Alfred P.B. Kiadii
Against all standards of merit but in conformity with the afterthought of so-called “struggle heroes and heroines being rewarded with lucrative jobs,” President George M. Weah, in his quest to place mediocrity at the height of the public sector, appointed Jefferson Koijee to the coveted position of mayor of the metropolitan city of Monrovia.
Amidst mounting criticisms from the enlightened voices in the republic about said misnomer, forces of reaction within the ranks of the reactionary and revisionist Coalition for Democratic Change (CD), bombarded social media with a defeatist, anthology of mumbo-jumbo, and labeled decent patriots of the homeland as “envious, hateful, pessimistic individuals” without discarding the core of our argument.
To such blatant absurdity this writer issued the below retort: “Our conscience will not allow us to tolerate wrongdoings. If speaking one's conscience is tantamount to being envious and hateful, I am a culprit. For us, we will not join the popular band to congratulate, we will subject the appointees to critical analyses. If this requires standing alone, we dare to stand alone. For standing alone in the epoch of political degeneracy is worth it than standing with the unconscious mob.
Our duty to our country surpasses our love for friendship. In ensuring that our country takes a place of pride among the comity of nations, we will hurt people, we will condemn close associates, we will injure our relationship with a lot of our timid friends, but we will maintain our love for country and obligation to conscience. Make no mistake, we are under no illusion that the task we have chosen is easy. We know it is arduous, and it is a road many will not want to take. In this undertaken, many will plot against us simply because we refused to shut up when the soul of the republic is being pierced and mutilated on the altar of political patronage. Like a mother who will not abandon her child even in a situation of delinquency, patriots don’t abandon their countries even when something undesirable happened. We will remain engaged!
Labels such as ‘envious, hateful, jealous, stupid, etc.’ are used to prevaricate from the discourse. The act is deliberate because what we have written cannot be countered. The best bet of our accusers is to hide under nonsense tag to evade the plausible points contained in our submission. We are aware they don’t have the sophistication to engage in a reasoned discourse; however, it is not surprising. In a country where mediocrity takes preeminence, knowledge becomes a scare commodity.”
Additionally, this writer emphasized: “What we fear are not the insults from the banditti of the incompetent appointees, but their attempt to celebrate mediocrity and decorate it as if it is the new normal. It is against such absurdity we struggle. Our struggle seeks to inspire confidence in few of our compatriots who stand on the side of merit, qualification and competence. We say to those comrades never compromise your values for the irritations of rent-seeking and political patronage. This moment shall come and pass!
As everything comes and perishes in time, so this dark chapter in the nation’s history will come and past. Sadly, we are in the era where men must abandon education to support a political movement in the hope that when it attains state leadership, he will be given a position of pride to engage in primitive accumulation and conspicuous consumption, notwithstanding his capacity challenge, knowledge deficit, and massive intellectual inadequacy and paralysis of integrity.
Currently, it is the new normal, but tomorrow it will be outdated and deemed anachronistic.”
Fast-forward, today one of such arguments that we tabled which rings true is that a man who doesn’t have the discipline to study for an undergraduate degree will have no discipline in working for eight hours in the five working days of the week, as he doesn’t have the sophistication and the fortitudinous stamina to run the largest city corporation in the country, let alone makes inroads.
In approximately one month in office, the hugeness of the task has bemused the laggard of a city mayor in Jefferson T. Koijee to the extent that he neither sits in his office nor goes on the field to ensure the city gets transformed and green. Like his President George M. Weah, he has developed no plan nor conducted any meaningful administrative action to boost the confidence and morale of the workers.
Koijee takes pleasure in visiting with incompetent stooges whose appointments in the critical sector of the public bureaucracy was influenced by him. Like a capitalist adventurist on a safari, the so-called mayor is on what this writer describes as internal-bureaucratic pussyfooting. He aimlessly wanders from one agency to another every day, especially doing working hours. A situation which is a classic case of corruption, as he will be paid for hours he didn’t use at work.
Hedonism has set in and the neophyte is on a spree of pomp and pageantry, from the US Embassy to local bars, the new mayor spends precious working time to seek pleasure on an industrial scale. Dressed in a coat suit like a Wall Street plunderer, the reactionary perambulates the corridors of Ataye centers in Monrovia and parts adjacent to blather and chatter.
Worst of all, the chap has overstaffed the corporation with loyalists and party faithful, against the standard procedural for appointment, adding additional strain on the recurrent front of the government expenditure, thereby leading to a bloated wage bill.
Additionally, some of the ordinary workers at the corporation who supported the CDC due to their desire for the so-called change have been changed and sacked while others have been reshuffled without any formal assessment of the working situation at the corporation. Everything is being done as if he is on a mission to purge and persecute the people.
If he had the slightest understanding about the operation of the government, he would have been conversant with the fact that nobody adds additional staffs to a government agency in the middle of the budget year—there is absolutely no fund in the budget to pay the new employees due to the fact that their employment was not budgeted for.
The Personal Action Notice (PAN) that adds and removes an individual from the payroll is normally in motion before the budget is passed. When the PAN is done, then the new employee is captured in the budget and is given salary. This is the standard operating procedure, but I think the hostile and empty elements in the CDC have a different way of doing it, in conjunction with the sterile “pro-poor” agenda.
Basically, one ask the question: why will an operative of a government which cries about the economy being in shamble, rising inflation, rising prices, falling revenue, etc. will elect to overstaff a city corporation? This question points to the fact that when clueless individuals are given the public sector to manage, they proceed on the path of self-destruction, self-implosion and self-immolation.
Change is now a chain that has imprisoned the people everywhere in the public bureaucracy. The agents of change are gradually transforming the republic into a subtle despotism. Everything is like a bubble.
Kiadii studies Political Science with emphasis in Public Administration at the University of Liberia. He is a social and political critic, and the secretary General of the Movement for Social Democratic Alternative (MOSODA). He can be reached on Cell +233552176627 and [email protected]