Liberia: Senate Internal Affairs Committee Wants Money Allotted to the Traditional Council Investigated
MONROVIA – The Liberian Senate Internal Affairs Committee has taken a keen interest in money amounting to US$ $1.5 million allotted to the National Traditional Council despite it being defunct since 2018.
At a hearing conducted by the Internal Affairs Committee chaired by Senator J. Gble-Gbo Brown of Maryland County, it was discovered that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has over the past four years allotted to the repealed institution.
In September 2018, the legislature repealed the 2013 Act establishing the National Traditional Council and, in its stead, established the National Council of Chiefs which now functions under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
According to a legislative source, more than US$ 1.5 million has been allotted to the former National Traditional Council.
The concern of the Senator is who has been using money intended for traditional leaders when the Act creating the National Traditional Council has been repealed. At the hearing, Senator Prince Moye expressed concerns over the legal implications of funds allotted to a dissolved entity.
Section 3.3 of the act establishing the National Council of Chiefs speaks to the leadership of the council. The Act states that the leadership of the Council shall be: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson for Culture and Traditional Affairs, and the Vice-Chairperson for Peacebuilding and National Reconciliation.
Section 3.5 of the Act also states that the chairperson and vice-chairperson shall be elected by the members of the council and shall serve for a period of two years. Election shall be held in January of each election year and shall be based on a simple majority of the total membership.
The act also calls for the positions of chairperson and vice-chairperson to be rotational by county representatives provided that no county shall be re-elected to any of the three positions until the cycle is completed. Regional balance shall be observed in the leadership.