As President George Weah continues the appointment of Liberians he believe can lead his pro-poor agenda and deliver the heavily anticipated change that fueled his election as the 24th President of Liberia, many of his newly appointed government officials, like Madam Nyemadi D. Pearson, the new Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), are taking drastic actions that are directly supportive of the new president’s “pro-poor agenda”.
This is intended to aid many of Mr. Weah’s supporters who are hugely impoverished and underprivileged to get out of their terrible living conditions. However, for some people, nothing has changed, it’s job as usual! These people, some of whom who worked in the just ended administration of Ellen Johnson, but dumped the Unity Party of then Vice President Boakai in the dying minutes of the recently held Presidential and Representative Elections for opportunities to work in the Weah administration, are standing completely opposite to the vision of the mass based Coalition for Democratic Change. Madam Cecelia Cuffy-Brown (opponent to George Weah in the Senatorial race), the newly appointed Deputy Managing Director for Administration of the National Port Authority, dubbed the Gateway to Liberia’s Economy, is unequivocally doing everything that is entirely against the pro-poor policy of the Weah-led government.
Even though she is not appointed as Managing Director of National Port Authority, Madam Cuffy-Brown, according to sources within the port and the independent FrontPage Africa Newspaper, has continue to illegally exercise responsibilities that are exclusively meant for the office of Managing Director of the NPA. The NPA Act: Article 56: The Executive Officer, states:
1. The Board shall select the Executive Officer who shall be the highest executive officer of the NPA, on such terms and conditions as the Board may think fit.
2. The Executive Officer shall be responsible for the conduct of the general operations of NPA, and for that purpose shall exercise all powers delegated to him by the Board.
3. The Executive Officer shall conduct the ordinary business of NPA. Subject to approval of the Board with regard to senior officers and staff, the Executive Officer shall be responsible for the organization, appointment and dismissal of the officers and staff. Firstly, according to Article 56 (3), I questIon the appointment of Celia Cuffy-Brown.
Technically, The Act says that the MD or Executive Officer, subject to approval from the Board, shall be responsible for the organization, appointment and dismissals.
Secondly, Cuffy-Brown unilaterally took the following actions that poses serious threats to the survival of the NPA and may lead to chaos within the port if an immediate action isn’t taken by the people centered president:
Although the current NPA runs on the government’s fiscal period from July 1st of last year to june 30th of this year, Cuffy-Brown without the approval of the Board, increased the salaries and positions of the following individuals without budgetary allocations:
She made her sister Rebecca Teta Cuffy ‘Claims Manager’ even though she has never worked in that department and increased her salary by 300 percent, from US$300 to US$1,067 (source: FrontpageAfricaonline newspaper).
She raised the salary of the Human Resources Manager, Marcus Cooper by 421%, from US$1,067 to US$4,500 and further named him Executive Director of Human Resources. A portfolio that has never or does not exist in the NPA organogram and was not captured in the current NPA Budget.
She promoted the Income Manager and the Budget Manager to Directors of their various sections and increased their salaries by more than 120%.
She also promoted the Expenditure Manager to Deputy Comptroller and increased his salary. Additionally, we have being reliably informed that Cuffy-Brown also went to various offices within the Freeport of Monrovia and forcibly sprinkled salt and what appears to be a chanted oil without the permission of the occupants on grounds that she sees skeletons and human flesh in all these offices (source: FrontpageAfricaonline.com), etc. Many employees who do not support the barbaric and psychopathic actions of Cuffy-Brown are presently working under threats of being fired daily, and are be given jobs that are not prescribed within the scope of their various duties.
One senior NPA employee who spoke on anonymity described Cuffy-Brown as a “post turtle” who finds herself in a position that has her bamboozled.
“If the president does not appoint a Managing Director proper or a Board, in the soonest possible time to cut the tail of this power greed woman, her unauthorized exercise of power will destabilize the port and destroy it totally”, he concluded. Owing to the major role the National Port Authority plays within the Liberian economy, being the sole authority responsible for all seaports in the country, we’re calling on the office of President Weah to take an immediate action to arrest the situation and defuse the building tension amongst the handful of Cuffy-Brown loyalists and the larger segment of NPA employees.
We also want to inform the president that any fracas at the NPA that may hamper its daily operations in these troubling economic times may lead to a far reaching crisis in and out of the premises of the National Port Authority.
Mulbah Kesselly, Contributing Writer