be announced by Sirleaf following her second term election. The President reportedly flirted with Associate Justice Kabineh

Janeh, who rejected the position, before bringing Tah back as minister. Some executive Mansion sources tell FrontPageAfrica that the suspension came as a result of serious deliberations on the bench and background negotiations within the executive. FrontPageAfrica has learned that Tah has in recent weeks been subject to undermining from some of her principal deputies. One of those deputies, Benedict Sannoh, is said to be on a shortlist, along with Sirleafs legal advisor, Seward Cooper as a possible replacement for Tah Tah and Compassionate Leave In Tahs case, the ruling handed down by the court late Friday evening, cited the refusal of the Justice Minister who also doubles as Dean of the Supreme Court Bar to send the FrontPageAfrica editor to prison. The court in its ruling noted: For her role in releasing Rodney D. Sieh from prison as well as her persistent affront to this court demonstrated in her refusal to reverse the action which formed the basis for the contempt proceedings, notwithstanding her Counsels promise to return Rodney D. Sieh to prison, corespondent Christiana P. Tah, Minister of Justice/Attorney General, is hereby suspended from the practice of law in the Republic of Liberia directly or indirectly for the period of six(6) months; while, for his role played in the release of Rodney D. Sieh from prison, Counselor Beyan D. Howard is suspended from the practice of law directly

or indirectly for a period of three(3)months. The Clerk of this court is hereby ordered to communicate with the respondents informing them of the judgment of this court. It is so Ordered. Ironically, the bench dismissed suggestions during Tahs appearance before the court to answer contempt charges, that issue of the publisher returning to jail was not part of their agenda. Former Solicitor General Michael Wright was asked by the Justices what should be done to which, the bench replied: We are not interested in seeing him going back to jail. The case unfolded last October, when the Minister was summoned by the high court to show cause why she should not be held in contempt for releasing the then jailed Managing Editor. The Supreme Court, which is the final arbiter of Justice, termed the release of the journalist as a disregard of the Courts order even though his rights to seek medical treatment from time to time while in prison whenever necessary was not surrendered. Prior to the hearing, the justice minister justified her position, saying she acted in the confines of the law. Among other things, she added that the decision to release Journalist Sieh on compassionate grounds forms part of her function as attorney-general of the country. It can be recalled that on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry

of Justice granted Mr. Sieh a compassionate leave for the period of 30 days effective as of October 8, 2013. The Minister Tah said this was in keeping with Chapter 34, Section 34.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law, 1LCLR. According to Minister Tah, the government action was also based on a formal request by Cllr. Howard and Atty. J. Fonati Koffa. However Minister Tah advised that Mr. Sieh will not leave the city of Monrovia without first seeking the permission of the Assistant Minister for the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR). The FPA publisher was ordered jailed by the Civil Law last August because of his failure to pay the amount of US$1,534,000.00 and L$10,500 to former agriculture minister, Dr. Chris Toe for damages in a libel suit. In addition, Mr. Sieh also failed to pay US$90,000 and L$6,800 as cost of the court. It can be recalled that sometimes ago, Dr. Toe sued the Management of FPA for libel. Toe claimed the paper defamed his reputation when it published series of articles linking him to corruption. According to him, the published articles against him were not based on facts. FrontPage Africa took an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia, but was unable to perfect the appeal bond. Based on the legal proceedings, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court judgment and ordered the bail of Cost on the FPA. Divided Bench Decides Tahs Fate

In weighing the decision on Tah, judiciary sources inform FrontPageAfrica that the bench was divided on punishment for the minister. On the one hand, sources say, Chief Justice Korkpor, a long-time friend of the minister, who some say owes gratitude to her for his legal career, preferred a fine. It can be recalled that both Tah and the FPA lawyer, Howard had apologized to the court, under pressure amid threat that the law license could be revoked if they defended the FPAs publishers Compassionate Leave. Some Justices arguing among themselves advocated a one-year suspension, others six months, while Korkpor is said to have favored a fine but later reluctantly, went along with his peers. Some sources are however questioning a meeting between some members of the bench and one of Sirleafs legal advisers, Estrada Bernard, also the Presidents in-law. Why did Estrada Bernard speak to the justices. Did he go to beg? Or to influence the decision?, asked an Executive Mansion source. In the backdrop of the ongoing predicament, is the fact that Tah appears to be entangled in resurrecting case of dj vu. It can be recalled that Tah encountered similar deceptions in 2007 when she was nominated by Sirleaf to replace the late Emmanuel Wureh. FrontPageAfrica reported at the time that some close aides objected to the appointment and prevailed on the president that Tah would not be a good fit because she was a member of the opposition Liberty Party. A FrontPageAfrica investigation, quoting legislative sources reported at the time that the Executive Mansion lobbied behind its own appointment to ensure that Tahs appointment was rejected. Six years later, Tah finds herself again entangle in yet another conspiracy. But the real dilemma is the uneasiness dogging Sirleaf, now faced with the complicated problem: The Supreme Court cannot enforce judgment, only the executive can, leaving many to wonder whether Sirleaf will enforce judgment against her minister, as Samuel Doe did for Jenkins Scott or finally part ways with her chief legal advisor and attorney general.

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Monday, January 13 , 2014

NUMBERS NOT ADDING UP MINISTRY OF FINANCE MUST BEGIN TO GET IT RIGHT


MONROVIA- RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT by the ministry of finance to other government entities to brace for another budget shortfall is something that is worrisome for an economy that is craving for recovery and needs to be looked at carefully. IN A FEW DAYS FINANCE minister Amara Konneh will be off to London to receive the prestigious 2014 Finance Minister of the Year award for Africa from the Banker Magazine, a media subsidiary of Financial Times of London. WITH LIBERIAS ECONOMY in the red for the third time, thanks to the US$47 million shortfall in the budget, it is time that the government begin to set its priorities right to avoid such recurrences. THIS IS THE SECOND YEAR running that we are going through this financial crisis that cannot be worked out by our financial gurus. Budgets are estimates ,which every institution must work towards the realization of the figures embedded in this important document. FINANCIAL ACTORS IN the country have persistently assured that the economy is on the right trajectory going onward but in successive years the countrys budget has stumbled in shortfalls thereby resulting into recast. THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE has already notified heads of government ministries and agencies to tighten their belts for the long haul and this is contained in a communication submitted to the various heads of government, and signed by Finance Minister Amara Konneh. BUT THE MoF JUSTIFICATION that public investments intended to transform the economy are, however, threatened in the FY13/14 budget and that Only US29.6 million has been disbursed against US$456.1 million representing 46 percent of the budget. A 23 percent versus 46 percent execution rate raises an alarm for all of us. Productive economic expansion will not occur if this trend persists and continues for the next half of the fiscal year, THE CONSTANT INABILITY OF FINANCE authorities to march the financial projections with actual revenue collections points to the slow collection of revenue which is a common phenomenon. IT IS GLAIRING THAT the current collection regime in the country is very weak, lacking the zeal required to propel the budget of the country which has not even hit the one billion mark since the post war years. WITH COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES booming, the Ministry of Finance explanation for a budget shortfall is baffling and speaks volumes of the urgent need to reform the revenue collection to ensure taxes and other revenues are collected as required. COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD develop as a consequence of vigorous collection of taxes but for Liberia even the collection of revenue is politicized to the extent that businesses owned and operated by politicians do not pay taxes. Only those not connected in government pay taxes but in the end the taxes collected are used to cater for the welfare of these government officials. IN ADDITION TO A WEAK revenue collection regime, we believe budget politics are strongly impacting the shortfall crisis, as during deliberations at the National Legislature on the national budget there are always hullabaloos over allotments. Unnecessary allotments are made in the National Budget only to satisfy political desires; which further compounds the already existing revenue generation problem. WE BELIEVE IT IS TIME TO consider budget shortfall as a national crisis, which needs to be tackled urgently as it paints a negative image of our financial system. MORE BESIDES, PUBLIC corporations and other autonomous commissions are now used as cash cow for the power that be, as some of these entities generate income without making significant contributions to the National Budget. IT IS TIME THAT HEADS of our financial sector get things right and take the necessary measures to safeguard the national budget from constant shortfalls as these conditions have crippling effect on the implementation of projects and other development programs. HAVING A SITUATION THAT keeps popping up yet cannot be tackled is a sign of lack of performance by those at the helm of our financial sector. More needs to be done to end this and keep the wheels of our economy turning.

Monrovia-

EXPULSION DEFIANCE-MULBAH, BINEY LOYALISTS CHALLENGE EXPULSION ORDER

SPOT NEWS

hursdays expulsion of 23 senior members of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) has been described as a constitutional misstep with supporters of the expelled partisans storming the headquarters of the NPP, challenging the decision.

Some members of the party who reacted to the expulsion at the partys headquarters on Friday said the development is one that will further polarize the party. First to react was the head of NPP chapter in Logan Town, Chris Peters, who called for intervention from the leadership to save the party. Speaking Friday, Peters said the call has become necessary because of the systematic manner the party is being destroyed. He described what is happening in the party as a grand design by other opposition political parties, which has used top executives of the NPP to infiltrate the party thereby incapacitating it in future political processes. The NPP Logan Town head said recent actions of the Cllr. Theophilus Gould-led leadership of the party is intended to tear and perforate the umbrella of the party beyond redemption. The essence, he said, is to render the party ineffectual, should there be

reconciliation. He said before expulsion, the affected members ought to be suspended and informed in writing of their offences and such allegations properly investigated and the affected persons given the opportunity of fair hearing and self-defense. In the present case, Peters said this was not done and, therefore, to that extent the

expulsion of the affected party members was a gross violation of the constitution of the party and principle of natural justice. Also on Friday, Bong County lawmaker George Sylvester (NPP district 3) described his expulsion as another unconstitutional misstep which he says will further polarize the NPP.

Commentary

WORLD HIV/AIDS DAY: HOW CAN LIBERIANS IN THE DIASPORA HELP RAISE AWARENESS?
Annie G. Cooper, MSN, FNP- BC, Contributing Writer
(USAIDS, 2013 update.) Second, the severe lack of job opportunities and advancement for our Liberian youth at home are related concerns. The lack of opportunities may open doors to risky behaviors such as prostitution which of course will increase the rate of HIV/AIDS among this group. Third, statistics shows that majority of HIV infected people are within the middle to low-income groups, another characteristic that defines a significant portion of the Liberian Population. Fourth, the lack of adequate health facilities, trained health professional as well as affordable health care and lack of education are all barriers in meeting the 2015 HIV goal. All of these huddles make the work of the National AIDS Commission, (NAC) in Liberia difficult in successfully implementing HIV programs. How do we in the Diaspora help? We need to begin with our selves. Get tested and know your HIV status. Learn all you can about HIV and how to prevent and minimize its spread. There are volumes of information and facilities that will give free, simple educational material on HIV/AIDS. Most importantly, let us begin to educate our people at home and provide them with any preventive measures possible. We in the Diaspora are fortunate to communicate with our people in any section of Liberia via phone, texts, e-mail etc. So let us use any contact with our people as a teachable moment . For instance, when sending money via western union or money gram, add a few dollars for condoms. Throw Some HIV pamphlets/material and condoms in barrels you send home. Give them the following quick facts on HIV and add any other information you may have: HIV has no cure but it is preventable. Abstinence is the best method of preventing /minimizing risk of HIV. If you chose to have sex, test before contact, encourage testing before having sex with a new partner and use condoms. Let them know that early detection and treatment prolongs livesHaving multiple sex partners increases your risk for HIV infection. Using Alcohol and or drugs may cloud your judgment and cause you to engage in risky sex behavior. Majority of HIV infection is acquired by having unprotected sex so emphasize the use of latex condoms which is more effective in preventing HIV if used correctly. Female condoms are now available.Never use oil base lubricant (Vaseline, lotion, baby oil etc.) on condom because it weaken it and causes it to break easily. Remember, beside Sex, HIV can be transmitted through contaminated blood so, do not use needles, syringes piercing or tattoo instrument others have used because they may be contaminated. Do not use anyone elses tooth brush especially if they have bleeding gum. When getting blood transmission, make sure it is carefully screened. Know that HIV is not contagious like TB chicken pox or other contagious diseases so dont be afraid to interact with a person who is HIV positive You dont get HIV by shaking hands, friendly kiss, using same toilet etc. I know there are so many other huddles but if we are consistent and vigilant in raising HIV/AIDS awareness, our people will get the message and will push for more HIV services in the country. So, lets begin now. If you call, throw in a few words on HIV /STDS prevention... Remember, sex is the number one means of HIV transmission. So dont be shy to talk about sex and HIV infection. People, especially young people know a lot more about sex than

n December 1, 2013 people in Liberia and around the world celebrated World AIDS Day, a day set aside to raise public awareness on HIV/AIDS. As the day was celebrated, I could not help but think about the many lives lost in Liberia in recent times from preventable and or treatable diseases such as typhoid fever, hepatitis , tuberculosis (TB) etc. This brings me to wonder if lives are lost from these Preventable and treatable ailments, what will happen if HIV becomes wide spread in our country. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus can only infect humans. It destroys the white blood cells resulting in the progressive deterioration of the bodys ability to fight infections. The Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2012) reports that HIV is the worlds leading infectious killer and the strongest risk factor for developing active tuberculosis (TB). Approximated 36 million people have died from HIV. In 2012, HIV accounted for 1.6 million deaths. 35.3 million People worldwide are living with HIV with majority being middle to low income people. 2.1 million of these HIV infected people are children between the ages 10-19. 700 children worldwide become infected with HIV each day. (WHO, UNSAID 2012) In Liberia, 22,000 people are living with HIV (UNAIDS). 1.5 percent of adult ages 15 to 49 are HIV positive with women caring a higher burden than men (1.8 % to 1.2%). This gender disparity is three times more evident in young girls ages 15 to 24 (National AIDS Commission ,2012.) The HIV Virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is mainly spread through unprotected sex. Other mode of transmission includes contaminated/infected needles used to inject drugs or contaminated sharp instruments used for body piercing or tattooing as well as contaminated blood and blood products. Children are vulnerable since the virus is passed on from infected mothers during birth and breast-feeding. Up to current, researchers have not found cure for the HIV virus. However, scientists have developed antiviral medications that can decrease the HIV viral load to the extent that it minimizes the destruction of the immune system and as such prolongs life. Additionally, pregnant women, who take the HIV medication in a timely manner, are also able to give birth to unaffected babies. There are preventive and risk reduction measures for HIV. These measures include: abstinence, avoiding multiple sex partners, protective sex using latex condoms, avoiding use of infected needles, syringes, sharp objects, such as ones used for tattoos, body piercing, getting tested and encouraging your partner to get tested. In case one is infected, early and or timely treatment is encouraged. The 2013 global theme for HIV Awareness Day held in Liberia and elsewhere according to organizers was: Getting to zero: Zero New HIV infections; zero Discrimination, Zero HIV related deaths. In fact, some of the global goals set for 2015 include: Reducing sexual transmission by halve, eliminating HIV transmission among children, closing the global AIDS gap, etc. For many Liberians, the theme and goals seem far-fetched from the current reality in Liberia. First, we are a high-risk group where the possibility of HIV epidemic exists, according to statistics. As you may know, significant portion of our population is young, and sexually active. For example, 43.5 % of the Liberian population is below the age of 15, while the median age is18 years. (WHO,2012). Globally, majority of people infected with HIV/AIDS are between the ages of 14 to 49, with young people ages 15-24 carrying a higher burden.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR STORIES ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB

Send your letters and comments to: editor@frontpageafricaonline.com


YOU WRITE; WE PUBLISH; THEY READ!

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COMMENTS FROM FPA ONLINE


THEY ATE MY MONEY: FRUSTRATIONS OF ANGRY FOREIGN INVESTOR IN LIBERIA
pleebocollins25 (signed in using yahoo) I am sorry for what happened to you but this is the state of affairs in our country. There is not one government official who is not corrupt. The president keeps appointing and rewarding these rascals and there is no political will to do any better. Fat swollen guts men in tight suits parade themselves in large vehicles calling themselves ministers and deputies and they do not have a single intelligent thought in their heads. Our country is in free fall because of these cronies and relatives of Ellen. Nothing will be done sadly. This is the nature of the game. George Slue Burnley, Lancashire I have similar problem with the Liberian Customs where a consignment sent to my niece in November 2012 is still been held since May 2013, though I have paid customs duty and all costs including delivery through a local shipping company (EHS). Arthur Barmole Abdullai of EHS Liberia and one Boimah at the Finance Ministry Customs department have been giving me the same "merry go around" tactics played on this poor investor. My email complaint to the Executive Mansion, Liberian Union In the UK and Liberian Embassy in the UK has failed so I also intend to do a documentary including documents and communications relating my case to be released to the public and on social media sites. Can you imagine an investor caring for Liberia and its people, while corrupt government officials don't give a damn - what a shame!! BJ DH Top Commenter yep, very common, I have friends over there that put the value of school products their relatives in LIB, and are getting charged almost 80 USD for 20 USD for school supplies. Cooper Kweme UMUC When Liberians say it, it is laughed off. When a Europen confirms it, people begin to listen. We are all rooting for the president and Liberia, the the news about corruption is just heartbreaking and discouraging. Edwin Bundoo ITT Technical Institute sir i understand your frustration but .you must understand that every one is entitle to their view i hope you understand Mr edwin is not the only person giving his view on this topic. to begin with every Liberian had their taste of the war and out of that every one had the time to learn from that war i hear this same song about corruption from tolbert .to doe etc . we always cry about these issue witch of course is truth but the worst thing to do as a civilized country is not being able to iron our own difference .instead allow every idiotic person from the out side to make full of us . create a scene for chiaous and war and sell arm to us because we never put our pride and country first . the reason is simple we are not nationalist . we may have issue but we don need outsider coming to us to make fool of us the insult is not ju... Sylvester Moses In defending herself against allegations of corruption during a 2013 interview with renowned journalist and broadcaster, Charles Snetter, President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf made the following startling confession: Close colleagues would say; Ok, we are not saying about you, we know youre alright, we know you dont steal but youre not coming down on the people around you who steal.Thats a different issue. But youre not coming down on the people around you who steal sums up one of the main causes for her inability to handle a manageable problem such as corruption. In addition, the removal of two assertive officials - John Morlu and Frances Johnson - Morris - worsened the problem because it provided

2013 DUMBEST LIBERIA NEWSMAKERS


The Editor, As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to look back and pick the 12 dumbest people and events that had the greatest impact on ordinary Liberians because dumb sh*t sink ships! This year pick includes: Supt. Grace Tee-tee Kpaan, Governor Joseph Mills Jones, Rep. Acarous Moses Gray, Rep. Edward S. Forh, Police Chief Chris Massaquoi, The Liberian Football Association, the Pehn-pehn ban, and many more... Ok, ok, before we get started, you will need a drink---so grab a beer and let's talk about the 12 dumbest people and events of 2013--month by month!! 1) In January, Monsterrado Superintendent Grace Kpaan was caught stealing, oops, I mean, "safe-keeping" the Liberian people's money in her personal bank account! Grace was remorseful after she was caught red handed. But as we all know, that's how government criminals act when they get caught! (Re "Ignorant of the law: Monsterrado County Superintendent Admit Guilt in Funds Saga") 2) In February, Rep. Edward Fraud was caught on tape saying "The money (US$400,000) in question must be divided among us; you eat some, I eat some!" But when confronted, Rep. Fraud said he was just "joking"! In 2009, this same Fraud was accused of receiving large sums of money (lobbying fees) from dirty Harry Greaves, former Managing Director of the Liberian Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC)! You can follow Rep. Fraud on twitter @ YouEatSomeIeatSome! (Re "Rep. Forh Reacts to Recording Scandal) 3) In March, we found out that Ellen Crookrum and her boyfriend, Melvin Johnson set up fake companies to steal more than US$500,000 from the Liberian people (Liberian Airport Authority)! Crookrum is now creating an audio book called "Government of the Crooks, by the Crooks, for the Crooks, by Ellen Crookum!" (Re "...Next Chapter in RIA-Corkrum Saga: Recouping Lost Funds") 4) In April, LTA commissioners breached their fiduciary duties by buying flashy cars with the Liberian people's hard earned money! Their shameful tradition of thievery and misusing our country's meager resources will never stop until the President dissolve the entire commission! (Re "Flashy Cars Amid Abject Poverty: LTA Ignors Excessive Waste..") 5) In May, Matilda Parker, NPA Managing Director, was caught lying on her paper work (Asset Declaration Form), but she wasn't prosecuted for perjury because the Minister of Justice (Christine Tah) is spineless! In 2014, Let's hope Madame Tah undergo a spinal surgery to install a much needed spine in her spineless body! My small brother is surgeon, he will do it for free! (Re "..NPA MD Parker, LACC Spar Over a "Lie") 6) In June, we found out that Governor Mill Jones was giving out "free" money (unsecured maco loans) to his LBA minions and market women because he wants to be the future President of Liberia (in 2017)! Sure Mills Jones was chosen Person of the Year (Daily Observer) for giving out other's people's hard earned money, but when the chickens come home to roost, will Mills Jones use his own money to pay off ALL (90%) those loans that will eventually go into default?? Of course not! (Re "Liberia's Central Bank Governor to Visit Rivercess; Locals Expecting Micro Loans") 7) In July, we found out that EU money (US$13 million), earmarked for children at Jackson F Doe Hospital was missing! The Minister of Finance says that the government is still looking for the missing money! They've even checked all Stephen Yekeson's bank accounts, but they still can't find the money! By the way, I think the government should force Yekeson to wear a GPS ankle bracelet 24/7 so we can monitor his movements around the people's money! (Re" Liar, Liar (pants on fire): Liberian Minister Under Fire After Hospital Denies Receiving EU money!") 8) In August, instead of arresting notorious rogues (government officials) for stealing other people's money and gas slips), the Liberian police started arresting prostitutes because prostitution is illegal in Liberia! Ok, fine... But look, isn't stealing other people's money illegal everywhere in the world and in Liberia too? If so, why isn't the police going after all those notorious rogues in our government too? Look, most whores I know are decent women who happily choose prostitution as a means to survive as best as they can without violating other people's natural right to life, liberty and property. They engage in a peaceful, voluntary transaction that leaves both party happy and better off! But if the police must arrest people for illegal activities, why not go after our so called public servants who consistently violate the Liberian people right to life, liberty and property by stealing their money, gas slips, and restricting Pehn-pehn boys from earning an honest living?? (Re "Fighting Prostitution: Police Raid Targets Liberian Women of the Night") 9) In September, we heard the Minister of Justice make a wild-assed assertion about GAC audits, but she refused to back her assertions. We are still waiting for Madame Tah to tell us which audit reports "lacked sufficient" evidence to prosecute indictees! (Re "Justice Ministry Rubbishes Audit Reports, The New Dawn Liberia , Set 05, 2013) 10) In October, we found out that the Liberian Football Association (LFA) put a fox in charge of guarding their chicken coop! If so, then why are they surprised that Rep. Edwin M. Snowe has yet to account for over US$227,000?? (Re "Over US$227,000 Snowe Yet to Account", The New Republic Liberia) 11) In November, the gasbags in our government decided to ban Liberia's main mode of transportation (pehn-pehn) in the name of "safety"! Yes, they saved 3 persons! But the unintended consequences of the ban was disastrous for poor Liberians. More than 12,000 pehn-pehn boys saw their working hours cut or are out of a job. Youth unemployment is major threat to the stability of our country but yet the gasbags in our government keep implementing one economically disastrous policy after another! 12) In December, we found out that Rep. Gray would support a bill making random drug testing on public servants mandatory...But look, anyone who have seen a picture of Rep. Gray on the internet (FPA website) knows that Gray is a big time pot smoker.. The evidence? His sleepy eyes! Sleepy-looking eyes are an indicator of heavy marijuana use..but yet Rep. Gray says he supports the law testing public servants for drug use and wants to be "the first" to be tested...Ok, ok, that's fine , but be careful what you wish for, "hon" Gray. Your butt may end up behind bars! (Re "Test Gray First" Daily Observer Online) 12a) Also in December, we found out that our Police chief (Chris Massaquoi) aided and abetted a fugitive (Ellen Crookrum)! Because of that, the President told her boys (Executive Protection Service) to keep Chris far, far away from her! And they did it, and they were caught on camera! (Re "Corkrum Tape Fallout? Liberian Prez Snaps at Police Chief") But the Police Chief seem surprised that the President is avoiding like him a plague! Look, when your boss starts to avoid like a plague in public, it means you're on a short list and about to be shown the door! Hey Chris, tell the President you "hold your foot"! Yes, we did some of the dumbest things in 2013, but let's hope that history doesn't repeat itself in 2014! Happy New Year! \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\Martin Scott martyretire@yahoo.com

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T FINAL JUSTICE
Monroviahe Supreme Court of Liberia has handed down its opinion in the case involving the Liberty Gold and Diamond Mining Company and the government of Liberia through the ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. The court ruled that the LME acted illegally by arbitrarily revoking the companys licenses without affording it due process. The court which is the final arbiter of justice in the country ruled that the verdict of the trial judge be upheld dismissing the governments assertions that the civil law court does not have jurisdiction over the matter. That the ruling of the trial judge granting the appellees motion for summary judgment and declaring therein that the appellees have been denied their right of due process of law accorded by the constitution of Liberia, the termination of their mining licenses in the absence of such due process rendered the termination illegal, null and void, and of no legal effect is here by affirmed, stated the court. The court ruled that the mining and mineral regulation make it mandatory that the ministry, in terminating any mineral and mineral license, state in the letter of termination the right of the licensee to appeal from the ruling, something it said the co-appellant Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy did not state in its letter of termination to the appellees and hence deprived the appellee of the required notice under the law. The court stated on Friday during the handing down of its opinion into the matter after nearly four years of the case, that the act by the ministry of Lands, mines and energy terminating the mineral exploration agreement and the licenses held by the appellees (Liberty Gold and Diamond) being in direct violation of the arbitration provisions of the license agreement between both parties. The court said by this action the co-appellant ministry waived its right to arbitration; hence, the appellees petition for the declaratory judgment, in seeking judicial redress against the ministry, was not dismissible.

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LAW & ORDER

Monday, January 13 , 2014

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Aggrieved Canadian Investor

That the other co-appellant, being in privity with the co-appellant ministry, the agreement which they entered into between them and the said ministry, acting for and on behalf of the government of Liberia, are rendered null and void and of no legal effect: and such third parties are to cease all activities being carried out under said agreements, said the court. Reading on behalf of the full bench, in the presence of Chief Justice FransisKorpkor, and other associate justices, Associate Justice Phillip Banks reading the courts opinion ordered the clerk of this court to send a mandate to the trial court commanding the judge presiding therein to resume jurisdiction over the case and to give effect to the Supreme Courts judgment. Said the Court: Having heard the oral legal arguments advanced by the parties, analyzed the fact and circumstances presented by them, and reviewed the written contentions, factual and legal, contained in the briefs submitted by both parties; and being satisfied

and convinced, upon the full examination of the records certified to this court, the evidence shown therein, and the applicable and controlling laws, that the trial judge committed no error in granting the appellees motion

for summary judgment and declaring the action of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy as illegal, same being consistent with the right of due process accorded by the constitution of Liberia and in harmony with the statutory

and decisional laws of this jurisdiction. Speaking to FrontPageAfrica following the verdict the elated head of the company who recently issued a book on corruption detailing malpractices that went on at

the ministry that led to the cancellation of his companys contract Mr. Liam Lindstrum said he dreamed of a day like this when justice would finally prevail.

Monday, January 13, 2014

T
Abidjan-

AIR COTE DIVOIRE RESUMES FLIGHT IN MONROVIA AND 17 OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES

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AVIATION NEWS

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he Management of Ivory Coast base AirlineCompany Air Cote dlvoire over the weekend announced the resumption of it airline flightto approximately 19 countries in Africa in a major press conference held last Friday January 10 in the Ivorian capital Abidjan. The company Chief Executive Officer CEO) Rene Decurey said his company wasestablished on May 15 2012 and was created through the help of current Ivory Coast President Al Hassan Watala in order to bring back the country in line with airline standard after the civil unrest. CEO Decurey acknowledged that the Ivorian leader made it clear to the people of his country that thedevelopment of the country definitely need a reliable airline that would be able to take passengers in and out if Ivory Coast and he asked the President of the company BoardAbdoulayeCoulibaly to work along with him CEO Decureyto put the airline together which they did and the airline is now taking passengers into several countries in Africa. Other officials of the company include Patrick Kone Director General, Jean Pierre Chonavel Director for finance and Human Resources and Laurent Loukou Director General for Commercial and Marketing. Ivory Coast is 65 percent sheer holder in Air Cote dIvoire, 15 percent of Ivorian private company Golden Rod Investment and 20 percent for Air France. The CEO clarified that they started the company with a capital USD5,000,000 and it has now increased to USD 50,000,000 and he is convince that before the second half of 2014 their capital will be in USD130,000,000. The company begins it operation with four planes but the CEO promised to increase the number flight before the end of 2014. When he was questionedwhy his company sees it necessary to fly to Liberia he answered that Liberia is a neighboring country with Ivory Coast and currently there is total peace in the country and he hopes that his airline will fly in and out of Monrovia four times weekly. Ambitions The ambition of is to be the leading airline company in

West and Central Africa. The CEO said their major challenge is to build a lastingprofitable company through the continual quest for customer satisfaction, the cohesion and professionalism of their personnel, the destiny of their hub, re- enforce by solid alliances.

The challenge requires the company to be flexible, innovative ad to engage in corporate social responsibility. Goal Air Cote dIvoire is the air carrier whose vocation is to transport and assist people and goods according to

international standard so as to facilitate the mobility of population on the national level as well as on the continental level, and by doing so contributing to economic and social development of the Cote dIvoire, Africa and to its international standing. The Air Cote dIvoire fleet

is composed of two Airbus A-319S (equip with 12 seat in business and 96 seats in economic)and 1embraer 170 (equip with eight seats I business ad 60 seats in economic). These airplanes are destined for the regional network and company plans is to increase

its fleet with seven more airlinesover the next five years. In 2013, the company foresees the acquisition of two Bombardiers Q400s for the domestic network and one additional airbus A-319.

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Monday, January 13 , 2014

Monrovia he fate of some 33,000 students at the state-run University of Liberia appears to be in limbo amid reports that students are contemplating to stage a demonstration in front of the national legislature when President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf delivers her eight State of the Nation address later this month. Article 58 of the Liberian Constitution states among other things, that The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration's Legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic the report shall cover expenditure as well. But students are reportedly concerned that the government is not doing enough to address their plight. FrontPageAfrica has learned that a committee headed by veteran lawyer, Cllr. T.C. Gould has been tipped to chair a committee which also includes Shiekh Kafumba Konneh to investigate the saga. The university is currently embroiled in a major crisis which erupted last year when the faculty decided to stop teaching until Dr. Wede Brownell, Vice President for Administration and Provost steps down from her position. In a letter to the university's president, Emmett Dennis, the faculty association said the school has experienced a drastic decline in academic standards since Brownell's appointment. The faculty also claimed that inconsistencies in Dr. Brownell's reform policy have

led to "unnecessary" failures and overcrowded classrooms. Dr. Brownell has insisted that no amount of intimidation tactics by forces she describes as 'Criminals' at the University, determined to ruin the institution of higher learning will deter her from ending a "business-as-usual' environment at the university. Dr. Brownell said at a news conference recently that she is determined to clean-up the mess despite strong opposition from 'Criminals'. Said Dr. Brownell: "The University of Liberia has begun to win the war against academic malfeasance and corruption at our flagship institution. This is evidenced by the results of the 2013 UL Entrance Examinations where the seriousness of the "Education Mess" was revealed to the entire nation and the world. No one was able to enrich him/ herself at the expense of our students by selling admittance slots which is an open secret in Liberia. The examinations were protected by my Office to ensure that there were no leaks, bribery, or "business as usual". Said Dr. Brownell: "No candidate made the required threshold set by the Faculty Senate of the minimum scores of 50% in Math and 70% in English. There were 316 students who attained 50% and above in Math but they did not make the required minimum score of 70% in English. After a review of the results, the Faculty Senate changed the threshold to the minimum scores of 40% in Math or 50% in English which resulted in 1,681 freshmen for 2013-14." The crisis has already drawn the attention of the University of Liberia Alumni Association which has expressed dismay

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EDUCATION

Will UL Students Protest Sirleafs State Of The Nation?


about the ongoing stalemate at the University which continues to prolong the opening of the University and paralyzing its activities. In a statement issued at the weekend, the ULAA says it continues to observe with utmost dissatisfaction, the chain of events unfolding at the University of Liberia. The Alumni Association has been following with serious sadness the continuous closure of the University which has affected over 33,000 students and would like to re-emphasize our call for an immediate investigation of the recent violence on the campuses of the University of Liberia and that the University Authority should quickly address those concerns and demands proffered by both the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) and the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU). The ULAA says the persistent tension that the matter has generated and for which has now been heightened by students protests which sometime become violent, does not augur well for the atmosphere of academic freedom, peace and security that Liberia needs in order to successfully pursue her Agenda for Transformation. It is our opinion that if nothing is being done to speedily resolve the on-going crisis at the flagship state University of Liberia, the situation will further exacerbate and degenerate into a major crisis, and such could be a serious threat to the fragile peace the people of Liberia now enjoy and for which this government has worked so hard to achieve. The Alumni Association says it unequivocally condemns all acts of violence at the university and the alleged ransacking of Dr. Wade Elliott-Brownells home by unscrupulous individuals in the wake of the violent protests. In the same vein, the association took issue with Dr. Brownells recent assertion that the University of Liberia is an Intellectual Criminal Den. The Alumni Association wonders when Dr. Brownell realized that the university was a criminal enterprise. The Alumni Association finds the statement of the Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost as unfortunate, disappointing, totally regrettable and a hasty generalization only intended to bring the high earned reputation of the University into public disrepute. The Association further calls on the public not to give credence to such an irresponsible statement. The Alumni Association says it has been closely and diligently working with the University of Liberia Administration, the Board of Trustees and all parties involved in the ongoing crisis at the University and will continue to do so for the immediate reopening of the University of Liberia. The University of Liberia

THREATS LOOM

Alumni Association reiterated calls to all parties involved to remain calm and advises the Independent MediationInvestigation Committee set up by the University Board of Trustees to expedite the investigation of the stalemate. The Alumni Association is also appealing to the University of Liberia Faculty Association, University of LiberiaStudent Union and Dr. Wade Elliott Brownell to fully cooperate with the investigative panel. We are henceforth appealing to the Faculty Association of the University of Liberiato resume instructional activities for the sake of the students and the interest of the nation as a way of buttressing the human resource development of our country pending the outcome of the investigation. The Alumni Association is admonishing all students to stay away from any form of protests as frantic efforts are being made to resolve the crisis, so that they will return to classes in the shortest possible time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monrovia - Once considered the bread basket of Liberia as a consequence of its huge contribution in the food supplied the Liberian market before the civil war, Lofa County has become a politically strategic county in post-war Liberia, producing vice president on two occasions in person of incumbent Joseph Nyumah Boakai and the late Harry Fomba Moniba. The county has also dominated the educational landscape of the country, producing huge number of graduates in universities across the country; also individuals hailing from the county have occupied high profile positions in Government and the private sector. Augustine Ngafuan, former Minister of Finance, now Minister of Foreign Affairs; Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Binyah C. Kessely Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority; former Auditor General John S. Morlu, II; Former Minister of Labor, and also Gender and Development, Varbah Gayflor amongst others. It is one of the counties counted in the politics of numbers in Liberia, like Montserrado, Nimba, Bong; Lofa is a populated county making it a significant factor in Liberias body politics. Lofa is located in the northernmost portion of the Liberia. One of 15 counties that comprise the first-level of administrative division in the nation, it has six districts. Voinjama serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 9,982 square kilometres (3,854 sq mi). As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 270,114, making it the fourth most populous county in Liberia. The county is bordered by Bong County to the south and Gbarpolu County to the west. The northwestern parts of Lofa border the nation of Sierra Leone and the northeastern parts border Guinea. Mount Wologisi, the highest mountain in Liberia, lies in the north-central part of the county. As of 2008 National Housing and Population census, the county has six administrative districts including Foya District (100,000), Quardu Gboni, (59,057), Salayea District (22,968), Vahun District (16,876), Voinjama District (40,730) and Zorzor District (40,352) In few months during a special mid-term election, incumbent senator Sumo Kuppee will be tested at the polls as he fights to hold on to a seat he has occupied for about nine years now, setting the pace for a crucial senatorial election clash between sons and

TRIBAL POLITICS
Tribal Politics Could Proof Vital in Lofa Senatorial Race-Morlu, Kromah, Carbah, Jallah, Kortimai take on Kupee
Stephen D. Kollie, stephnekollie13@gmail.com 0776329124; Selma Lomax, Selma.lomax@frontpageafricaonline.com

2014 POLITICAL RACE: THE LOFA STRUGGLE

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POLITICS

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daughters of the Wologisis belt to decide who fills the void. As part of frontpageafrica special analytical review of pending contenders in the midterm struggle for political power, FrontPage Africa today examines the chances of names that have been in the making to form part of a heavy but sour political struggle. The Lofa senatorial election will be comparable to that of vote rich Montserrado, Nimba, Bong and other counties as the names surfacing are all political heavyweights. Amongst them is former presidential candidate, University of Liberia lecturer and former warlord Alhagi G.V. Kromah. Kromah who has twice contested the presidency of Liberia, failing on both occasions but that does not take away his popularity in Lofa based on tribal affiliation as he hails from the Mandingo group which has a good numbers in the county. Liberian politics has proven over the years to be tribal centric where voters

vote based on their tribal affiliation to a candidate. Like other counties, tribal politics is a glaring occurrence in the county which is internally divided on tribal lines. A district by district popularity survey: According to a FrontPage Africa investigation conducted recently in Lofa County, key fugues are rising above the others as elections draw nearer in a popularity style. In Gbandi dominant Kolahun, Kissi dominant Foya and Mende dominant Vahun districts, Joseph K. Jallah appears to be tapping the popularity show followed by Stephen Zargo and Sumo Kupee. In Voinjama district, Zargo appears to be the frontier with Jallah reaching second followed by Galakpai Kortimai. In Quardu Gboni, Alhaji Kromah leads the team of contenders in a show of popularity with Jallah and Kupee on the second list. In Zorzor, Kortimai taps with high popularity followed by Jallah second and Kupee vs Kparkelen and Gladys finishing third. In Kpelle

dominant Slayea, Kparklen grabs first place with Jallah hitting second place and Kortimai along with Kupee fight the third line. As the tenure of incumbent Lofa senator, Sumo Kupee draws to an end, the tempo of political activities has risen sharply in the county, as aspirants for the October race who want to contest have begun to emerge. The list of those who have shown interest in the election cut across four of the countys six political districts. The list includes old contenders and new entrants. The duo of Zorzor district, Kupee and former superintendent Garlarkpai Kortemai, are expected to give the contest the excitement it deserves, more so, they are veterans when it comes to political socialization and the battles that follow. The list of old contenders who are expected to make another attempt in the countys senatorial race contest include, Varfee Tulay of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Liberty Partys Stephen

Zargo, Stanley Kparkillen, who is poised to contest as an independent candidate and Cllr. Joseph Jallah. There are also hordes of new entrants in the senatorial race contest. These are people who are expected to take part in the election for the first time as senatorial candidates. They include, the former National Social Security and Welfare Corporation NASSCORP, Francis Carbah, former superintendent Kortemai, former Liberias Auditor General, John Morlu, veteran Liberian journalist, Alhaji G. V. Kromah and host of other contenders that will emerge as the election approaches. One of the key strength of the new entrants is that they are influential technocrats, politicians and businessmen, who have strong ties with the people in the grass-root. Having seen the nature of aspirants that are likely to contest for the senate seat in the county during the coming election, the pertinent question is what are their prospects and chances? There appears to be three significant factors many believe could

affect the election in the county: the tribal politics factor, growing popularity of the unity party in the county and the Foya Factor, which is the most populated district but yet to have a candidate in the pending race. Political observers believe the partys popularity squarely hinges on the presence of Liberias vice president, Joseph Bokai, who is also a native of Foya The political permutation is that whoever wins the Unity Party primary in the county and has the blessing of Boakai could win the race. Others believe that a consensus candidate of Foya could prove pivotal. But it is suffice to state that the strength of individual contenders and their chances of winning vary extensively, in view of their backgrounds and the emerging challenges. But one thing is clear; there is no doubt that they have all that are required to sell themselves successfully to the electorates.

see page 10

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POLITICS

Monday, January 13 , 2014

SUMO KUPEE Incumbent Factor Favors Veteran lawmaker


to be losing ground, which some constituents believe is attributed to his abandonment of the county for a protracted period. This man will not have a second chance. He was very boastful of his nine years period everywhere he went. But he forgot to know that nine years is very short for a politician to rely on and abandon the people that made him what he is today. Kupee is a wrong messenger for us and we cannot retain him anymore, James Flomo, a resident of Salayea town told FrontPage Africa recently. Kupee could lose hold of vote rich Foya considering the single candidate scenario as few contenders from the Zorzor belt have likewise thrown their caps in the battle field. What would be more troubling is that should Foya back him, Kupee could see a split of his votes in Zozor and other districts. In house, the Unity Party has several candidates including Francis Carbah and Galakpai Kortimai which will see Kupee contesting a fierce political primary with these two influential and staunch members of the ruling party. Chances: Kupees Lofa County tie with the Unity Party would give him a green light. FrontPage Africa has learned that nearly all the Unity Party lawmakers from Lofa have launched a solidarity support for Kupee to be retained in the senate. Veep Boakai would play a major role for Kupee in the campaign process but with Boakais ambition for 2017 gaining momentum, he could perhaps play a low role instead of endorsing a particular candidate in the senatorial election. Kupee recently visited Lofa along with Central Bank of Liberia Governor Mills Jones who is believed to have strong political ambition to contest the 2017 presidential election, a situation which accordingly has not gone down well with Boakai. Should Boakai and Kupee fallout, it will cost Kupee the Kissi votes. Kupee appears to be financially potent than nearly all his contenders which could give him a boost to campaign considerably than other contestants.

Second Time Back in Play


A new youth of the Voinjama District terrain emerged as contender but Zargo and the new game changer are said to be at loggerheads rather than dialogue. Zargo and other contestants from the Voinjama District region would again face a rocky hill to the National legislature if they fail to form a united front that would land them the blessing of vote-rich Foya District. Foya, the home district of Vice-President Joseph Boakai is considered as the x-factor in Lofa senatorial clash. FrontPage Africa has gathered that eligible voters in Foya have resolved to overwhelmingly support a single candidate from a single region that has no other competitor hailing from the same tribe. But Zargo is yet to persuade other contenders from Voinjama to step aside, a challenge that would cripple his Kissi votes. Jams Fallah, a local photographer in Foya town revealed this to FrontPage Africa: Once we see a single candidate from one district be it Voinjama or another place we will definitely vote for him or her. We dont want people from one place standing against each other all the time. That alone shows a sign of disunity among those candidates. And we as kissi people will only support people that are united in one accord CHANCES: Since the end of the 2011 elections, Zargo has been persistent in Lofa reportedly doing his underground work. Many Lofans would give him a slot at the National Legislature in the name of pity after losing the previous chance. His ability of wining the second place in the previous election would boost his political bid. Zargo was the architect for the establishment of total sub gas station in Voinjama which he said to have significant amount of shares in its operation. That investment coupled with his NANIA security firm would boost his financial potential for campaigning.

STEPHEN H. ZARGO

In politics incumbents have several factors in their favor and this could be the case for incumbent Senator Sumo Kupee who has been at the Capitol Building for over nine years. The road to the Capitol was not all greasy for Kuppe but he managed 13,325 votes out of a total valid votes of 88,671 representing 15.4%, this made him the senator in the upper category beating his nearest rivals, Fombah Kanneh of the All Liberian Coalition Party who obtained 11,096 votes amounting to 12.8%. Saa Philip Joe of the grass root Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) obtained 7,123 votes representing 8.2%. Kupee is the current Senator of Lofa County whose post all eyes are yearning for. Hes the Senate committee chair on Way, Means, and Finance and was elected in 2005 during Liberias first post-war democratic elections. Prior to his ascendancy at the senate, he served as Commissioner, Bureau of Income Tax progressing to Special Assistant to Policy Advisor to the Minister of Finance and later becoming Commissioner of Customs and Excise. Challenges: Since his election in 2005, Senator Kupees major challenge has been his failure to appropriately liaise with his constituents. His nine years tenure has been characterized with numerous controversies raging from alleged involvement in ritualistic killings, secret dealings, and abandonment of his constituents among others. In 2013, a peace and reconciliation conference organized by Senator Kuppe and District #5 representative Moses Kollie met stiff resistance by a group calling itself Lofa Youth for Peace and Governance. The group accused Kupee of invading justice by failing to exonerate himself from the ritualistic death of a 15 year-old boy. Jackson Grant, a spokesperson for the group in Zorzor said: The recipe for any reconciliation is justice and open confession. We have come to remind our citizens that 2014 is closer; people have mismanaged the opportunity given them. Let us be aware of the political pharaohs coming back for state power. We should not dignify this so-called politically motivated peace conference organized by someone who has been accused of our sons death. According to reports, little Vewu Keselly was ritualistically killed a day after Kupee had paid a visit to the town of the deceased to announce his intention to contest the senatorial seat. Kupee has since denied any involvement in Vewus death while refusing to make further comments. Incumbent Kupee could find himself in a twisted game if his cordiality with the local media does not improve. FrontPage Africa investigation suggests that the Lofa county senator has blacklisted several community radio stations and their reporters from venturing around his activities accusing them of not favoring his political agenda. When he went to Kolahun I went there at my own expense. When Kupee saw me he was angry and told me that we have always not supported his agenda so he does not have dealing with us, a radio Kintoma reporter revealed to FPA in Voinjama on January 1, 2014. Though hes the incumbent, Senator Kupees popularity appears

Stephen H. Zargo is a household name in Lofa, especially amongst his native Lorma, the dominant tribe in the Voinjama District region. Hes a County Attorney at the 10th Judicial Circuit Court in Lofa County and previously served as the Director for Criminal Investigation Divisions of the LNP and a Roving Prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice. Zargo first glimpse of politics was in 2011 when he contested as senator, coming second where he secured 13,536 votes out of a total of 91,401 valid votes cast representing 14.8%. The eventual winner George T. Tengbah secured 21,914 votes, 24.0%. Zargo hails from Zenelorman, Voinjama District, Lower Wokor Lofa County and attended school in his native county before moving on to the University of Liberia where he obtained a Bachelor degree in Sociology and Public Administration and also holds a bachelor degree in law from the Louis Arthur Grime School of Law. Zargo can count on his years of experience as a police officer, where he acquired trainings that took him to EGYPT (thrice), SOUTH AFRICA, KENYA, NIGERIA, SENEGAL, ITALY, BOTSWANA and USA at the FBI academy making him the first Liberia FBI Trained in about 40 years as some of his plus going into the senatorial race. Upon taking up assignment with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Zargo agreed to go back to his native Lofa where he took up assignment in 2004 as UNMIL Legal and Judicial monitor, visiting all of the districts and helping to re-establish the magisterial courts in all of these districts to include providing legal materials, furniture and training for magistrates and court staffs. He is the owner of the NANIA Security and Consultancy Company. CHALLENGES: Zargo emerged second to Senator Tengbeh according to the results of the 2011 senatorial poll, but a FrontPage Africa investigation has gathered that the people of Lofa have grown a new mindset far from 2011. Finance would play a major role during camping period but the lawyerturned politician has reportedly been financially depressed due to enormous spending during his 2011 senatorial bid. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Zargo has leased his Monrovia storey building at the Congo Town Back Road, adjacent the Chinese embassy to the Chinese government to boost his financial potency in the 2014 senatorial campaign. Zargos decision to serve as prosecutor at the circuit court in Voinjama has been criticized by many Lofans who believe he might destroy many possible voters at the court while playing a prosecutor role as a lawyer. His failure to form alliance or coalition with pending contenders would threaten his political struggle.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

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POLITICS
Stanley Kparkillen
Up for A fight

Frontpage

Page 11

Old face Joseph K. Jallah Still in the Game

GALAKPAI W. KORTIMAI:
Former Superintendent Throws weight

Cllr. Joseph K. Jallah, a renowned Central Bank of Liberia lawyer is a key actor in the pending midterm election. In 2011, he contested the Lofa senatorial seat on the ticket of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy finishing fourth among 10 candidates. Jallah obtained 12,420 votes amounting to 13.6% which could give him some level of confidence heading into the pending election. Jallah says he wants a Lofa County defined by deep and meaningful equality from civil rights to labor rights, from womens rights to religious tolerance, from destruction of our cultural heritage to promotion of our traditional values; from idolizing our youths to be force into criminalities to the establishment and promotion of viable youth programs and development; from self-seeking leadership to good governance and from pitting our tribal people against one another to promoting a true policy of reconciliation amongst our traditional leaders. I understand that we all know that this has been a tough fight. The Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) stands for peace and democracy in Liberia; we want to be clear here that there is always a tomorrow to all that we do today. Lofans and yea Liberians, we are all one family, and its now time to restore the ties that bind us and to come together around the ideals we share, the values we cherish, and the county and/or country we so dearly love, the lawyer told frontpageafrica. CHALLENGES: The emergence of new faces in the political battle field this time around would significantly reduce the strength of voters for the lawyer especially strongholds of other contenders. Jallah like Zargo, would face a desperate path to the senate should a contender from his district decides to join the queue considering the reported Kissis resolution on support for a single candidate. Chances: Jallahs popularity is among the elderly and some youth especially in his home district of Kolahun. Should he contest alone from his terrain, Foya would definitely have him listed for smooth ride to the National Legislature come October. The CBL lawyer appears to be financially balanced this time to battle his contenders. In his words, the battle is tough but this is his best chance for the senate. We all want to restore Lofa Countys standing in the country, to end prejudice and once again lead by the power of our values and to join hands to confront our share challenges from poverty, ignorance and disease among others. You know I have been involved in politics and public life in one way or another for over two decades now. I know that the journey ahead will not be easy. But for as long as Lofa county has existed, it has been the Lofa way to work harder, Jallah wrote after his 2011 defeat.

Kparkillen, a member of the ruling Unity Party and former representative of district #5 in Lofa County is another force in the senatorial race. He unsuccessfully contested the senatorial seat in 2011 finishing the third place. Kparkillen is heading for his third consecutive senatorial race having finished third in 2011 obtaining 13,391 votes out of a total of 91,401 valid votes representing 14.7%. Since then he has nursed the ambition to become the senator of the county. But of all the top contenders, he has started more visible pre-campaign. In late 2013, members of the Liberia Marketing Association LMA chapter in Salayea, his native district, petitioned him to run for the senate seat and endorsed him as their candidate. Political observers say if LMA Salayea chapter is sincere; other top contenders are in trouble given the population of the LMA in the district. Besides, virtually all the commercial vehicles plying Gbarnga-Zorzor from Zorzor to Voinjama are carrying Kparkillen posters. CHALLENGES: Kparkillens bid received a hit in 2013 when he was relieved of his post at the General Services Agency (GSA). Since then, his people-centered donations have slowed down and the likelihood of him not contesting is high due to low income. Apart from his Salayea stronghold, where he hails many Lofans analyze Kparkelen as a failure and untrusted person to make much impact at the level of the senate. They say he was once a representative but did not leave a tangible footprint for others to emulate, thus casting a dark cloud on his possibility to ascend at the senate. We are asking him to tell us what he will do for us when hes elected. Let him tell us his achievements when he was representative for us. He failed us to the highest degree, Kolu Jomah of Zorzor town lamented at an intellectual forum recently. Kparkelen has focused his campaign mainly in the Zorzor-Salayea region which is diminishing his popularity in other districts. CHANCES: If Kparkelen becomes the lone candidate from his terrain with no contestant aspiring against him, he could get the Foya blessing while splitting other votes with the remaining contenders. Kparkelens financial strength remains unclear but observers say the UP would throw him in the battle as spoiler.

Yanway Suborzu:

a new name is surfacing in the senatorial race of Lofa with Suborzu an employee of Ecobank Liberia who worked at the Voinjama branch for several years but was later transferred to Monrovia due to what many define as a political game joining the race. His rival Stephen Zargo reportedly influenced his transfer to reduce his chances of doing more underground work. Challenges: Like Gladys, Suborzu is the newest face on the bloc hoping to unseat a man that several contenders are exhausting efforts to defeat. Hes yet to sell his platforms to many Lofans who see him as too young to entrust. It is not clear which political party would lead Suborzu but an independent candidate would narrow some possibilities for his success. Finance appears to be a major challenge for the newest face who will have to campaign in 6 political districts if he must succeed. Chances: Suborzus popularity is rapidly growing among the teaching community with many teachers hoping to give him their support considering that he helped them in terms of services at the bank. Suborzu is also growing much support from the youth because hes the youngest contender in the race.

Galakpai W. Kortimai: Kortimai is the former Superintendent of Lofa County and currently the Deputy Director of the General Services Agency, GSA. He served as party chair of the ruling Unity Party in Lofa and was subsequently appointed Superintendent after President Sirleafs first term victory in 2005.CHALLENGES: Kortimai appears to be known by many for the fact that he was the County chief executive but many dont see him as the right choice at the moment. They say he did not do much to improve Lofa; rather violence and protest characterized his tenure. Key on the citizens minds, according to FrontPage Africa investigation, is the failure of Kortimai to properly reconcile various tribes who had returned from a 14-year of civil unrest. It can be recalled that on February 26, 2010, under the watch of Kortimai as Superintendent, violent ethnic clashes left 2 dead and 16 others seriously injured as a result of the mysterious death of a Lutheran High school student Korpo Kamara. Many accused Kortimai at the time of not playing a neutral role during the conflict as a dozen of Madiango men were rounded up by state security forces than the Lormas that participated in the clashes. James Bazzie, a citizen of Voinjama District revealed to FPA on New Year s Day: My brother this election will be very critical. Kortimai should not fool himself to put foot. He will lose totally because he does not have Lofa at heart. This man did not do anything for us to trust him with senatorial seat. Hes a man that loves too much pick and choose and thats why problems were always under his watch. Look at Lofa, no good road nothing much to talk about like other counties CHANCES: Kortimai is a strong member of the ruling UP and if he wins the primary of the party which might also be contested by Carbah and Kupee, he stands a better chance of climbing the ladder. Kortimais former administrative Assistant now Senator George T. Tengbeh would lend him more support though the former Superintendent did not demonstrate much support during Tengbehs election in 2011. Kortimai is also counting on the support of Foyas strong man Eugene Fallah Kparkar of district #2. GLADYS BEYAN: Beyan is the standard bearer of the opposition Grass Root Democratic Party of Liberia who unsuccessfully contested the presidential seat in 2011. She returned from the US in 2011 to contest the presidency and has since been around doing some underground work for the senate. In 2011, as a presidential candidate she obtained 91,027 representing 2.6% but has now decided to turn her attention to the senatorial race. CHALLENGES: Beyan is a new face on the field and not much is known about her activities. She is yet to market herself to many Lofans who lack a great deal of confidence in her ability to represent them. What is tougher for her is that she hails from a terrain that is already charged with three major players including Kupee, Kortimai and Kparkelen. CHANCES: Gladys would win a significant portion of the womens votes as much of her underground works have been centered on women and girls.

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POLITICS
FRANCIS CARBAH Money factor

Monday, January 13 , 2014

Alhaji G.V Kromah:

Familiar territory

Kromah is a professor of Mass Commendations at the University of Liberia, a former warlord of the defunct ULIMO K and former Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System LBS; he now serves as an Ambassador at large in Washington, the USA. He unsuccessfully contested the Liberian presidency twice and a Montserrado county senatorial election. Kromah is well known in Liberia, described as one of the most educated in the country. He holds five degrees from Liberian and American universities in the fields of Economics, Communication, Law and International Relations. Hes a Ph.D. candidate in International Law. Kromah is not new to elective politics as he has contested on two occasions, one as presidential candidate in 2005 and senatorial candidate for Montserrado County inKromah contested the 2005 elections on the ticket of the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP) securing 27,141 out of a total of 1,012,673 representing 2.8%. He came eight out of 22 candidates. In 2009, Kromah contested a senatorial by-election for Montserrado County as a result of the death of Senator Hannah G. Brent (CDC) this time as an Independent candidate securing 6,729 votes out of total valid votes of 97,306 amounting to 7.0% of the total votes. Kromah appears to have a very strong prospect of winning the senatorial race in the county if the numerical strength showed by his party, the All Liberia Coalition in the 2005 election, comes into effect again. His party obtained up to fifty per cent of legislative seats in the county during the 2005 election. GV as he is referred to has roots in almost all the countys five political districts. He originates from Guadu-Gboni District, whose population is about 90 per cent of Kromahs ethnic Mandingo group. Kromahs successful recommendation of the late Paramount Chief Tamba Tailor to take up a seat in the ruling Council of State in 1995 is well recognized in the late Chiefs Foya District. Several thousands are said to have turned out in recently when Kromah went to the district on a political assessment visit. Vahun District, the home of former ALCOP Senator, Fomba Kanneh, has usually had a soft spot for GV. Kromah is said to also have a strong maternal connection with Salayea District, and is also said to have an excellent command of the Districts Kpelle language. Kromah has served in various government positions in the past thirty years including stints as Minister of Information and three times Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System. He was also a member of the Council of State, which exercised presidential authority over Liberia during the 2005-2007 rule of the Interim Government. Currently an Ambassador at large at the Foreign Ministry, Prof. Kromah is noted for his eloquence and wealth of experience in community and student politics leading to the national scene. Kromah is also well known in sports, where he made name as President of the Barrolle Sports Association, which became triple champions during his leadership. Kromah, a former warring faction leader, improved his relations in Lofa through reconciliation initiatives, which led to his party obtaining up to fifty percent of legislative seats in the 2005 general elections. Kromah is reportedly one of leading aspirants in the Lofa race. The report indicates that he is finding strong support among students and other youth groups, as well as the female population in the county. Challenges: The Mandingo factor could play against Kromah

2014. It seems like Lofa hasnt recovered from the tribal discord that engulfed the county few years ago. That, according to political observers, could be a major hurdle for Kromah in the election. Kromah appears to be far from Lofans mind due to what many described as his perpetual absence and abandonment of the county. They say he only comes around when there is an election and hides afterwards. This man is apparently an opportunist who wants to ride on the people of Lofa for his self interest. We cannot allow this kind of man to represent us when he does not have our time at all, Sekou Fofana of Quardu Gboni district asserted to FPA during a visit to Samodu town by vice President Boakai recently. Apart from Quardu Gboni region Kromahs popularity remains very poor with electorates reserving much discussion about him in some intellectual centers around the county. CHANCES: Kromah chances to reach the National Legislature appears rocky with only Quardu Gboni hosting much of his supporters while other districts have a plan B. Yanway Suborzu: a new name is surfacing in the senatorial race of Lofa with Suborzu an employee of Ecobank Liberia who worked at the Voinjama branch for several years but was later transferred to Monrovia due to what many define as a political game joining the race. His rival Stephen Zargo reportedly influenced his transfer to reduce his chances of doing more underground work. CHALLENGES: Like Gladys, Suborzu is the newest face on the bloc hoping to unseat a man that several contenders are exhausting efforts to defeat. Hes yet to sell his platforms to many Lofans who see him as too young to entrust. It is not clear which political party would lead Suborzu but an independent candidate would narrow some possibilities for his success. Finance appears to be a major challenge for the newest face who will have to campaign in 6 political districts if he must succeed. Chances: Suborzus popularity is rapidly growing among the teaching community with many teachers hoping to give him their support considering that he helped them in terms of services at the bank. Suborzu is also growing much support from the youth because hes the youngest contender in the race.

Carbah, Director at the National Housing Authority, is one aspirant many believe will change the course of campaign in the pending October election not only because of his deep pocket, but his willingness to spend it. Carbah has declared his interest in the countys senatorial race, and even trying to convince Lofa electorates by identifying with his people including providing scholarship for students and contributing to people driven projects. Conscious of the role of the media, Carbah has extended a hand of fellowship to the media by donating money to Radio Halegee in Kolahun district to help beef up the community radio coverage, among others. In recent time, Carbah has formed a strong tie with Vice President Boikai, which many believe could play in his favor particularly ahead of the partys primary. In fact, many Unity Party members believe that Carbahs ambition is responsible for the reported quarrel between Kupee and Boikai. But until the primary takes place, nothing, as they say, is cast in iron because even at the last day, there might still be horse-trading and re-alignment of interests. Therefore, surprises, as analyst insist, are not to be ruled out. CHALLENGES: Carbah is however not as politically strong and popular as other top contenders. People still see him as a feather weight in the county politics, but this senatorial race will provide him the opportunity to prove his critics wrong. Carbah like other new comers is faced with a challenge of recognition. Hes yet to prove

himself to gain the blessing of many Lofans. His involvement in a grave conflict of interest that led to his forceful resignation from NASSCORP is ringing bell in many electorate ears as he seeks election. But Carbah maintains that he resigned as a result of an error of judgment on his part by providing a bank guarantee in favor of a Unity Party contractor of a UP building project. Many say he cannot be totally trusted with elected post at the moment. Carbahs resignation from NASSCORP in 2013 appears to be haunting his quest for power in the county. The controversial circumstances that prompted his resignation appear to be a political tool for his rivals with many harboring the view that he embezzled money from NASSCORP, which forced him to resign. Until Carbah can address himself to what is seen as a political minus against him, political observers say he has a rugged task ahead of him. Carbah is the former Director General of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) and another contender in the senatorial battle. CHANCES: If Carbah works over time to market himself more to Lofans he would make headway especially in the Voinjama District region.

JOHN S. MORLU II Former Auditor general John Morlu Poised to Join Race
his native county. Morlu appears to be the man of the moment. His indelible records established during his stint at the General Auditing Commission (GAC) in exposing corruption have brought him to the limelight not only in Lofa but the entire country.In Liberian politics, Morlu is one of the recognized and respected names in Liberia and Lofa and he come from a permanent Episcopal Family in Lofa. He is most likely to get a cross section of Lofians backing him. His uncle, John Morlu Sr, who had not lived in Lofa since 1962, came in 11 place in the Presidential elections and third place in Lofa County. In Kolahun, he garnered nearly 80 percent of the votes in 2005. This could be a strong advantage for Morlu since the law has been changed from 50 plus one percent to simple majority. In additional to his name recognition, the fact nearly all major contenders are from Zorzzor, Salaya, Zorzor and Foyah, and none from Kolahun District place Morlu in a stronger position to win a simple majority without putting forth much of a fight. Furthermore, Morlu could make a good showing amongst the large Mandingo and Muslim population in Lofa, as his mother is Mandingo and his maternal relatives are all Muslims. Morlu is former AG and now Managing Partner of his CPA firm. He has worked in America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean and in 11 countries in Russia Federation, Caucuses, Central Asia and the Baltic. He is connected internationally with strong commendations from UN, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, European Union, International Crisis Group, and his colleague in the Auditors General community. With his level of education, experience and professional credentials and his internationally acclaimed stand against corruption and his solid understanding of governance and financial management, he could very well be slated to become next Pro Tempore if he wins Lofa.CHALLENGES: However, Morlu has to battle with the establishment politicians who are apprehensive of his rising profile. Their feeling is that with Morlu as Senator of Lofa County, they would lose their deposits and stakes in the county ahead of 2017 presidential election.Also, political observers say Morlu needs to work on his structure and try to marry his philanthropy with real grassroots structure. He should refrain from the usual grandstanding and glamour that go with pre-election campaigns.

Liberias former Auditor General John S. Morlu, II is accordingly being heavily courted by the leadership of the CDC to contest in Lofa. Party Leader George Weah, Chairman George Solo, Chairman, Youth Wing Leader Jefferson Koijee, and Vice Chairman Mulbah Morlu etc are all courting Morlu to contest in Lofa County according to sources. Many of the key contenders in the senate race are also said to have called and asked Morlu for his support to them in Lofa, asking him to stay out of the race. But CDC thinks Morlu is the lone man that can deliver them a quick and easy victory in vote rich Lofa County. Benoni Urey, who also has Bolahun connections like Morlu, is indicated to also be pressing on Morlu to consider a run in Lofa County. Morlu who led a revolution of transparency and accountability in the public sector of Liberia and has long been rumored to harbor political ambition to contest the presidency is one new name surfacing the senator race for

WORLD NEWS F PROTESTERS, POLICE CLASH AHEAD OF EGYPTIAN CONSTITUTION VOTE


PAGE RONT

Monday, January 13, 2014

Frontpage

FRANCE'S HOLLANDE HAS TIGHT WINDOW TO STEP UP REFORM PACE

IN BRIEF

Page 13

P
(CNN) --

rotesters in parts of Egypt rallied Friday against the government and a vote on a constitution

that would ban religious parties, leading to clashes with security forces or demonstrators' opponents in at least three cities, Egyptian media reported.

The demonstrations are the latest by members or supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that has regularly protested Egypt's

interim government since Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsy was ousted in a coup in July. Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with opponents in parts of Cairo after Morsy loyalists tore down posters supporting the proposed constitution, on which Egyptians will vote Tuesday and Wednesday, the semiofficial Ahram Online news outlet reported. In Giza, security forces fired tear gas at Morsy supporters to disperse their march there, Ahram Online reported. The demonstrators began to march after Friday prayers and clashed with police in various parts of the city, Ahram Online said. Clashes also broke out in alSabah city in Suez province, where security forces fired tear gas at a pro-Morsy march, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency. The Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy had called for protests, MENA said. The alliance has focused its ire on Egypt's January 1415 referendum on a new constitution, which would not only ban religious parties but also put more power in the hands of the military. The alliance has called for a boycott of the referendum. Muslim Brotherhood

supporters have continued their protests, even though the government declared the group a terrorist organization last month. The government has threatened to arrest anyone who attends Muslim Brotherhood protests or provides financial support to the organization. Supporters of the organization demand the reinstatement of Morsy, who became the country's first democratically elected president in 2012, and the full restoration of their political and social rights. The interim government blames the group for coordinated attacks on churches and government facilities, including a recent bombing of a police headquarters that left 16 dead and more than 100 injured. The military ousted Morsy on July 3 after he was accused of pursuing an Islamist agenda and excluding other factions from the government. Morsy's supporters say that the deposed president wasn't given a fair chance and that the military has returned to the authoritarian practices of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in a popular uprising in 2011. Morsy is awaiting trial in several cases, including one in which he and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood members face charges stemming from December 2012 protests over a constitution he shepherded into effect. Egyptian authorities have accused Morsy and his staff of ordering supporters to attack protesters after guards and members of the Interior Ministry refused to do it. Morsy and four others are charged with inciting violence, but they are not accused of using force. Eleven others are charged with killing three men, torturing 54 people, using force and possessing weapons. That trial, delayed Wednesday, is expected to resume on February 1. Morsy, who says he still is Egypt's legitimate president, has refused to recognize the court's authority and has yet to accept legal representation for the proceeding.

PARIS

he coming weeks will tell whether Francois Hollande can pick up the pieces of his accident-prone presidency and start to pull the euro zone's second-largest economy out of decline. It may be his last chance to do so. The new year could hardly have started worse for the French leader, who failed to keep a promise to the nation to halt the rise in unemployment by the end of 2013 and is now dealing with media allegations of a secret love affair. Photos in a celebrity magazine published last week purporting to show a nocturnal visit by Hollande to a mistress risk stealing the show on Tuesday when he faces media for up to two hours in the traditional start-of-year news conference.

POPE NAMES 19 NEW CARDINALS, NONE AMERICAN

ope Francis released the names of 19 new princes of the Catholic Church Sunday -none from the United States. The list included cardinals for Burkina Faso and Haiti to show "concern for people struck by poverty," according to Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi. And the pope created new cardinalatial sees: Perugia in Italy, and Cotabato on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. The consistory, scheduled for late February, will fill 13 vacant seats plus bring in three more cardinals to replace those who will turn age 80 -- too old to vote in a papal election -- by the end of May. One reason the Archbishops of Philadelphia and Los Angeles may not have been elevated to red hat status is that both cities currently have cardinals under age 80. It is unusual for one cardinal see to have two electors. However, the United States, with 11 voting cardinals already compared to merely five for Brazil, is hardly slighted in electoral clout. Francis, the first Jesuit pope, did not include any Jesuits, although four of those named are members of religious orders, Catholic News Service observed.

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Sport

Monday, January 13 , 2014

NIMBA WHIPS GRAND KRU AS GRAND

he highest winner of the National County Sports Meet football version Nimba County has qualified for the semifinal stage of the 2013/2014 version of the competition along with neighbors Grand Gedeh. Nimba did so on Sunday after a 2-1 victory over Grand Kru in the tournament first quarterfinal clash at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex in Paynesville. Sam Johnson put Nimba ahead in the 28 minute through a terrific shot and Prince Chappy added Nimbas second goal in the 68th minute through spacing while Nicholas Swem who hails from Nimba scored Grand Krus consolation goal against his own county in the 71st minute. In the second match of the day Grand Gedeh County came from a goal down to beat Lofa 4-3 on penalties after regular time ended 0-0. After full times minutes ended a goal apiece, in extra time Lofa county took the lead much to the excitement of fans who turned out to see the county play in the quarterfinal for the first time in several editions of the competition but their joy short-lived as Grand Gedeh grabbed an equalizer and went on win the game on penalties. Earlier in the day, Gbapolu County beat Grand kru 4 home runs to 3 in the day first

IN NATIONAL COUNTY MEET

kickball quarter final clash while Montserrado went down 9 to 5 home runs at the hands of Margibi County. The tournament second quarter final clashes will continue today with Bong County going against Grand Cape Mount in the day first kickball battle while Sinoe engages Grand Bassa County in the second kickball fight.

In the day early football encounter, Bong will rub shoulders with defending champions Cape Mount and Sinoe tackles Bassa to end the day.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sport 2014 AFRICAN NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP IN SOUTH AFRICA


Cape Town is set to host 16 matches for Africas biennial soccer showdown!

Frontpage

Page 15

is played every two years in a different country on the continent and alternates with the ever-popular Africa Cup of Nations. Starting with only 9 teams in the first contest in 2009, the competition has since expanded to include 16 sides in total, all of which are selected from the North, West A and B, Central, Central-East and Southern zones in Africa. Most importantly, the biannual competition does not allow players competing outside of their home countrys domestic league to partake in this prestigious event. So, dont expect to see any of the big African stars enrolled in European leagues. This policy is fundamental to the tournament, as the competition was initiated as a response to the growing need to keep the top-notch African players playing on local soil. Its an unfortunate fact that many footballers leave their country of birth to play for foreign teams that offer fame, fortune and exposure. The upcoming contest sees the following teams battle it out for the African Nations Championship title: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo, Congo DR, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa (hosts), Uganda, Zimbabwe.

he 2014 Orange African Nations Championship (also known as the African Championship of Nations or CHAN) kicks off in Mzansi for an all-out three-week tournament that challenges national football teams from various countries in Africa to battle it out for the title. Taking place between 11 January and 1 February 2014, the

showdown, which was originally set to be hosted in Libya, sees squads go head-to-head in three different cities in South Africa Cape Town, Polokwane and Mangaung with the Mother Citys stadiums in Green Point and Athlone hosting 16 of the 32 games, including the opening and closing matches and ceremonies. Only the third tourney thus far, the African Nations Championship

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PAGE RONT

GOV'T NEWS

Monday, January 13 , 2014

ANOTHER BUDGET SHORTFALL

THREE SURPLUSES LATER,

Monroviahe Liberian economy is in the red for the third time, thanks to yet another budget shortfall, this time, US$47 million. The Ministry of Finance has notified the heads of government ministries and agencies to tightened their belts for the long haul. According to copy of a communication submitted to the various heads of government, and signed by Finance Minister Amara Konneh, in position of FrontPageAfrica, the ministry pointed to a number of factors responsible for the shortfall. We have successfully completed the first half of the budget execution in Fiscal Year(FY)2013/2014, despite many challenges facing the sector due to the late passage of the budget; late preparation and approval of procurement and cash plans by spending entities and constrained overall to execute the budget consistent with the public financial management and

Public Procurement Laws. The Ministry says it will shortly publish a more detailed mid-year budget outturn. The Budget Act Section 8(a, b, c, d) lists certain requirements that must be implemented by all government ministries and agencies, including the personnel monitoring, consistency spending, deficit financing and roads. To execute these, we must work together and reposition the Government of Liberia(GoL) to continue financing priority programs in the Agenda for Transformation(AfT), in order to meet counterpart funding requirements by the GoL. While commending ministries and agencies for operating within an overrun that was six percent of the realized revenue, which allows the ministry to meet financing obligations to key investment programs expected to transform the economy, the MoF cautioned that current fiscal realities demand even harder spending decisions from the various government agencies over the next six months, in order to

meet the goals set out in the AfT. These decisions are very painful and will take away from discretionary lines and add to LEGACY economic investments such as energy, roads, ports, agriculture, WASH, education and healthcare, security and the rule of law. The MoF says the uncollectable or unrealized revenues to date pose a significant contracting pressure on expenditure. In FY12/13, we spent US$136 million representing 57 percent of investment appropriation and 23 percent of the budget for recurrent, representing 79 percent of the budget. The MoF explains that public investments intended to transform the economy are, however, threatened in the FY13/14 budget. Only US29.6 million has been disbursed against US$456.1 million representing 46 percent of the budget. A 23 percent versus 46 percent execution rate raises an alarm for all of us. Productive economic expansion will not occur if this

This portion shows the macro picture of what the true revenue situation is and what must be done together on the expenditure side to keep up the momentum on the implementation of the AfT.

trend persists and continues for the next half of the fiscal year. In this light, the MoF says there is still much to be desired in terms of revenue performance to meet the continued deficit, despite the recalibration and reconfiguration of the budget. You will notice that there will be a significant reduction in goods and services on the recurrent side of the budget, to allow the GoL to finance debt and deficit incurred in FY2012/2013 and public investments in FY2013/14. The MoF explained that policy measures are already

being employed to address compensation inequities within the public sector, beginning in January with political appointees, followed by director-level civil servants in February. These policy measures require resources, which must be sourced. Therefore I ask for your support in upholding the Cabinet decision to freeze all hiring with the exception of healthcare and education workers that are being regularized on the Civil Service Agencys(CSA) payroll and for which appropriation exist in

the budget. Ministries are being warned that they will shortly be receiving the MoFs risked ceiling to allow government ministries and agencies to reconfigure their respective budgets, so that it fits this years four percent deficit financing relative to revenue projections and continued support for the key AfT priorities classified as LEGACY projects and approved by the Cabinet.

KONNEH NEEDS TO DO MORE-REP. SNOWE WEIGHS IN ON FINANCE MINISTER AWARD

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NEWS EXTRA

Henry Karmo (0886522495) henryKarmo47@gmail.com


Ministry of Finance Look at what Minister Alfreda Tamba used to do, we dont see it anymore we need to cite the authority at the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank to discuss the financial situation the country is faced with. The Montserrado County district number six lawmaker promised that upon their return the legislature will begin to hold public hearings to address some of the situations the country is faced with especially in the financial sector. He also called on Konneh to use the award he just received as African Finance Minister of the year as an eye opener and said; in my personal view I think much more is expected from the minister of finance.

epresentative Edwin Snowe (IND-District #6 Montserrado County) wants Finance Minister Amarah Konneh to be more robust in his job in generating the needed resources for the operation of government functionaries rather than celebrating a mere award. Snowe in an interview with reporters at the Capitol Building expressed concern over the alarming financial situation in the country especially the increase in the exchange rate between the United States and Liberian dollars. Representative Snowe says the efforts of former Minister Alfred Tamba in collection revenue is no more seen at the

Responding to question about the status of the proposed Capitol Radio in the approved budget he said, the hundred thousand United States dollars was allocated and approved in the National budget and the project is on course as expected. The legislative radio if you look at the budget under the legislature Colum the money is being allocated and right now we are going through the PPCC process where we will get people with expertise to do our policy because we need a clear policy so that this radio station will not be used to conflict with other commercial radio stations around the country, he added. Snowe who currently Chairs the House of Representatives

Committee on Rules and Orders said, preparations are near completion for lawmakers to resume their official duties on Monday. He disclosed that the leadership of the legislature has provided twenty thousand United States dollars for preparation for the program on Monday. Members of the Liberian Legislature will on Monday

January 13 commence regular legislative session at the capitol building. Article 32 (a) of the Liberian Constitution requires members of the first Branch of Government to resume duties on the 2nd working Monday of January each year. The legislature adjourned on September 13, 2013 for its annual constituency break.

The president of Liberia, her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chief Justice and Associate Justices, members of the diplomatic corps, political parties leaders, members of the religious and business communities, heads of Civil Society and International Non-Governmental Organization.

Monday, January 13, 2014

he Ministry of Education has been giving permission by the Ministry of National Defense to continue the construction of an elementary school in the 72nd barrack. In 2011, Unicief decided to erect a new structure for 72nd public school but was stop by the Defense Ministry on grounds that land belongs to the ministry of Defense and that construction could not continue until there was proper understanding between both sides. The 72nd public school currently has one room that is partition for classes for all of the classes, during Front Page Africa visit to the school students were congested in a small building with no toilet for students. The students were seen using the bushes as mean to ease themselves. The defense minister who gives the minister of Education the permission for the construction of the school did the turning over of land for construction to begin.

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION GETS GREENLIGHT TO CONSTRUCT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AT THE 72ND BARRACK.
Al-Varney Rogers alrogers2008@gmail.com 0886304498.
hutted by ministry of Defense. This was a project that started and was hutted by the ministry of defense, we have been working over the years to get this work started, Tarpeh said. The Education Minister said, the engineers who will be constructing the school will follow the ministry of education approval designed for school construction. This whole facility we have a designed for it we will go and get that designed for the engineer to begin, Tarpeh said. The principal of 72nd public school Jumo Wilson said, the action by the defense ministry delay the project adding that it is causing problem for the school. The delay of this construction has served a serious embarrassment for the school, classes are getting overcrowded, Wilson said. Wilson said, the construction started two years ago saying that it should have ended February 2012 but the defense ministry action has topple their plan. This project came to being by UNICEF, the construction started two years ago and it should have ended February 2012, Wilson said. Wilson continues: while the construction was ongoing the ministry of defense came and broke down the foundation, they[Defense Ministry] said they were not inform by the ministry of education that our school was going to use their land for the construction of school. Wilson said, the resumption of the project is laudable adding with that it is their hope that project will be completed on time void any interference.

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EDUCATION

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Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh thanked the defense ministry for allowing her ministry along with UNICEF to continue the construction of the 72nd public school. Now

that we have gotten it back we will begin the construction. Minister Tarpeh said that the ministry of education would begin discussion on the resumption of the project.

Im going to UNICEF office to begin discussion for the resumption of this project. According to the education Minister, the project begins years back adding that it was

LOOKING BACK
Sayonkon foundation gives vital supplies to Antioch Baptist School
Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com

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EDUCATION

Kindergarten and elementary students pose in front of their mat-house


about other countries like the Haitians, the people from the Philippines and the Hurricane Katrina that affected the USA where I live. So I just want to give back to people and that is how I started this foundation. And I am just giving back in cooperation with the Trinitarian Congregational Church. We started this last year and we hope it continues [for the unforeseeable future], said Sayonkon, who also promised to give a scholarship or financial aidfor a year to any student, void of nepotism, recommended by the school. Receiving the barrels, the principal of the Antioch Baptist School System Abraham Howard thanked the foundation for items. Howard said it was a laudable initiative for a Liberian to identify with students in his former community. I feel so proud and excited. This is the first time for Antioch Baptist to receive a donation from anybody or group. And we are so proud of Teddy Sayon Foundation by making this great impact in thinking about his Liberian brothers and sisters. We are so proud to have such a young man, who is thinking about the kids in the country to see how best that they can be educated to become somebody good in the future, Howard praised. The school, run by the Antioch Baptist Church, has a kindergarten to elementary section in a mat-house while the junior high is in a concrete building with a total of 412 students. And while Howard admits it has been difficult in running an institution that badly needs educational supplies and where members childrensome of who hardly pays tuition on time, he empathizes with those in the interiors. I sympathize with school in the rural areas compare to schools in the city because there are other opportunities that schools in the city received which are not available to school in the rural areas. And it is so pathetic that when you go in the rural areas, you see kids sitting on bricks just to become somebody for tomorrow. So it is not really easy for educators, especially our colleagues in the interior, Howard underscored. The Inland School in Harbel, Margibi County, which benefited from the maiden donation in 2013, is poised to benefit again, according to Sayonkon.

he Teddy Sayonkon Foundation, based in the United States of America (USA), has donated two barrels of assorted supplies to the Antioch Baptist School in ELWA community. Some of the items contained in the barrels were copy books, pencils, erasers, colorings, sneakers, shoes, toys and clothes.

Making the presentation on January 9, the foundations chief executive officer said it was his way of identifying with a place he once resided. Teddy Sayonkon, who lived in the community up to the completion of high school studies before leaving for the USA, said he remains committed to education and will contribute to young people who take keen interest in it.

I just thought it was to give back because giving back is like you impact other people to make them better. And it takes a whole lot to make people better because you got to fall sick, like your comfort zone, to go to another area to donate to people. I just fall in love with that; I got passion for that. I have been going through lot of stories