-As L$16bn Report Hits The Country; Will Injustice Suck The Live Life-Blood Of Justice? While Corruption Sustains Friendship Jacket’s Visa?
In few days, stiffly sitting on the edge with hearts in their hands, the nation and people will surely witness if President George M. Weah in the truest sense of his expression, will instruct the driver without fear or favor to ‘beat it’ when the L$16bn report is published and names trapped therein alleged wrongdoing will face the music through the due process or be placed and tactically protected in the safe haven.
Earlier, President Weah, letting the cat out of the bag openly and clearly declared without second though, that those who will be culpable in the report from the investigation will face the full weight of the law will take center-space and thoroughly scrutinized to know that the steam in the seriousness of Weah’s statement can break new grounds or end up as being a charade and business as usual.
Amidst massive wide spread speculations and harbored suspicions from several quarters of the society as names like Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) Executive Governor Milton Weeks and Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf looming; coupled with appeal for total calm and staying away from violent acts n order to protect and sustain the peace obtaining in the country; the people are equally so reminding the government to desist from political sympathy influencing its robust quest to ensure that the prompt action is meted out against those hooked through the due process of the law.
As the nation cannot wait any longer than the end of this month for the report to be heard, known, analyze and accept or questioned based on the way they (people) will view the glass either being half-fill or half-emptied; but until then; pundits are expressing about looming national blood clot continues to seep in the gap as the tentacles of impunity remains cardinal factor to slightly over look in the process.
With the people to shortly be confronted with two separate reports from the local and international dimensions about the alleged missing L$16bn respectively, wherein they will have the opportunity to compare, connect and deduce thereby choosing the way forward; an elderly woman, Madam Susan Turner of Sinkor told this on Tuesday February 25, 2019 with so much on the people’s minds to honestly hear the actual story behind the long talked about money; from today to the end of this month, most individuals will dream so much of which most of their dreams will b incomprehensible based on the loaded pre-meditations on how they have perceived the trend of events bordered on the billion saga; although everyone has been warned not to pre-empt unknown findings a component of the reports.
At the same time, when the information began to spread that the United States Government’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would conduct an investigation on the missing billion, and would be permitted to invite anyone and institution for questioning, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Bhofal Chambers lashed out that “this body (House of Representatives) can never be invited by any group or institution. You can come make request and the body will decide as what approach to take.”
It can be recalled that despite the roving and roaring hullabaloos piercing the most national embarrassment of the L$16bn, the U.S. Embassy in Liberia, through USAID, reached out to independent, internationally recognized firms with specialization in forensic investigations to conduct a scoping mission that could ascertain the basic facts of the alleged missing currency matter and determine to what extent a broader mission would be needed.
The assessment of the U.S. Embassy in Liberia that such a report would be the most credible and effective means to quickly determine the scale of the problem, and would be an appropriate means for the United States to support the Liberian government’s and citizens’ desire to understand the allegations and facts.
If a broader and longer investigation were found to be needed after the scoping mission has concluded, the Liberian Government could discuss next steps with international partners. To ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the process, the U.S. and Liberian Governments have agreed that the independent forensic investigators will conduct their work with full access to information needed and without the imposition of additional actors from the government, civil society, or international partners.
In addition, we have agreed that the completed report will be made public, so that there is full transparency and understanding of the outcomes. We urge all Liberians to remain patient as the Liberian Government, assisted by the United States and other international partners, considers appropriate and expeditious means to help resolve current concerns and questions about Liberia’s currency.
Phebe In Uphill Survival Battle
-Confronted With ‘Empty Pharmacy’
By Esau J. Farr
A fact checking investigative report conducted by this paper has revealed that there is an acute shortage of drugs at the Phebe Hospital in Suacoco, Upper Bong County.
Phebe as the oldest regional referral Hospital in Liberia is situated in central Liberia playing host to patients from Margibi, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh Counties as well as patients from the Republic of Guinea.
Speaking in an interview with a team of investigative reporters during a guided tour of the Phebe Hospital compound in the area recently, the Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing confirmed previous report that the Hospital is short of essential drugs.
“We have 43 satellite clinics under our supervision and we actually have inadequate medical supplies,” Dr. Jefferson K. Sibley disclosed to reporters.
“Most of the times I feel embarrassed when nurses or my staff have to prescribe drugs for patients to be purchased from a nearby pharmacy or other areas; but that’s it, we are short of medical supplies especially essential drugs which is a paramount concern for any health administrator,” he alarmed.
According to him, he pities the conditions of patients or caretakers who have to take prescriptions from nurses at Phebe Hospital to a nearby drug stores or get to Gbarnga to purchase said drugs before being treated; something he said further adds to the pain of patients who most of the times struggle with transportation fares to get them to a nearby health center for treatments.
He puts the estimated annual running cost of Phebe Hospital alone at US$3m, but quickly pointed out that the current approved budget (FY-2018/2019) of the hospital stands at US$1.8m.
Asked if some nurses do take away drugs placed in the pharmacy of the hospital thus creating artificial shortage at the detriment of patients and administrators, Dr. Sibley said he has no knowledge on any misapplication of drugs brought into the hospital’s warehouse and pharmacy from central office adding that supplies brought to the hospital are kept in a safe warehouse.
“We have even stopped nurses from selling drugs in our hospital because it undermines the credibility and integrity of the hospital and the nurses themselves,” Dr. Sibley noted.
To confirm the situation, Dr. Sibley took reporters on a guided tour during which this paper observed that most of the shelves in the pharmacy of Phebe were completely empty to the extent that nurses are seen to constantly be in a situation of fasting and praying not to see patients being sent to them with list of drugs that are not available in the pharmacy.
The entry into the Phebe’s pharmacy by the team of investigative journalists was seen as yet another hope for the nurses since in fact they trusted that the real issues of the hospital could be highlighted by the journalists in sharp contrast of the past experience with hospital authorities or nurses where they (hospital authorities) could not let in journalists to ascertain the facts for themselves and report as they are seen.
One embarrassed, but happy female nurse (pharmacist) was caught on an audio saying, “Thanks to you’ll for coming, come see what we are going through here and I hope you will report exactly what you see here so government and our partners can do something about drugs and medical supplies to this hospital (Phebe),” the nurse encouraged the journalists with passion.
One major challenge that Dr. Sibley said is hampering the efficient and effective delivery of health services in the hospital is low human resource capacity in the area of specialized doctors.
According to him, prior to the civil war the hospital had specialized doctors totaling ten (10), but now has only three specialized doctors; something he said leads to some levels of delay in providing the timely and necessary health care services to patients coming to the hospital especially the ones that have to claim the attention of doctor.
The Phebe Hospital Medical Director disclosed that since he took over at the Hospital, he has installed some significant changes at the hospital compared to prior to assuming the top position of the Hospital.
“In the midst of all of these challenges, we have made some important strives and changes in the areas of sanitation, the installation of computerized X-Ray machine and creation and construction of units and annexes respectively at the Phebe Hospital,” Dr. Sibley revealed.
On a tour at the hospital, reporters observed the installation of modern laboratory equipment in the lab unit of the hospital some of which reportedly produce result in thirty (30) minutes compared to the past where patients have to be made to wait for hours or day (s).
‘Declare Your Assets’
-VP Taylor Cautions Senators
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
Liberia’s Vice President and President of the Liberian Senate, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor has called on members of the Liberian Senate to declare their assets in keeping with laws on the books regarding public officials.
Vice President Taylor made the call Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in the Chamber of the Liberian Senate during the Senate’s regular session on Capitol Hill.
“I would like to call on all of us in this Senate to please submit our assets. It would be good that members of the Liberian Senate please declare and submit their assets to the Secretary of the Senate for onward submission,” Vice President Taylor told senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday in session.
VP Taylor asserted that though the deadline for the submission of the declaration of assets has elapsed, but she encouraged Senators to still submit their assets in accordance with the law.
She indicated that the Judiciary branch of government has already completed their process of assets declaration, while the Executive are in the process and urged members of the Legislature, particularly the Senate should follow suit.
“The deadline has passed; it would be good for members of the Senate to please submit their assets declaration to the Secretary of the Senate so the report can be submitted as to those who have done theirs. The Judiciary has completed this, the Executive is working towards completing theirs and I think members of the Liberian Senate should be the first to please complete these requirements,” VP Taylor added.
The Vice President call comes in the wake of war of words between the office of the President and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) over the same assets declaration process.
According to a communication from the office of the LACC Chairman Cllr. James Verdier Jr., no member of the Legislature has submitted their assets declaration.
Part 10.1 of the Code of Conduct states among other things, that all public officials should declare their assets before entering and leaving public (government) offices. TNR
Rep. Sloh Groans
-As He Condemns Humiliation Of Women In Sinoe County
Rep. Jay Nagbe Sloh
Sinoe County electoral district two Representative, Jay Nagbe Sloh has condemned the reported brutal humiliation of two women in Numopoh, Sinoe County by some men who accused the victims of being witches.
According to a release from the office of the lawmaker, he recounted that in recent days, social media has been saturated by a video clip showing two young ladies stripped completely nude and publicly flogged by a ‘band’ of men trying to coerce them into confessing to being witches. One of the victims has reportedly died from the incident.
The release further quotes the Sinoe County electoral district two lawmaker as saying the action and its attending video have both embarrassed all civilized people, especially Sinoe citizens around the world.
Representative Sloh also apologized to the victims, their families, and all women around the world for the disgrace the ‘barbaric action’ has imposed upon them.
According to the release, Representative Sloh’s initial investigation has confirmed that the incident occurred in Numopoh, Greenville district, Sinoe County. He added “in these civilized days, only persons suffering from chronic insanity and irreversible mental derangement can even think of meting out such abnormal and violent social behavior against any human being, let alone women.”
“No matter where this ugly incident occurred, it must be condemned by all civilized human beings,” Rep Sloh added.
He also regretted what he called the ‘very poor judgment’ employed by those who published the video. According to him, such publication further violated the privacy and rights of the victims and exacerbated an already ugly situation.
In a related development, Representative Sloh who is also Secretary General of the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus, has condemned the reported mob violence in the Grigsby Farm Community, within the same Greenville District, where law enforcement officers were reportedly brutalized over the weekend by angry citizens.
“Nothing justifies violent actions against law enforcement personnel. All perpetrators of both crimes will face the full weight of the law,” he assured.
In a related development, Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has also condemned the act of torture of two females in Sinoe County which recently went viral on social media.
The Liberian Vice President, in a brief statement released Tuesday, emphasized how shocked she was by the distasteful video footage, in which two females are seen stripped naked and been assaulted by some residents of Sinoe County.
“I am exceedingly shocked by a distasteful video circulating on social media, in which two females were stripped naked and assaulted by some residents of Sinoe County,” VP Howard-Taylor said.
The Vice President termed as extremely demeaning for females, regardless of the allegations, to be paraded in the streets naked as a punitive measure for their
actions or inactions.
She stressed that any act of torture against women in Liberia and the world at large is unacceptable and must be discouraged.
The first female Liberian Vice President has meanwhile assured that the Government of Liberia, under the able leadership of President George Manneh Weah, has demonstrated unquestionably the needed political will to bridge the gap of gender inequality to ensure the protection of women’s rights.
VP Howard-Taylor then applauded the Liberia National Police for making some swift arrests of perpetrators, admonishing them to ensure that those found guilty bear the full weight of the law.
As a global icon for women’s rights and gender equality, VP Howard-Taylor further assured that all efforts would be made to ensure that women are safe, secure and dignified.
She then expressed her empathy with the families of those tortured women, who she lamented will continue to carry the scars of humiliation and public ridicule being displayed.
“I want to reaffirm my commitment to the affected women and their families, and I will cross all barriers to ensure that the case is brought to its logical conclusion, sparing no perpetrator, within the confines of the law,” the Liberian Vice President noted. TNR