The Bureau of Public Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
DAILY NEWS SUMMARY FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2017
Today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies highlights news of the House of Representatives’ vote to allow the National Elections Commission and the Ministry of Justice to grant the constitutional rights of pre-trial detainees to vote in the ensuing 2017 elections; dedication of 70 new housing units intended for low income earners by President Sirleaf; and the MOU signed between Golden Veroleum Liberia and the people of Butaw District in Sinoe County.
The summary also includes the Foreign Ministry’s clarity on the venue of the celebration of the Republic of Ghana’s 60thIndependence Anniversary on an invite extended to President Sirleaf to serve as “Guest of Honor” and President Sirleaf’s dismissal of Atty. Evelyn Kou Lah-Adile as Assistant Minister Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prisoners’ To Vote In October Elections
The Daily Observer reports that members of the House of Representatives have unanimously voted to allow the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to grant the constitutional rights of pre-trial detainees to vote in the ensuing 2017 elections. The House’s Plenary took the decision on Tuesday, February 14, following a recommendation from its Joint Committee on Judiciary and Election based on expert opinions from the Liberia National Bar Association and the Carter Center. According to the Committees’ findings from the legal and electoral experts, all pre-trial detainees have a vested constitutional right to vote based on the cornerstone of the legal system, where one is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Related Captions: House Endorses Convicts’ Voting Politics(FOCUS), Prisoners Get Voting Right(The New Dawn), Prisoners To Vote? House Of Representatives Endorses Report to Allow Pre-Trial Detainees Vote in 2017(FrontPage Africa), Pre-Trial Detainees Get Voting Right(INSIGHT)
Say No To Rent
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said it is about time that Liberians stop paying rents in their various communities by making maximum use of newly dedicated housing units constructed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Brewerville City. President Sirleaf dedicated 70 new housing units intended for low income earners at the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) Village in Brewerville, Montserrado County on Tuesday, 14 February. President Sirleaf said Liberians can now make choices regarding owning homes. She said NASSCORP and NHA have done their work and it was now up to citizens to keep and maintain the housing units, reports the New Dawn newspaper.
Related Captions: Ellen Dedicates 70 Housing Units(The INQUIRER), Ellen Dedicates 70 Affordable Housing Units in Brewerville(Heritage), President Sirleaf Frown At Monrovia’s Overpopulation(FrontPage Africa), Pres. Sirleaf Dedicates 70 Affordable Housing Units In Brewerville(FOCUS)
GVL, Butaw Smoke Peace Pipe
According to the New Dawn newspaper, following more than four years of discussions, Golden Veroleum Liberia and the people of Butaw District in Sinoe County, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding or MoU this month, incorporating social agreement. The daily quoting a GVL release reads that according to the agreement, Golden Veroleum Liberia has agreed to construct an annex of eight classrooms for the Butaw Elementary and Junior High School, an auditorium for Grgsby Farm School, an eight-room teachers’ quarters in Butaw, a 2.25-kilometer road linking Tugbeh Village to Ceedor Township, and a 13.23
kilometer road linking Plouh community to Ceekloh, Butaw Seaside, respectively among others. The Superintendent of Sinoe County Prosper Browne, and Senators Joseph Nagbe and Milton Teahjay, reportedly thanked the people of Butaw and GVL for the agreement. The GVL Assistant Manager for Community Affairs and Social Sustainability in Butaw Dixon Patten, said GVL is committed to implementing the MOU.
Related Captions: GVL, Butaw Communities Smoke Peace Pipes – Memorandum Of Understanding Incorporating Social Agreement Signed(FrontPage Africa)
Ellen Invited To Ghana’s 60th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Here In Monrovia, Not Accra, Ghana Foreign Ministry Clarifies
The Heritage newspaper reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to make a slight correction relating to a press release issued on Friday, February 10, 2017 under the caption: “President Sirleaf Invited to Serve as ‘Guest of Honor’ at Ghana’s 60th Independence Anniversary. According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Ghanaian Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Mr. Kodjo Asimeng Wadee, who will also be observing his country’s historic sexagenarian anniversary at a reception here in Monrovia, saw it befitting to extend an official invitation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Chair of the ECOWAS Authority to serve as their ‘Guest of Honor’. Invitations were also extended to Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara and senior Foreign Ministry officials. The invitations were hand delivered to Foreign Minister Kamara when the Ghanaian Ambassador paid her a courtesy call on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
President Sirleaf Dismisses Assistant Foreign Minister For Lega Atty. Evelyn Lah-Adile
The FrontPage Africa newspaper reports that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dismissed Atty. Evelyn Kou Lah-Adile as Assistant Minister Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Lah-Adile was dismissed based on an investigative report from the National Security Agency, which charges her with criminal conspiracy, forgery and impersonation in connection with the unauthorized issuance of Liberian passports. President expressed sadness that Ms. Lah-Adile has betrayed the trust extended to her in recognition of her past services to Liberia and her administration. According to the daily, President Sirleaf has also directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marjon Kamara to dismiss the several other staffs that are involved including Mr. Monie Momolu; Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Minister, Department of International Cooperation and Economic Integration - noting that such dismissal, based on fraudulent financial practice is called for under the Civil Service regulation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has also proposed that the case of the others including Mr. Momolu be turned over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution.
Liberian Delegation Returns from Meetings in Senegal
A delegation from Liberia, comprising representatives from the Liberia Land Authority (LLA), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), civil society, including the Natural Resources Women’s Platform (NRWP), Rights and Rice Foundation (RRF). The meeting brought together participants from a number of African countries representing various sectors, including legal and gender experts, government officials, civil society organizations, producers’ organizations, women’s groups, private sector, development finance institutions, academia and the international press. It was focused on securing the land and forest rights of local communities, was a learning exchange meeting which discussed experiences and strategies between Mali, Cameroon and Liberia, regarding the Tenure Facility pilot projects being implemented in these countries, reads the INQUIRER newspaper.
Gov’t Wants Media Continue Professionalism
The Government of Liberia has called on the broadcast community to continue the good work of balance reporting and professionalism as it performs reportorial duties. The government also wants radio entities not to allow their networks to be used by individual desiring to spread hate messages and those who seek to engage in actions aimed at potentially undermining the peace of the society, especially as Liberia moves toward the crucial General and Presidential Elections. The Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), on behalf of the government in a message on Monday marking the celebration of World Radio Day, said radio is an essential tool for the promotion and strengthening of democracy, peace and reconciliation. World Radio Day is an annual United Nations event that promotes the importance of radio in communication information worldwide, the Heritage news daily writes. In a related development, the Director General of the UN Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokovia, has called on the world to nurture the power of radio to foster conversations and listening needed for cooperation to tackle the challenges facing humanity. Madam Bokovia said at a time of turbulence radio provides an enduring platform to bring communities together, the Heritage newspaper says under the caption “UNESCO DG Wants World Challenges tackled Thru Radio”.
As LNP Launches Peace Initiative: Youths Urged to Denounce Violence
The Liberia National Police (LNP) says it has launched its “YES TO PEACE, NO TO VIOLENCE” Program across the country. According to the Deputy Police Director for Operations, Col. Abraham Kromah, the initiative is aimed at sensitizing youth throughout the country to get involved in the sustenance of peace and do away with violence. Col. Kromah disclosed that youth engagement under the YES TO PEACE, NO TO VIOLENCE” Program of the LNP is targeting young people because they have always been used to cause trouble in the country. Speaking recently to a cross session of youth in Gbarpolu County, Col. Kromah urged young people to do away with violence and get involved in venture that will improve their lives, the Heritage newspaper reads.
EMOL Delegation Arrives for Assessment
An inside story of the INSIGHT newspaper reads that a high-powered delegation of the Emancipation Movement of Liberia (EMOL) based in the United States of America arrived in Monrovia for a month-long facts-finding mission and formal launch of its local branch in the country. The EMOL delegation which includes its Founder and Executive Director, Jarwinken Wiah, and the Director for Operations, Aaron J. Manneh, arrived in Monrovia last Friday. The movement is a Liberian civil society organization registered and operating in both America and Liberia as a non-governmental, non-political and non-for-profit institution aimed at working towards the achievement of socio-economic and political freedom and sustainable developments in Liberia.
Youth And Sports Minister Hails Breweries and BYC
Youth and Sports Minister Charles Saah N’Tow has praised the Monrovia Club Breweries and Barrack Young Controller for flying the flag of Liberia high in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Club Championships. Both Breweries and BYC won their respective matches in the CAF Confederation Cup and Champions League on Friday and Sunday, and the Sports Minister believes the double victories have put Liberian football is on the right trajectory. The Breweries overwhelmed 14 times Algerian League Champions’ League winners, JS Kabylie 3-0 on Friday at the ATS while Prince Kenndy’s penalty say BYC pinned Stade Malien 1-0 on Sunday in the CAF Champions League preliminary round one, the INSIGHT newspaper reads.
Cape Mount, Gbarpolu Welcome Gola Forest National Park as FDA, SCNL Present GFN P to Locals
Citizens of Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties have commended the managements of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) for leading the way on the successful passage of the Gola Forest National Park (GFNP) into law, the In Profile Daily asserts.
LRA Reminds Lawmakers About Tax Obligations
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have been reminded to pay their real property and other applicable taxes in line with new election laws. In a letter to the House, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) informed the lawmakers that the real property tax payment season has commenced and runs from January 1– July 2, 2017. The LRA’s information is in consonance with Article 30 (b) of the 1986 Constitution that compels citizens to honor their tax obligations, as the New Election and LRA Laws have indicated. According to Article 30 of the Constitution, “Citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature. The Daily Observer quotes LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda S. Tamba’s letter as saying: “We humbly request all members of the august body that have not complied for prior periods to please prioritize (given their very busy schedule) the registration of your property (s) and payment of the applicable lawful taxes, for both the prior and current periods within the statutory timeframe.
US$7M WaterAid Project For Liberia, Sierra Leone1.1 Million Liberians And 2.4 Million Sierra Leoneans Endure Scarcity Of Safe Drinking Water
WaterAid, a non-profit organization, has launched a US$7 million project to provide water to targeted communities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to the Daily Observer, the 2015 WaterAid report said there was significant progress globally in meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for drinking water. However, both Liberia and Sierra Leone are lagging behind the universal coverage on safe water with an estimated 1.1 million Liberians and 2.4 million Sierra Leoneans impacted by the scarcity of safe drinking water. The daily says WaterAid Country Director for Liberia, Patrick Cheah made the disclosure at the official launch of the 5-year project held at a local resort in Monrovia.
USAID Recognizes Hard Working Liberians
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded Liberian nationals and institutions for doing exceptionally well in their various fields of endeavor. The individuals and institutions included Dr. Mosoka Fallah, “Health Care Worker of the Year” and “Development Hero of the Year”; Theophilous Frankyu, “Teacher of the Year”; Mohammed Kamara, “Farmer of the Year”; Edwina Vakun, “Entrepreneur of the Year”; and Accountability Lab, “Civil Society of the Year.” Held as the “Liberia Development Awards 2017,” USAID Mission Director Dr. Anthony Chan said the award celebrates Liberians whose work is impacting others, according to the Daily Observer.
Trial Of Tyler, Sherman, Others Begins Friday
Former House Speaker Alex Tyler, together with several present and past public officials, including Senator Varney Sherman (Grand Cape Mount County), will go on trial Friday, February 17, at the Criminal Court ‘C.’ The defendants will on Friday appear before Judge Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay, where they will choose if their fate will be decided by a jury or a judge. They are being tried for multiple crimes, including bribery, economic sabotage and money laundering, asserts the Daily Observer.
“Don’t Change Your Message” Visiting Clergyman Warns Colleagues
A back-page story of the In Profile Daily newspaper reads that the President of the Holy Land Peace Foundation, Reverend Samford C. Brown, has warned the clergy not to change their sermon in favor of politicians. Speaking Sunday, February 12, 2017, when he served as Guest Preacher at the Awake in Christ Church on the Bushrod Island, Rev. Brown urged Christians to focus their attention on God because He is the one who decides what needs to be done. According to him, Liberians votes are their birth rights, therefore clergymen and women should not change their messages in favor of any politician rather, they should encourage their congregations to make the right decisions for their country to register and vote candidates of their choice.