Monrovia - With less than two weeks to the end of its constitutional mandate, the government of Liberia, through the General Service Agency (GSA) has begun impounding government vehicles.
Since the beginning of the operation in Monrovia, fleets of government vehicles can be seen parked at several locations in Monrovia and its environs including the Vamoma House junction on Tubman Boulevard and the courtyard of the Executive Mansion on Capitol Hill.
There have been reports of missing government vehicles as the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s administration enters its last days.
Some reports suggest that vehicles are being criminally re-sprayed by some unscrupulous individuals in order to change its identity for personal use.
The exercise, which began early January, is expected to preserve vehicles that may be used by the next administration, but has come under severe criticisms from segment of the public as some people commenting on social media and local radio stations term it as out of order.
Critics accused the Government of Liberia of wrongly implementing the mandate, which they say is intimidating government workers who are using the vehicles on official duties and the vehicles are taken away forcible with the aid of the Liberia National Police (LNP).
“I think the GSA is stepping beyond its bounds by using force to take the cars from the government workers.
The best thing to do is to get to the ministry or agencies and work with the heads and those responsible for procurement,” one caller said Monday morning on a local radio talk show.
“But to attack government workers on duty in the streets and forcefully take the vehicle from them is intimidating and uncivilized,” another caller said.
An official of the GSA told FrontPage Africa on Monday that the agency is implementing a mandate issued by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, which request that all vehicles belonging to government should be turned over to the GSA for proper inventory after which some of the cars will be parked to commute guest attending the January 22, 2018 inauguration ceremony in Monrovia.
The GSA strategy to recollect vehicles from government employees has renewed debate over the fleet management system of the agency especially after several suggestions that government should installed trackers or GPS on its vehicles for easy tracing and management.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some vehicles would be given back to the ministries and agencies to continue government functions.
The GSA official is arguing that a two-week notification period was given to all government’s ministries and agencies prior to the commencement of the exercise.
He noted that the process is ongoing smoothly, and added that the LNP is only call upon when some users of the vehicles refuse to cooperate with the agency.
“We are implementing the mandate of the President that all government vehicles should be turned over to the General Services Agency and after proper checking some will be parked for the inauguration and some will be turned over to the ministries and agencies to continue the work of government until January 21, 2018.
The process is going on smoothly and we can only call the police when people refuse to comply,” the GSA official said.
Meanwhile, a staff in the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh has debunked reports that his boss was one of several officials affected from the ongoing exercise.
He clarified that contrary to report, Dr. Francis Kateh was given the authorization by the GSA to use his vehicle until January 21, the eve of the inauguration.