Jointly written by
Alfred P. B. Kiadii and Moses Uneh Yahmia
We usually see apologists of the rogue government of George Manneh Weah distributing social media with the so-called development initiatives that they say the “pro-poor agenda” has achieved in less than a year. What a charade of the first order? What an obscurantism considering the implacable pillage of the national treasury by the economic vandal Weah and his lay readers of economic vultures? Their demagogy is akin to a junkie feeding on cannabis which pushed him to lust in the orgy of hallucination, vomiting fantasy and spitting platitudes of the most mundane variety.
The old saying that there is no honor among thieves is through and through. With the massive disarray and the ebb in governance for anybody to muster the courage to promote such lie about a progressive Liberia under the political farce is as pathos-evoking as it is scandalous. Again, we are not surprised in the least at such piercing distortion of the reality in the homeland as sycophancy is irrationality at its nadir and opportunism is shortsightedness at its zenith. We expect more from those ladies and gentlemen of the regime who must play to the ego of the little black sambo in George M. Weah by feeding him with flattery and empty phrases.
The phenomenon calls history is very fascinating. Like one great thinker eloquently observed that history first repeats itself as a tragedy and second as a farce. This is the precise characterization that fits the Weah government. Its looting is not without a parallel but typical of the contradiction inherent in elements of rotten ruling cliques in Africa. It is in this league of rottenness and striking resemblance to some of the most dastard misrules of bankrupt African leader the current regime plays, holding the dubious distinction for egregious misrule and plunder. There can be no grotesque parody, there can be no mocking of the dreadful poverty of the people, and there can be no worse indifference than fanning the fable that Weah and his henchmen are doing anything close to progress or making progress considering the fact that the modus operandi of the regime is dealing in fifth, dirt and pillage on a massive scale.
This disorder of the CDC flunkeys feeding the people with lies and deception is the only weapon the arsenal of the degenerate regime. Annoying to the marrow of the bones, the hypocrisy has been taken to new height by the current regime which uses perfunctory fanfare for massive embellishment of the degenerate image of Weah, peddling falsehood and myth to the people. These shameless sewage rodents remind us of Robert Sirleaf who plundered US$ 10.5million of the Chevron Social Development fund and built mini stadia around Monrovia as cover ups to his looting of the money that was meant to solve social problems confronting the masses.
Like we did to not only the rogue Robert Sirleaf but also his Machiavellian mother Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a cosmetic enumeration of the economic mayhem perpetrated by the vampire regime defies the hot air and demagogy of success that these spongers are elevating in the spotlight. when one juxtaposes the so-called development of the black money “Pro-poor’ agenda with that of the nine month looting and excesses of the Weah government, the vast majority of the Liberian people will stand lonely as the victims while the new indifferent political elites take the award of being the victors.
Carefully and patiently read below what these bureaucratic parasites have caused the Liberian people just in the space of nine months:
1. In February, President Weah announced US$2.00 and US$4.00 reduction in 25kg and 50kg bag of rice respectively. This was intended to bring relief to the suffering mass of Liberians who depend on imported parboiled rice for daily consumption. On the contrary, the prices of 25kg and 50kg bags of rice have experienced a whopping increase instead of the highly touted reduction publicized by the regime. 25kg bag of rice which was L$1,800.00 in 2017 is now approximately L$ 2,750.00. 50kg which was US$40.00 in 2017 is now US$65.00. Against this backdrop, we can safely say that President Weah is a pathological liar.
2. During his state of the nation address, President Weah announced a 25percent decrement in his salary and benefits. Unfortunately for the Liberian people, the budget of the office of the President increased from US$ 15million in Fiscal year 2017/2018 to US$ 21million in Fiscal year 2018/2019. (Source: 20117/2018 and 2018/2019 Approved budgets). We appeal to President Weah to not announce another deduction in his salary and benefits.
3. President Weah and his cabinet sometime this year announced some percentages of reduction in the salary and benefits of ministers, directors, etc. According to the spokespersons of the regime and their media mercenaries, such move was geared at decreasing the wage bill of the government and allocating funding to strategic sectors that deliver basic social services to the people. A glimpse at the 2018/2019 Fiscal Budget speaks to the contrary. The government’s wage bill which was US$297million in the 2017/2018 Fiscal budget experienced a sudden jump to US$ 310million in the 2018/2019 Fiscal budget. This is a whopping 13million increment and considering the fact there was no increment in the salary and benefits of civil servants, teachers and health workers, the GOL payroll was not only paddled, salary and benefits of those who call the shots were increased.
4. President Weah announced that he would have built a new Monrovia City on Bali Island. It is now seven months since President Weah made the pronouncement. There is no prospect of the new city being constructed. While the Bali Island city construction is gradually becoming an attempt at diversion and pipe dream, President Weah and some members of his cabinet are acquiring giant-sized properties in less than a year of the CDC government.
5. President Weah told the Liberian people that no official of government would make a monthly salary of more than US$ 7,000.00 in his government. This commitment was contradicted when Henry Costa recently disclosed a check of US$ 8,000.00 as Saifuah M. Gray’s September allowance. It was said by Henry Costa that Miss Gray who enjoys the privilege of a very special relationship with President Weah makes US$12,000.00 in monthly salary and benefit as the President of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).
6. President Weah, through the Liberia Revenue Authority, announced reduction in import tariff for about 2,500 commodities that are frequently imported into the country to meet consumers’ demand. The reduction, according to the government was meant to reduce the prices of those commodities on the Liberian market; thus, lessening the economic burden on the shoulders of the people. On the contrary, since the so-called reduction in tariff was announced, the prices of those commodities such as, toiletries, food stuffs, building materials, stationeries, etc. keep increasing on the market.
7. The construction of the much heralded 14 Military Hospital has not been elevated from foundation level since the project began in April, 2018 but the construction of all President Weah’s giant-sized properties are almost completed. He has even purchased for himself over 100acres of land at various locations in and around Monrovia.
8. President Weah travelled to China for the FOCAC with a 60-man delegation; many of whom flew first class at the cost of US$ 16,000.00 each. Front Page Africa managed to have gotten documents on the first class travels of Samuel Tweh and Celelia Cuffy Brown, Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and Deputy Managing Director of the National Port Authority respectively. This is happening in the fourth poorest country in the world; a country with one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates; a country with the highest ratio of children that lack access to primary education, etc.
9. President Weah and his government committed the country to two bogus loan deals (ETON and EBOMAF) against the advice and critique of the opposition, civil society, and media. After spending more than US$ 10million to expedite the so-called credit facilities which were championed as funding for the construction of over 900km of roads in the country, the two loan agreements have shown no sign of materialization as deadlines for the disbursement of all tranches have elapsed.
10. In February, President Weah set up a committee to review all concession agreements and government contracts, many of which including APM Terminal, Firestone Liberia, Mittal Steel, China Union, Sime Darby, GVL, MNG Gold Mine, Liberty Gold Mine, Forest Development Agreements, etc .have been reported to have been signed to wantonly exploit the labour and resources of the people and country. Since such committee was set up in February, 2018, it has been buried in obscurity. A phenomenon which occurred after the visit of Britain ‘s Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a man who is said to have shares in APM Terminal, MNG Gold Mine as well in Liberty Gold Mine.
11. Sometime this year, Global Witness exposed that member of the board of NOCAL, during the erstwhile regime of the Sirleaf-led government received thousands of United States dollars in bonus after the successful completion of the Petroleum Sharing Contracts between the government of Liberia and oil giant Exon Mobile. The bonus given to more than 15 top officials of the Sirleaf-led government came from the signature fee that was supposed to have been deposited in government’s account untouched. Upon reading the GW’s Report, Mr. Weah set up a committee to investigate the report and come out with recommendations. Since the committee completed its investigation and presented recommendations to President Weah, he has reneged on implementing all of the recommendations in the committee’s report because of the unholy political marriage between him and the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s criminal cabal.
12. The 2018/2019 budgets of health and education reflects no improvement in the two key sectors of the Liberian economy. Vast portion of the health budget goes to administrative purposes instead of increasing the supply of drugs and equipment to hospitals, increment in the salary and benefits of health workers and expanding healthcare delivery across the country. The budget also reflects cut in the subsidies to private health facilities such as Catholic Hospital, SDA Cooper Hospital, etc. The budget of the Ministry of Education does not reflect improvement in the outcomes of teachers and students. There is zero allocation to Technical and Vocational Education. The study of the first pro-poor budget would tell you that agriculture is not a priority of the government as no fund was allocated to government venturing in mechanized farming to ensure food security.
13. Critical members of the opposition, civil society and media have been bullied by the CDC led government. This shows the intolerance of the national calamity and international scandal calling itself a government. Journalists Jonathan Pay-lay-lay, Rodney Sieh, Patrick Honnah, Smith Toby, Alfred Sirleaf (Daily Talk) etc. are all victims of the incompetent government. As the people rapidly lose faith in the farce, it would resort to black fascism wherein alternative voices would be mysteriously purged.
14. President Weah has summoned the most incompetent cabinet ever in the history of the country. The appointment of unqualified, incompetent and inexperienced playboys and playgirls to serious positions of governance has created ineffectiveness and inefficiency in the public bureaucracy. These ones who only ticket to public service was either having a very special relationship with president Weah or spewing disjointed political rhetoric for the CDC during its days in opposition are normally seen showcasing new clothes, shoes, phones and cars on social media as a way of making mockery of erstwhile officials of government instead of paying attention to the herculean national task at hand.
15. President Weah has shown no interest in not only auditing the Ellen – led government which plundered the resources of the country and subjected the mass of the people to the terrible diseases of poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and oppression, he has also demonstrated no determination to prosecute those found culpable of perpetrating economic genocide against the Liberian people during the 12year misrule of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
16. The government of President Weah has avoided committing this government to implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report although his party during its days in opposition was one of the leading voices in favor of implementing all the recommendations in the TRC Report.
17. President Weah, relegating the grinding poverty in the homeland, had the audacity to purchase a luxurious private jet which is docked in Dakar, Senegal. This is why each time President Weah makes a foreign trip, he passes through Dakar to board his private jet. When the jet was docked at the Robert International Airport, it sparked public outrage which pushed the President and his handlers to lie that the jet was given to him for use by a Burkinabe friend.
18. President Weah paid for the chattered flight and accommodation of the Nigerian National Team that played in his Number 14 Retirement Match. He also dished out US$ 2000.00 to each of the 22players of the Nigerian National Team and hand delivered a special package to the Executive of the Nigerian Football Federation for accepting his invite to play in the Number 14 Retirement Match. While President Weah carried out this waste of money for personal pleasure, victims of flood and other natural disasters were left abandoned by the government of Liberia.
19. Billions of New Liberian Bank Notes printed in South Africa, Swede, and Lebanon and shipped to the country on February 2, 2018 and March 31, 2018 for the purpose of replacing mutilated notes cannot be accounted for under the watch of the Weah-led government. The whereabouts of the billions of Liberian dollars is unknown but the President and key members of his cabinet which include Samuel Tweah, Nathaniel McGill, Jefferson Koijee, Sam Manneh, etc. are not only acquiring exotic private properties but are also living like Silicon Valley billionaires in less than a year of the “pro-poor government”.
20. Between February and July 2018, the Liberian economy experienced a stellar rise in the foreign exchange rate. An economic phenomenon which experts attributed to the excess supply of Liberian dollars against a very limited supply of foreign currency (United States dollars) on the Liberian market. This was followed by the intended consequences of the general rise in the prices of goods and services (inflation) which obviously affected the suffering mass of the Liberian people. In the middle of July, the government announced the mopping up of the excess liquidity with US$ 25million which unarguably was taken from the nation’s foreign reserves in New York. Investigation by credible media institutions like the Hot Pepper News Paper, Front Page Africa, etc. has pointed out that commercial banks have denied ever receiving portion of the 25million to mop up excess Liberian dollars. With this, one can surmise that the 25million was given to individuals who had the billions of Liberian dollars that cannot be accounted for in their possession. With not only the accumulation of private properties but also the lavish spending by President Weah and his closed confidants, we can safely say that Governor Nathaniel Paltry who vowed to violate the Act of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to implement the mandate of President Weah dished out the US$ 25million to these economic gangsters.
These contradictions being generated by the government and reflecting on the society have in no way created a passionate and sensitive nature in President Weah and his hanger-on. So there is no way that they can meditate on the causes of the contradictions and draw up plans or ways to resolve them. That same skillful fervor demonstrated on the field during President Weah’s footballing days has not been replicated by him in his study of the Liberian society and the resolving of the social problems that confront his people.
This is why the mass of the people are now becoming convinced that President Weah’s experiences and observations (If he had any) in the slum of Gibraltar left no mark on his consciousness, least I say the consciousness of his so-called lieutenants like Jefferson Koijee who absurdly argued that people envy him because he rose from the slum to become City Major of Monrovia even though he is now living the life majority of slum dwellers cannot get a pinch of. So the daily actions of the regime show we are being vindicated. The President and his camp have proven so far that they sought national leadership not to decimal their egoistic quest for wealth, social status and other glamor of political power. They came to repeat the distribution of the terrible diseases of poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and oppression on the mass of people.
This is why we hold true the words of a comrade who currently lives quietly back home: “The Weah government is a national disgrace and an international scandal. The future of the country is dastard with these people at the helm of power. Weah has no leadership quality. He is a simple unsophisticated chap who tries to be sophisticated without having the cultural traits of the sophisticated. He is a throwback to the prehistory of Africa’s leadership bankruptcy. He fits within the nauseating realm of that degeneration of political leadership in Africa which witnessed the vomiting of Idi Amin, Bokassa, Mobutu, Doe, etc. etc.
Africa abandoned this political degeneracy long time ago. For Madame Sirleaf to have helped with its imposition on our country and people demonstrates not political chicanery but utter detestation for our class. Nothing more! Nothing less! This is why our people must struggle against this international scandal and rectify the historical anomaly based on the conscious reading of the historical contour. They must not submit! They must struggle or they will watch themselves perish at the hand of this farce which will soon resort to black fascism due to its inability to socially transform the society but wants to consolidate power to continue feasting on the resources of the country and expect the people to look with indifference. This contradicts the logic of history!”
About the authors
Moses Uneh Yahmia and Alfred P. B. Kiadii are students of the University of Liberia. Kiadii studies Political Science and Public Administration while Yahmia studies Political Science and Economics. They can be reached via [email protected] and [email protected]