MONROVIA: The Speaker of the House of Representatives Dr. Bhofal Chambers has called for the arrest of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel D. Tweah Jr. and other top officials of the Ministry to answer to their attempt of disrupting the smooth running of the state and the peaceful transitional process, which, Speaker Chambers viewed as creation of Constitutional crisis.
Alarmed by the latest delay of benefits of employees of the Legislature and other public institutions by the Liberian government which he said doesn’t signal well for the country ahead of what is supposed to be a peaceful transition, Speaker Chambers said “The people have worked and there should be no negotiation for them to get paid.”
He made the statement when he addressed legislative reporters at the Capitol Building in Monrovia yesterday, Thursday, January 11, 2024 The House Speaker pointed out that the Executive Branch of government should be inclined enough to pay civil servants and public workers without any issue of the people holding placards to protest or negotiating their own salary.
The renowned Liberia lawmaker indicated that he sees the delay by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) as deliberate to jeopardize the peaceful transition and give the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government a bad end.
“The people have worked and there should be no negotiation for them to get paid. I restate, the government should be inclined through the executive to pay the people and there should be no negotiation”, he said.
“The people do not have to raise any passive dissent to get paid”, he said, and added that the Senators, Representatives, their personal staffers and central administration are faced with this issue and it is happening elsewhere across the government. This has to stop,” he asserted.
“If the Legislature is the one that appropriates, then there must be adherence to the payment of its salaries and benefits without hesitation. I mean when the people come to do their work there should be no delay in paying them back for their sacrifices because they have painstakingly delivered,” Dr. Chambers said.
He added, “This is not fair because when people dissent, it causes some paralysis to the nation. This is against the Constitutional mandate and I think some actions should be taken.”
The Maryland County lawmaker therefore called on officials of the Ministry of Finance to act immediately before we see an ugly turn over or bad end to this government. He maintained that they must do what is needful, prudence and constitutional because they have come here to do this work.
“This is not a state of monarchy; it’s a democracy. No one has the right over another group of citizens. The people don’t have to get into a raffle draw before receiving their salary and just benefits because the Liberian people’s money is no one’s personal entitlement. It’s not someone’s birth right to deny other Liberians of their just benefit,” he furthered.
“This action is an offense that requires the arrest of people for not giving Liberians their just pay. This has been happening but for it to have reached this level ahead of the new government that never created it is troubling,” Dr. Chambers told legislative reporters, stressing that it looks deliberately to embarrass this government and the incoming administration,”.
At the same time, Dr. Chambers has called for due process to prevail in the case of a Liberian citizen – one Samuel Joe, who was dismissed by the Liberia Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR) in the US for allegedly assisting him (Chambers) to get to the Maritime office in Virginia, USA.
“He has been working there and was dismissed because he helped me to get to their office. They said his action was a breach of security protocol. This is an act of slavery and I want this government and the US government to get involved, because this act is criminal. Something has to be done about him to have his social and psychological rights restored,” Dr. Chambers demanded
He concluded, “We are not exporting slaves. This is not your entitlement to do it at your will. We have to move in a positive way because Liberia is now the fulcrum of democracy. The needful must be done.”