Rejoinder: Liberian Red Cross Rejects FPA Discovery Of Influenced Employment

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Monrovia – We read in the July 17 publication of the Frontpage Africa News online publication an article captioned: FPA discovers new links of Senator Teahjay’s influence on Employment. In this article, we further read that Sen. Teahjay influenced the employment of four staffers at various Government ministries, and the Liberia National Red Cross Society was also mentioned. The FPA in its article reported that a man named Melvin Sahr was employed in the Liberia National Red Cross Society under the influence of Sen. Teahjay.

This publication linking the Liberian Red Cross to such employment is not only shocking and unbelievable, it is actually embarrassing, unexpected and totally unacceptable.  This undermines our fundamental principles and human resource policy as Melvin Sahr has no employment record with the Liberian Red Cross. Our Fundamental Principles remain constant and uncompromising, guiding our humanitarian actions and remains the basis for our CREDIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.   

While the LNRCS is an auxiliary to public authorities, it is independent, neutral and impartial at all times, not accepting any political interference in its activities including recruitment of volunteers or employment of staff. The LNRCS provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants for employment without any discrimination or special preference or interference from anywhere. 

The Liberian Red Cross, as a member of the global Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, maintains a very neutral and independent statute globally and nationally. The Red Cross is not an entity of Government that requires presidential appointees to be confirmed. The Red Cross maintains a two-structure leadership namely the Governance- voted every four years by registered members from the 15 counties of Liberia; and a Management/Secretariat – who are competitively recruited based on qualification, competence and acceptable skills to perform.

Our Human Resource Policy and the Fundamental Principles are unbending and at no time the senator or any other politicians, government officials or anyone has or will influence employment of staff or recruitment of volunteers within the Liberian Red Cross.

Although the paper did not mention the position, duty station and year of employment, the LNRCS has checked through its system and the name of Melvin Sahr remains strange and unrecorded in our system. And while we believed in the credibility and professionalism of FPA in reporting balance and factual news, the Liberian Red Cross is strongly challenging the paper and its reporter to present evidence of Melvin Sahr employment in the Red Cross and the associated influence from Sen. Teahjay.

Meanwhile, while the Liberian Red Cross remains very resolute to defy the report published by FPA, it is considering a further legal action against the newspapers if this story is not verified and disputed in anyway by the FPA. Our international integrity, commitment to neutrality based on our fundamental principles have been tampered with and thus causing international discredit for the Red Cross.

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