Family Tightlipped, Police Slow to Act in Alleged Rape Involving Lawmaker
Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County – In Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, a relative of the 13-year-old girl sits at his workplace with hands on his chin.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, [email protected]
He tells a FrontPageAfrica affiliate about the rape of his cousin by the District #2 lawmaker in the County.
The source who begged for anonymity told the FPA affiliate that the lawmaker Rep. Morais T. Waylee (Unity Party-District No.2, Suah Community, Zwedru), committed the act in Monrovia while another relative was visiting from the United States.
The family has remained tightlipped since the incident occurred and even those who want to tell the truth, are continuously suspicious of whom they are talking to.
“Our brother who is in the U.S knows the story because the little girl is living with his uncle, Charles Zulu in Monrovia,” said the family source.
The relative who seemed nervous that his cover might be blown stated that the 13 year-old girl is related to the lawmaker.
He said the girl is currently living with a man named Wallace Barway.
He said people in the family are afraid to speak to the press because the lawmaker has agreed to shoulder responsibility for the teen and her young child who was born as a result of the rape.
“I am hoping to get leave from my job to go to Monrovia to find out the condition of my niece because I only heard what happened but I have not seen her,” said the relative.
“The family and Hon. Waylee hail from the Tweabo belt in Grand Gedeh, and Waylee is uncle to us.”
“The family does not want to bring shame to Waylee.”
In Monrovia, officials at the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Services said they have not received an official report that a Grand Gedeh representative raped a 13-year-old girl who later had a baby.
On May 3, 2017, FrontpageAfrica citing family sources reported that Representative Waylee (Unity Party-District No.2, Suah Community, Zwedru), raped the teenager who was living with him. This rape allegedly led to pregnancy and the girl delivered the baby via C-section.
Though some members of the family have told FPA that Waylee accepted responsibility for the pregnancy and promised to care for the teen and the baby girl, he has denied the allegations.
Deddeh Kwekwe, sexual and gender-based coordinator at the Ministry of Gender, said the ministry’s Grand Gedeh County coordinator went to Waylee’s home, but no one was there. She said the ministry and the county only heard about the story after it was reported in FPA.
Alieu Bility, deputy coordinator for women and children’s protection section at the LNP, said Police are still trying to find the teen to find out exactly what happened in order to launch into a full investigation.
The Police, he said, are working closely with the Gender Ministry on the case.
‘It’s a bit difficult since we can’t find the child,’’ he said.”
“Without the victim, Police cannot invite the accused because it could be considered blackmail.’’
“When authorities locate the teen, she will be placed in a safe home managed by the Ministry of Gender while Police investigate the case.”
The SGBV coordinator added that its Grand Gedeh County coordinator told them that they are awaiting further details to send the lawmaker to court.
At the same time the Police spokesperson in an interview with FPA said the Police are yet to arrest anyone in the case because it has no information on the case.
The head of the Campaigners for Change International has expressed regret over the alleged action of the Representative Waylee.
Meanwhile, the head of Liberia women media action committee Estella Nelson said the issue is not about the civil society tackling rape it’s a holistic act that should involve everyone.
She said it was unimaginable that up to present, there is no scientific way to detect rape.
“I think if rape and sexual based-violence was a priority to this government, they would put in mechanisms to improve this menace, right now what we need is laboratory that will help in the process,” Nelson said.