Liberia: Rep. Solomon George Calls on Pres. to Pay for Market Women’s Goods Trashed by Mary Broh
MONROVIA – A member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Representative Solomon Claudius George, has called on President George Manneh Weah to take full responsibility of paying for the destruction of goods belonging to struggling local traders and worth L$4, 663,000 by the Citizens Engagement Board (CEB), headed Madam Mary Broh.
The amount is equivalent to US$33,307 at the exchange rate of US$1 to 140.
Lawmaker George is representing the people of electoral district # 7 in Montserrado County.
The CEB was established by the government, through the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) for the bicentennial anniversary celebration in Monrovia. It works is to give Monrovia and its environs a facelift from now to January 7, 2022.
Madam Broh, who is affectionately called “General Broh” and her team have been demolishing makeshift structures, including shutting down some businesses that are not in compliance of the city ordinances, confiscating unhygienic goods of petty and street sellers, among others.
Few weeks after the commencement of normal works of the CEB, Mary Broh and her team felt into trouble with members of the House of Representatives following a complaint filed by Representative George. She was invited to respond to reports of alleged whipping and handcuffing residents and marketers during her routine Clean-up exercise.
FrontPageAfrica has independently gathered that the CDC lawmaker’s action to send a communication to his colleagues was predicated upon a complaint filed to his office by a group of underprivileged and aggrieved Liberian traders under the banner “The Banana Traders”.
In the communication, a copy which is in the possession of FPA, about 43 aggrieved local Liberian traders complained that “General” Broh led a team of MCC officers and destroyed their goods without any prior notice.
They claimed that the alleged action of “General” Broh and the team is detrimental to their survival, as the trading of banana, was their only means of living.
“The value of our goods is in the tone of four million, six hundred and sixty-three thousand Liberian dollars (L$4,663,000). In view of the abovementioned Hon. George, we pray your humanitarian intervention in order to get back the value of what has been destroyed from us by Madam Broh; as Christmas is approaching, we need to take care of our responsibilities such as susu, yearly club payments and other domestics”.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with FrontPage Africa at his Capitol Building office on Tuesday, Representative George pointed out that the act demonstrated by “General” Broh and her team amounts to “damaging the living” of the struggling Liberian traders.
The goods were being kept in the E. J Roye building on Ashmun Street in Monrovia when “General” Broh ordered members of her team to collect and destroy due to the alleged usage of carbide chemical by the local traders to forcibly make the bananas and plantains ripe.
Representative George claimed that about five trucks full with bananas and plantains were taken away by “General” Broh and her team to an unknown destination.
He maintained that these local traders spent huge sum of monies on their goods and transportation, and as such, President Weah bears the full responsibility of what happened.
“My communication was sent for the head of the CEB and the administrative arm to appear in its entirety. Madam Broh was to appear and she did not appear. They came and apologized and Madam Broh said that she was sick and she couldn’t come. We requested a medical report which she has sent and it’s in the Speaker’s office. It will be discussed but for me, I just thought to put check and balance on government officials ill-treating our people”.
“What I am pushing for now is for the market (goods) including bananas and plantain that she spoiled. I am asking the national government to pay for it. They must give a payback to the people for damaging their living. These people brought their goods from faraway places like Lofa and other areas. They can charter trucks and taxis to bring their goods to Monrovia. They spent monies. The office of the President, through the MCC should pay for the people goods.”
He noted that President Weah is the leader of the nation and he should also take the blame for what transpired.
He predicted that it will not be good for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government in the future, if the Liberian Chief Executive turn a play eye to footing the cost of the destroyed goods by Madam Broh and the others.
Eating carbide food long since
Representative George justified that from decade to decade, thousands of Liberians have been eating fruits and others that were made ripe by the carbide chemical, and as such, the justification provided by “General” Broh to destroy the living of heads of various households is poor.
“We been eating carbide ripen fruits long time ago. Even today, any government official or anyone eating banana or plantain-it’s carbide ripens fruits. So, they must stop joking because, the people are asking that they pay their money back”.
Living hard in Monrovia
Representative George observed that the action taken by the CEB comes at a time “life is very hard in Monrovia and Liberia particularly”.
“Times are hard and we must see it that our people are catching hard times and we must not go around destroying their living or markets”.
Clean the streets
Representative George expressed concern over the failure of the CEB to adequately carry on its assigned tasks and responsibilities.
He alleged that the group is engaged into executing extra judicial punishments against peaceful Liberian citizens.
Representative George observed that some citizen’ privacies are being evaded, while others are being ill-treated, handcuffed and assaulted.
He urged the group to focus on its mandate and disengage from other acts which have the proclivity of stirring confusion or chaos in the country.
“Those that are breaking down doors and entering people compounds –its invasion of privacy. It’s wrong; that is not the assignment of the CEB. The CEB should go on Newport and Benson streets-there’s a big house that got burn few months ago and the entire place is a dump site. They need to go and clean it. They need to go down Randall and Water streets to clean that area. I have videos of the MCC police kicking and beating people with sticks”.
Representative George challenged the CEB to flex its muscles and shutdown garages that are operating on the sidewalks in Monrovia.
He emphasized that the group should also ensure that all front view buildings housing government ministries, agencies and residential areas are painted “if they are serious”.
Sometimes ago, controversial “General” Broh turned the grounds of the Capitol Building into a traditional center when she dressed in African attire and led hundreds of her supporters before the building gesticulating that the Capitol Building was in a filthy condition, and needed to be cleaned up.
A contempt charged was filed against Madam Broh, but she failed to appear before the lawmakers due to ill health-a decision that was reluctantly accepted by the lawmakers following the reported submission of a medical report to that August Body.
It remains unclear whether “General” Broh will appear before the lawmakers since in fact, there are reports that President Weah has already intervene in the matter.
The National Legislature has persistently been described as a “toothless bulldog and an extension of the executive branch”. This implies that members of the Legislature-which is the first branch of the Liberian government-are not capable enough to take actions or make decisions that, would not be in the interest of the executive branch, headed by the President.
If this is anything to go by, “General” Broh will be a free woman in the coming days even though the decision would be so hard to bear for opposition lawmakers seated at the House of Representatives.
Many citizens have the belief that her action to execute extra judicial punishments confiscate and subsequently destroy the goods or markets of struggling Liberians runs contrary to the pro-poor agenda of the Weah led-government.