Liberian Council of Churches President Cautions Against Mismanagement of Coronavirus Funds
Monrovia – The Liberian Council of Churches (LCC), through its President Rev. Kortu K. Brown, has underscored the need for the adequate and proper management of funds intended to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
According to Rev. Brown, health authorities should learn from the past and avoid mismanaging funds intended to tackle the pandemic.
He made these comments at the weekend during an exclusive interview with FrontPageAfrica at his offices in Brewerville.
He maintained that the memories of how funding intended to combat the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were improperly utilized by past health authorities still remain fresh in the minds of many Liberians.
“We should learn from the past in managing Coronavirus funds. We should learn from the so many concerns that are still lingering; questions of how funding were utilized during the Ebola crisis,” the LCC president cautioned.
“I think that when we do good financial management, it helps gain credibility to these kinds of interventions. So, it’s important that we learn from the past and we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. As we fight the coronavirus, I hope that the health authorities will do everything necessary to ensure that public confidence remains high”.
He called for the setting-up of a Coronavirus Trust Fund that will comprising of members with “impeccable character and integrity” to spearhead the expenditure of funds intended to combat COVID-19.
The LCC’s President further observed that the barrage of speculations in the public is due to the lack of accountability.
“Most times Liberians doubt a lot of things because of the way it is handled in the public or the lack of clear understanding or accountability. You hear somebody saying the people just want money, or they are doing these things for money,” he said.
“All of these things could be some clear expression of people’s frustration. It will be a good thing if a Coronavirus Trust Fund is set up.
“We understand that the Ministry of Health is taking the lead on all expenditures on the Coronavirus. Of course, we look forward to the Ministry of Health doing what is appropriate or necessary”.
Meanwhile, Rev. Brown has described a recent move by the Liberia National Police to halt church services as “hasty, unfortunate and regrettable”.
“The President of Liberia and the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) agreed on Friday, March 20, 2020 on the actions the churches would take in mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus in Liberia [that is] hand washing, no shaking hands, temperature taking, social distancing, multiple Sunday services to reduce crowds, awareness raising, fast and prayers”.
It can be recalled that on Sunday, March 22, the Government ordered the closure of all churches and mosques as part of new measures to curtail the spread of the virus.
As part of the directive, the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Patrick Sudueled a team of officers at the Faith Chapel Ministries of Senator Prince Y. Johnson – who is also the pastor of the church.
The police said they had gone there to shut down the church because it was violating the health emergency measures declared by the government.
But in a statement released on social media hours after the closure of churches by LNP officers, Rev. Brown pointed out that the move by the government ran contrary to discussions held at a meeting with the President, representatives of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We sincerely apologize for the disruption of worship services without prior notice. The LCC wasn’t notified of the action before enforcement in the spirit of our engagement with Government and all stakeholders in the fight against the deadly virus,” Rev Brown wrote.