Special Feature

NEW SONG AND DANCE

There is a New Song ‘n Dance, call it the Paradigm Shift from conventional to unconventional approach or method of seeking, acquiring and ratification of external financing - Loans, etc.- for national, socio-economic and political development.


According to the vibes from the new Weah Government, a government dominated and controlled by civil war and economic crimes suspects, loyalists appointed by former President Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the paradigm shift is occasioned by the failure of the proceeds from the conventional, external loans to finance infrastructure development, but ended right back to the conventional financiers – the IMF, WB, ADB and offshore salaries of their in-country advisors, etc., etc.

This includes massive corrupt leakages into the private pockets of the very same, present Liberian government officials in the form of overnight, rags-to-riches, mansions, hotels and related private business ventures, foreign health trips all at public expense; top-of-the-line automobiles, gasoline, electric generator and mobile phone scratch cards allowances with over-paid monthly salaries.

These government officials believe and hold that this time around, the proceeds from the unconventional, external financing with 4g instant ratifications and sizable leakages beneficial to the government officials will reach the Liberian people in the form of roads construction, agriculture, healthcare, education, etc., etc. But . . .

We wonder, seriously, where is the Change – Reforms and Improvements – in the lives of the Liberian people, especially, with the same such individuals as the “politically-connected Lawyer” indicted for demanding/receiving/dishing out bribes, Cllr. Senator Varney Sherman, legal counsel to LISCR; convicted, disbarred for embezzlement and “politically-connected Lawyer”, Cllr. Representative J. Fonati Koffa; Field Marshall, General of the INPFL who executed several innocent citizens without trial, now Senator Prince Y. Johnson; and many, many other civil war generals and economic crime suspects as General Charles Bright, etc., with the same mind-set ordained to massive corruption and disloyalty to the Nation and people, NOW Calling the shots!!

SALARY ADJUSTMENT IN LIBERIA: DOES IT DRIVE PERMANENT PRODUCTIVITY?

Reviving Liberia’s economy, which is still enduring lot of postwar socioeconomic challenges, and most recently the twin shocks of ebola and commodity decline, called for intense pragmatism. It is evidently glaring that the momentum of the economic impact is too severe to get the country at pre-war levels within the span of two decades. Few of our economic policies (especially those related to wages and allowances adjustment) often appeared biased towards political sentiments, which potentially risk the achievability of critical development agenda. Every public worker supports better incentive. In developing countries, there is often trade-off between high monetary incentives and financing of development agenda. I guess the wage burden on the government, which has been added year after year, is too huge to fully assume responsibilities left by donors and also settle the high wage bill.


Recent policy decision by President Weah regarding wage adjustment to mitigate the short to medium term economic stress motivates this thinking. Moreover, the thought of this article is driven by continued desire for salary increment without thoroughly predicting the economic risks of sustaining a high wage bill. One does not require a sophisticated modelling to detect the problem of how productivity in most of our public institutions lagged behind high wages in such a fragile economy. Since 2010, I pre-empted imminent built up of fiscal pressures from ‘high wages’, because the economic fundamentals aimed at propelling a sustainable economic take-off are not strong enough. I catalogued those issues in one of my commentaries title: Liberia’s economic nationalism: Be wary of Salary Increment.

The simple economics is that any small adjustment in salary impacts taxes (prices) and the expenditure pattern of economic agents (employees), although not necessarily proportionate to the rate of salary adjustment. Thus, the recent intention to cut current (aggregate) wages is welcome, but a better approach is to rationalize the current (aggregate wages) and avoid explicit upward adjustment in ‘current (aggregate) wages’ in the medium term. Decision to adjust wages downward is contravention to the theoretical proposition of Keynesian wage theory. Public workers plan their expenditures on expected disposable income (and other benefits), suggesting here that downward adjustment in expected wage could undermine the government intention by reducing productivity and possibly inducing rent-seeking. On the macroeconomic perspective, increased incentive for public workers indirectly reflects a rise in money supply growth, which could adversely affect the economy if productivity does not exceed the growth in money. This is precisely the picture of Liberia where minimum component of the money growth is usually directed to the production of quality output (capital goods) to ease high cost of living, or influence production, except for road reconstruction.

Interestingly, any decision to adjust wages cannot be divorced from the country’s economic performance to sustain the high wage bill. The country’s current GDP of about 2.3 billion USD is amongst the lowest compared to other countries with almost similar population size (See Trinidad and Tobago,
Botswana, Panama, Mauritius, etc). The external reserves remain low (inadequate to address macroeconomic shock) while the national budget is almost two thirds the size of GDP. The real sector remains underdeveloped with heavy reliance on exports of primary products (iron ore and rubber). Inflation hovered around double digit, albeit at heavy cost to the monetary authority. Foreign aid (budget support) as a proportion of GDP remains low. HIPC initiative was timely, significantly eroded foreign debt and created more fiscal space for increased public investments. Over the years, the country however focused heavily on upward salary adjustments, which is gradually becoming an unmanageable burden.

The statistics implicitly reflects the huge uphill challenge of resuscitating Liberia’s struggling economy. Compounding the problem, public workers still regard increasing incentive (salary) as the sole solution of strengthening productivity, instead of economic agents (government and employees) recognizing that productivity cannot outpace its full capacity limit in the absence of strong socioeconomic fundamentals (education, housing, transportation, energy, health) at affordable costs.

I am in concurrence with the theoretical precept that attractive salaries enhance employees’ happiness, accelerate productivity and minimize rent seeking, but not under weak economic fundamentals evidently visible in Liberia. The two components (attractive incentives and better livelihood) are inevitably integrated. A sound policy strategy for a fragile economy such as Liberia is to intensify development of socioeconomic fundamentals, which would enormously lessen the purchasing pressures on economic agents (especially employed household) and implicitly increase wages. This strategy could mean taking the direction I call ‘implicit salary’ adjustment. Implicit salary describes the phenomenon of making quality services available (especially in public institutions) at low cost so that economic agents can enjoy wide ‘budget space’ to seek better welfare (directly or indirectly) domestically.

It is absurd to hike emolument of economic agents (public employees) when good proportion of salary is spent on services (i.e education or health mainly from private sources) and food (money illusion). Amazingly, every employed Liberian (especially public employees, ministers, parliamentarians, etc) persistently seeks for higher salary/incentive. Less emphasis has always been put on implicit wage increment, which has greater welfare implications.

The prevailing economic stress on the government provides a good inference about the curse from high wages. Demand for wage increments could mean higher taxes or increased prices, and possibly reduced employment, which does not assure permanent happiness (money illusion). This shows that the country’s economy will continually be susceptible to macroeconomic threats (fiscal deficits, inflation, current account deficits, high unemployment, etc).

However, Liberia can still reverse the problem. First, Ad hoc Salary Review and Allocation Commission (Constituting professionals from civil society, religious body and former statesmen who understand the mechanism of government, economics and management) should be set up to review and determine wages for all government workers, including executive (president) and legislators. This Commission could reduce the political motive often associated with salary increment and employment.

Economic agents should embrace implicit wage increment as basis for permanent productivity through low cost ‘quality’ socio-economic services. Quality social infrastructure would implicitly boost wages via  cost reduction on household to acquire quality education, medical treatment, housing and transportation.

Those in the helm of public leadership should exhibit nationalism in the management of state resources. Workers should avoid strikes, because it only exacerbates the problem of increased economic uncertainty, whilst fixed resources (money) are available for government to pay workers.

More income should be generated domestically through sustainable investments for the wage growth to be sustained. The country should identify a specific threshold (hypothetically: 0.5% or 0.6% increase in salary after every three, four or five years) for future salary increment, but economic pre-conditions (hypothetically: increase in real GDP averaging 5-8% in every 4 years) for the increment should be clearly defined.

About the Author: Dr. Dukuly works as principal economist at the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) based in Freetown. The views expressed in this commentary do not represent WAMA. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Musa Dukuly (PhD)

 

SALARY ADJUSTMENT IN LIBERIA: DOES IT DRIVE PERMANENT PRODUCTIVITY?

Reviving Liberia’s economy, which is still enduring lot of postwar socioeconomic challenges, and most recently the twin shocks of ebola and commodity decline, called for intense pragmatism. It is evidently glaring that the momentum of the economic impact is too severe to get the country at pre-war levels within the span of two decades. Few of our economic policies (especially those related to wages and allowances adjustment) often appeared biased towards political sentiments, which potentially risk the achievability of critical development agenda. Every public worker supports better incentive. In developing countries, there is often trade-off between high monetary incentives and financing of development agenda. I guess the wage burden on the government, which has been added year after year, is too huge to fully assume responsibilities left by donors and also settle the high wage bill.


Recent policy decision by President Weah regarding wage adjustment to mitigate the short to medium term economic stress motivates this thinking. Moreover, the thought of this article is driven by continued desire for salary increment without thoroughly predicting the economic risks of sustaining a high wage bill. One does not require a sophisticated modelling to detect the problem of how productivity in most of our public institutions lagged behind high wages in such a fragile economy. Since 2010, I pre-empted imminent built up of fiscal pressures from ‘high wages’, because the economic fundamentals aimed at propelling a sustainable economic take-off are not strong enough. I catalogued those issues in one of my commentaries title: Liberia’s economic nationalism: Be wary of Salary Increment.

The simple economics is that any small adjustment in salary impacts taxes (prices) and the expenditure pattern of economic agents (employees), although not necessarily proportionate to the rate of salary adjustment. Thus, the recent intention to cut current (aggregate) wages is welcome, but a better approach is to rationalize the current (aggregate wages) and avoid explicit upward adjustment in ‘current (aggregate) wages’ in the medium term. Decision to adjust wages downward is contravention to the theoretical proposition of Keynesian wage theory. Public workers plan their expenditures on expected disposable income (and other benefits), suggesting here that downward adjustment in expected wage could undermine the government intention by reducing productivity and possibly inducing rent-seeking. On the macroeconomic perspective, increased incentive for public workers indirectly reflects a rise in money supply growth, which could adversely affect the economy if productivity does not exceed the growth in money. This is precisely the picture of Liberia where minimum component of the money growth is usually directed to the production of quality output (capital goods) to ease high cost of living, or influence production, except for road reconstruction.

Interestingly, any decision to adjust wages cannot be divorced from the country’s economic performance to sustain the high wage bill. The country’s current GDP of about 2.3 billion USD is amongst the lowest compared to other countries with almost similar population size (See Trinidad and Tobago,
Botswana, Panama, Mauritius, etc). The external reserves remain low (inadequate to address macroeconomic shock) while the national budget is almost two thirds the size of GDP. The real sector remains underdeveloped with heavy reliance on exports of primary products (iron ore and rubber). Inflation hovered around double digit, albeit at heavy cost to the monetary authority. Foreign aid (budget support) as a proportion of GDP remains low. HIPC initiative was timely, significantly eroded foreign debt and created more fiscal space for increased public investments. Over the years, the country however focused heavily on upward salary adjustments, which is gradually becoming an unmanageable burden.

The statistics implicitly reflects the huge uphill challenge of resuscitating Liberia’s struggling economy. Compounding the problem, public workers still regard increasing incentive (salary) as the sole solution of strengthening productivity, instead of economic agents (government and employees) recognizing that productivity cannot outpace its full capacity limit in the absence of strong socioeconomic fundamentals (education, housing, transportation, energy, health) at affordable costs.

I am in concurrence with the theoretical precept that attractive salaries enhance employees’ happiness, accelerate productivity and minimize rent seeking, but not under weak economic fundamentals evidently visible in Liberia. The two components (attractive incentives and better livelihood) are inevitably integrated. A sound policy strategy for a fragile economy such as Liberia is to intensify development of socioeconomic fundamentals, which would enormously lessen the purchasing pressures on economic agents (especially employed household) and implicitly increase wages. This strategy could mean taking the direction I call ‘implicit salary’ adjustment. Implicit salary describes the phenomenon of making quality services available (especially in public institutions) at low cost so that economic agents can enjoy wide ‘budget space’ to seek better welfare (directly or indirectly) domestically.

It is absurd to hike emolument of economic agents (public employees) when good proportion of salary is spent on services (i.e education or health mainly from private sources) and food (money illusion). Amazingly, every employed Liberian (especially public employees, ministers, parliamentarians, etc) persistently seeks for higher salary/incentive. Less emphasis has always been put on implicit wage increment, which has greater welfare implications.

The prevailing economic stress on the government provides a good inference about the curse from high wages. Demand for wage increments could mean higher taxes or increased prices, and possibly reduced employment, which does not assure permanent happiness (money illusion). This shows that the country’s economy will continually be susceptible to macroeconomic threats (fiscal deficits, inflation, current account deficits, high unemployment, etc).

However, Liberia can still reverse the problem. First, Ad hoc Salary Review and Allocation Commission (Constituting professionals from civil society, religious body and former statesmen who understand the mechanism of government, economics and management) should be set up to review and determine wages for all government workers, including executive (president) and legislators. This Commission could reduce the political motive often associated with salary increment and employment.

Economic agents should embrace implicit wage increment as basis for permanent productivity through low cost ‘quality’ socio-economic services. Quality social infrastructure would implicitly boost wages via  cost reduction on household to acquire quality education, medical treatment, housing and transportation.

Those in the helm of public leadership should exhibit nationalism in the management of state resources. Workers should avoid strikes, because it only exacerbates the problem of increased economic uncertainty, whilst fixed resources (money) are available for government to pay workers.

More income should be generated domestically through sustainable investments for the wage growth to be sustained. The country should identify a specific threshold (hypothetically: 0.5% or 0.6% increase in salary after every three, four or five years) for future salary increment, but economic pre-conditions (hypothetically: increase in real GDP averaging 5-8% in every 4 years) for the increment should be clearly defined.

About the Author: Dr. Dukuly works as principal economist at the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) based in Freetown. The views expressed in this commentary do not represent WAMA. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Musa Dukuly (PhD)

 

CRACKS IN LIBERIA’S “RUBBER-STAMP” POLITICAL CULTURE: THE CASE OF MADAM JEMIMA WOLOKOLLIE FORMER DEPUTY MINISTER, MINISTRY OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY

 

Introduction
“One of the several, critical challenges facing our small nation of less than 4 million people is the awesome, all-embracing and far-reaching Power of a sitting, Liberian President. That power is clearly defined by and enshrined in our Constitution in a Unitary-structured government, with supreme, executive (administrative) power duly vested and rigidly centralized in a President, during these 167 years of our existence, as a free and independent nation”, we wrote in an article entitled “The Power of the President” (Analyst Liberia, March 3, 2013).


According to the Constitution of Liberia, the head of state & government of Liberia is an elected President in whom powers of Democratic Executive and powers of an Emperor – political, administrative & economic – are vested. Thus, the Liberian Head-of-State is described as “Imperial President”.

The President appoints all employees of government, including political officials of the Sub-Divisions (Counties) of superintendents, commissioners, mayors of cities; town, clan and paramount chiefs, with all those appointed “serve at the will and pleasure of the President”. Judges, appointed by the President, are exempted in theory from service “at the will and pleasure of the President”, but are affected in practice.

Though actually elected by the people, but with manipulations by the powerful, Imperial President through the political process, the service and tenure of members of the Legislature are affected, manifestly, by the “will and pleasure of the President”.

Pattern of Behavior
Indeed, the appointed individuals – many highly-trained & experienced professionals - are the intellectual, academic, technological and socio-economic and political “cream of the crop” of Liberia’s elite who write, teach, research, study, analyze, prescribe and recommend, as well as manage/implement, the plans and programs that determine present and future directions of our nation. They constitute the upper and middle classes of Liberian society.

But, their lives – hopes, fears, careers, dreams, personal growth and development – depend upon and are determined, to a large extent, by the “will and pleasure” of one person who is answerable to no one, according to the doctrine of our Unitary Structure of government. Very few, if any, will or can muster the courage or “guts” to challenge “presidential power and prerogatives” or the “status quo” for fear of “losing it all”, including being labeled “trouble-maker” who wants to “rock the boat” and be ostracized socially, economically and politically.

Thus, the evolution and development of this pattern of performance behavior for social-cultural, economic and political survival, the culture of “see no evil, do no evil and tell no evil in society” at the expense of one’s honesty, integrity, courage, fairness, openness and “above all else”, allegiance, loyalty and patriotism to the Republic and people. Until Now, Madam Jemima Wolokollie!!

Until Jemima, there had been faceless “whistle blowers”, anonymous “redeemers”, etc. from highly-placed dishonesty, roaring corruption and related socio-economic and political iniquities.

Madam Jemima invited the attention of her superiors openly, politely, aggressively to basic public policy violations with facts, figures, names, dates, places and concrete examples, but ignored, disregarded and often threatened, she went public – to the press as the only reasonable approach for results.

We commend and congratulate Madam Wolokollie very strongly, with deep appreciation for her courage, “guts” and the “political will” at the expense of “losing it all” (her job, “indefinite suspension”) and labelled “trouble-maker who wants to rock the boat” (“insubordination and un-professionalism”).

Indeed, we are aware of CDC Loyalists’s unconditional welcome of the suspension of Madam Wolokollie as Deputy Minister of Commerce as President “Weah’s laudable democratic leadership, unseen before in the nation’s governance experience”.

For, the action is simply the continuation of political compliance, the Liberian Rubber-stamp Political Culture of inability to summon the “courage”, “guts” or the political will not, even, the National Legislature, to challenge socio-political indignities by the ruling political power or the Status Quo for “real change or reforms.

Africa: Making the Case for a Sea Change in Thinking

There is a problem in Africa and is a problem of the mind – a problem of how mental faculties are exercised. The issue is not that Africans do not think. They do. It is not that Africans do not have or exercise their intellectual capacities. The problem is not whether Africans are intelligent or not. The crux of the matter is in how Africans think, how they exercise their intelligence, and how their intellect relates to their social, economic and political relationships. The issue is not that there is a particular way that African people think or express their intellect. No, a variety of thinking formulations exist. Multiple ways of reasoning abound. The problem is in the kind of thinking that is pervasive; the form of reasoning that is privileged, incentivised, rewarded or celebrated.


It is pertinent to explore how Africans can change their thinking behaviours in order to foster African emancipation and emergence. African societies cannot continue to privilege particular thinking behaviours and expect a different course of development. Too often the emphasis is placed on challenging the way that westerners or easterners present Africa and Africans. No doubt, this is important. But enough attention has not been paid to examining and prescribing changes to the ways Africans present and represent themselves. A change in thinking behaviours of Africans has become a necessity.

Africa's fundamental malaise can be traced to its thinking culture, to the reasoning habits that dominate, drive and define everyday life and dealings. The manner in which certain thinking behaviours came to dominate discourses on Africa may be quite problematic, but the influence of thinking processes is evident in happenings and reactions to events across the region, in African politics and economy. Thus the way Africans mentally represent Africa and how they relate to others' thinking about Africa and Africans deserves scrutiny. This is because if Africa must experience a radical transformation in this century, African modes of representation must undergo a sea change.

There has to be a drastic shift, an overhauling of how Africans think about Africa, about anything African, indeed about anybody or anything at all. Or better, Africans must begin to challenge the dominant way(s) of thinking and reasoning formations in the region. Africans need to indulge in a rethinking and a reimagining of the world and the structures therein. They need to reexamine the idea of development, aids, international relations, foreign investment, trade, democracy, tourism, governance, education, Christianity, Islam, science, religion, and philosophy. These narratives and structures are culturally embedded. They come with some social and political undertones. Sometimes these formations contain ideas and impressions that are not always consistent with a balanced or an informed view of Africa and the African. Sometimes, they embody demeaning, degrading and exotic images of Africa or anything African. These notions constitute mechanisms that are used to legitimise and perpetuate stereotypic views of Africa and Africans.

So a change in thinking has become an imperative. And change requires a cultivation anew of thinking behaviours, intellectual habits that radically depart from what currently applies. These innovative and adventurous cognitive skills need to be stressed and emphasised in all areas of human endeavour so that they could yield the desired transformative effects. These thinking skills are critical, creative and productive. They have been categorised this way, not because thinking is such a compartmentalised operation but in order to underscore certain elements in thinking processes. Actually, these competencies are not exhaustive of the cognitive prerequisites for a sea change in the African thinking culture. Rather they are indicative of the direction that this important process could take.

Critical Reasoning and Finding Gaps
A change in African thinking culture requires critical competencies. An examination of claims and propositions is needed because it is in pursuant to such a critique that mistaken and erroneous representations – of Africa and Africans – can be exposed. Foreign missionaries, traders, military personnel and scholars wrote much of African history and defined the region and its people on their own terms. These definitions embody their knowledge but also their prejudice, ignorance, and bias. Critical inquiry is needed to highlight the cognitive limitations in these representations. Narratives of racial and cultural superiority underlie western and eastern representations of Africa, of African religion and politics. And too often Africans accept and embrace these narratives without question including the prejudices therein.

These structures need to be revisited and reviewed and their epistemological foundations and presuppositions have to be reexamined. Africans need to question beliefs, doctrines, policies, rules and regulations. They need to take a critical look at treaties and conventions that have been signed; policies and laws that have been enacted to guide international relations, secular and religious ideologies that are often framed as 'civilising missions'. These mechanisms are often used to conceal and foist foreign interests on African societies. They embody unwholesome impressions and images of Africa and Africans. A critical examination is necessary to expose these gaps and inadequacies and get these instruments to work for and not against Africa and Africa.

Furthermore, critical thinking is needed to highlight what is missing in existing inventions and innovations, in the available goods and services. Critical thinking skills are needed to draw attention to the limitations in all artefacts showing what is wrong with them, what is not working, or not working so well. what could be improved upon. For instance, critical reasoning skills can be deployed to identify what manufacturers and marketers missed, omitted or overlooked in the course of production or sales. While exerting one's intellect to find faults and locate gaps is important, these faults need to be rectified. A thinking behaviour is needed to fill the gaps.

Creative Thinking and Generation of New Ideas
Africans need intellectual skills that emphasise the generation of new ideas including new ways of thinking, imagining, explaining, presenting, representing and doing things. It is not enough to express discontent or dissatisfaction regarding the state of art or to register objections to the way things are. It does not suffice to point out faults and gaps in existing knowledge or artefacts, in the representations of issues. It is important to speculate and try to imagine new and other possibilities, to envisage things as they should be. Africans must tap into their creative ingenuity and deploy their brainstorming competencies in order to supply or at least attempt to supply what is missing. Africans must task themselves and strive to highlight what has been overlooked, bring to light perspectives and insights that have been ignored. For instance, the representation of Africa or of Africans in the media or in existing studies may be heavily biased, mistaken, or one-sided. Beyond stating this fact, it is vital to propose what the other side of the story is. Apart from finding faults and raising objections to mistaken ideas and impressions, Africans need to come up with ways of correcting them, of providing what is missing in terms of knowledge and understanding of Africa and its people. People of Africa need to task their imagination and intellect and come up with fresh insights into how things should be done. Meanwhile, ideas worth little if they are left solely at the abstract, as mere speculation and wishful thinking. For ideas to actually add value to life, to existing goods and services, another thinking skill is required.

Productive Thinking: Turning Ideas into Goods
This is thinking at the level of praxis. It is a practical form of reasoning. Or put in a business term, it is an entrepreneurial way of thinking. Cognitive skills are applied to step ideas down from the world of dreams and imagination to the world of reality, from the world of fiction and fantasy to the world of fact. This is a thinking trait that turns possibilities into packages. The intellect is exerted to concretise ideas and translate those vague and wild thoughts into actual products, into goods that serve particular needs, into insights that fill particular gaps in existing knowledge, into techniques that help solve specific problems and improve the management of affairs. One may have so many ideas of how to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment, or eradicate diseases, improve energy efficiency. But not all ideas may work at the end of the day. Not all ideas are practical or realisable at a particular time and context. Not all imagined solutions end up as actual answers to existential problems. This thinking character is pragmatic and is exercised to achieve real results, demonstrate actual cures to diseases, and advance real solutions to life's troubles.

Conclusion
So, at a time that many countries in Africa are plagued with numerous socioeconomic and political problems such as wars and conflicts, poverty, drought and unemployment, the continent requires radical thinking and ideas. African needs transformative intellectual habits. Africans must re-think their thinking behaviours. They need to deploy their critical, creative and entrepreneurial competencies to recreate and renew the continent. Africans need to fault existing structures and representations that have been used to hold the continent hostage and undermine its emergence. African people need to generate innovative, reformative and revolutionary ideas and unconventional insights, and then translate these elements into effective answers and appropriate solutions to existing problems.

By Leo Igwe

President Weah & Vice President Howard-Taylor And Cabinet on Salary Cuts

The Ministry of Finance & Development Planning has submitted the “Pro-poor” Draft National Budget for FY2018-2019 in the amount of US $562.2 million to the House of Representatives in compliance with law. In presenting the draft budget, the Ministry says that “expenditure has increased, but it . . . is optimistic that the domestic economy is expected to rebound with improvements . . . in the mining & panning sector followed by the forestry sector.


Real GDP (Gross Domestic Product expressed as a percentage of all goods and services produced annually by the nation) growth is projected at 3.9% in 2018 as compared to a projection of 2-5% in 2017”.

Salaries Cuts
Earlier, on April 25, 2018, President Weah and Cabinet announced that they had “adopted several measures” consistent with his “pro-poor agenda” to enhance governments economic position in the effort to realize its objectives. “These measures include the reduction or standardization of salaries for ministers of government and heads autonomous agencies, especially, within the Executive Branch” of government.

 

According to the announcement, the Cabinet resolved that:

a) “No longer will any official of government, including heads of autonomous agencies make US $10,000 or US $15,000 respectively”;
b) “That heads of public corporations (State-owned enterprises) or autonomous agencies will make not more than US $7,800 as salary; cabinet also took a decision for a 10% salary reduction across the board for cabinet ministers, mainly those at the highest level of the Executive” Branch of Government”; and
c) That “the decision will take effect in the pending FY2018-2019 budget”.

Our comments
Indeed, we recognize, commend and are encouraged by the “guts”, courage and “political will” shown by President Weah and his team for the historic effort in attempting salary reductions. We are hopefully waiting for the results.

According to the New Democrat newspaper (New Democrat, April 30, 2018), examples of the prevailing salary levels disclosed were, only, within the Executive Branch of Government. The National Legislature and Judiciary were not mentioned. Those indicated were the following:

1. Managing Director, National Social Security & Welfare Corporation – US $300,000 Annual salary or US $25,000 monthly with allowances.
2. Auditor-General of Liberia – US $268,975.92 Annual salary or US $22, 414 monthly with housing, utilities, transport allowances.
3. Governor, Central Bank of Liberia – US $228,000 Annual salary or US $19,000 monthly with allowances. (The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank is paid US $201,700 Annual salary with Deputy Governors at US $120,000 Annual salary.
4. President/CEO, National Oil Corporation of Liberia (NOCAL) – US $228,000 or US $19,000 monthly with allowances. (The CEO is a retired 20-year-employee of the Dupont Corporation of the State of Delaware, USA).
5. Managing Director, Liberia Maritime Authority – US $180,000 Annual salary or US $15,000 monthly with allowances.
6. Managing Director, National Port Authority – US $180,000 Annual salary or US $15,000 monthly with allowances.

The deeply-troubling economic issue is the impact of the salaries, benefits and allowances scales & levels for top officials of the Liberian government – President, Vice President, members of Legislature, the Judiciary, Ministers and deputies, heads of specialized agencies, state-owned enterprises, etc. – are bloated and exceedingly over-stated, particularly, during the 12-year rule Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. They (salaries, benefits and allowances scales & levels) must be reduced by more than 50% to reflect economic truth/reality and socio-political justification, given the prevailing condition of a small, poor developing country.

Moreover, research information shows, in general terms, that salary scales and levels paid to top corporate (private) and government (public) officials of top US and other developed nations are determined by (a), total, gross annual revenue generated by the corporation through the efforts of corporate officials (b), gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation and (c), level of scientific and economic achievement of the nation as justification of the nations’ ability to provide socio-economic and political benefits under these conditions.

But in Liberia, Political Rulers copy salary, benefits, and allowance scales/levels of top US corporate (private) and government (public) officials and apply them to the Liberian counterparts without any justification, whatsoever. The United States of America is a highly-developed nation, in socio-economic, educational, political and scientific terms. The nation has been able to put an individual on the planet moon, some estimated hundred-millions of miles from our planet earth; whereas, the Republic of Liberia cannot transport anyone safely, comfortably and timely to the City of Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County (where the scenic, tourist attraction of Lake Piso is located) only some estimated 35-40 miles from the City of Monrovia!!

The 35-40 distance includes, specifically, the ancient 20-25-mile “path” from the Junction of the paved Monrovia-Mano River Bridge to Robertsport. This path developed into the-now dilapidated, pot-holed, difficult-to navigate “Road” for safe, comfortable and timely travel, while the Shemans, Joneses, Shannons, Fahnbullehs, etc., historical political policy-making tycoons of Cape Mount County live in Mansions on Tubman Boulevard in Sinkor/Monrovia, Congo Town and Robertsfield Highway in Paynesville!!!.

About Liberia’s Political Rulers
Elsewhere, we observed that this Ruling Bunch (the Political Ruling Class) in Monrovia and other urban centers, believes that the nation and people owe it or that it is entitled to a life of splendor and opulence on taxes paid and other public resources provided by the people and others stolen from the people.

This Bunch includes, now, sanitized, emerged and emerging politicos who fled from the towns and villages of Rural Liberia. Pray tell me and others, how any man or woman of reason, in this poor, developing country of ours, Liberia, may one pay a Liberian citizen, living in Liberia, US $300,000 per year, US $25,000 per month or US $833.00 per day in our county in which the average Liberian struggles on US $1.00 per day? This, indeed, is political banditry, the cesspool of graft/greed and corruption, characteristic of TWP one-party state of the Republic of Liberia, since 1847.

No wonder that our country, Liberia, is ranked one of the most dishonest and corrupt countries of the world by World Political/Economic Watchers!!

Also, we observed elsewhere that the Ministry of Finance, now merged with the Ministry of Planning & Economic Affairs to become and became the so-called the super Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, the MF&DP is:

• Over-paid and over-staffed with Dual Citizens who live not in Liberia but travelled, often, to their foreign home countries at enormous cost. They are provided allowances for housing, electricity power generators and top-of-the-line motor vehicles, etc., although they plan and/or develop nothing.

• Historically, the Ministry of Finance has been, and is, the most dishonest and corrupt agency of government, known for its “get-rich-quick” schemes and theft of public funds; in that, all, almost, of the-now wealthy land and developed Mamba Point and Sinkor property owners are descendants of executives of the Ministry of Finance and its former section, Bureau of Revenue, now the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

• The Ministry gives out huge sums of public funds to ghost or none-existent “educational” institutions, including the so-called “Private Sector Development Program (PSDP) through the LBDI Bank.

• Retains for itself, significant percentage of Social & Economic Funds allocated to the counties and others as the “Paymaster who must get something from the people he pays” and that the Ministry is known for delays, delays and delays for theft of public resources.

• Thus, funds allocated for legitimate claim payment are diverted, do not each the lawful claimants because the Ministry does not apply or consciously ignores conventionally-accepted practice of financial management and reporting.

Criminal Cartel at MF&DP
According to the most recent investigative press reports (Front Page, May 4, 2018), the MF&DP is, in fact, a criminal syndicate deeply-engaged in corrupt practices. According to an inside whistleblower, “The entire database at the Ministry (of Finance) is flawed. The system is . . . corrupt, if we use the database the government would not be able to carry out its projects because a lot of money would be going in the pockets of some corrupt workers at the Ministry”.

“The fraud activities in that department (Ministry of Finance) is often carried out through payment methods that land thousands of both US and Liberian dollars in the pockets of the members of the Grand Cartel operating in the department”.

An earlier Audit report on the Ministry of Finance showed that 24 borrowers who received the so-called Private Sector Development Program (PSDP) Loans in the total of US $965,400 reneged to make repayment; and that the same report showed that 12 “business organizations” received a total of US $545,700, but could not be found anywhere in the country nor the telephone contacts of owners.

This, in fact, is continuation of historical “Pro-Rich agenda” at the detriment of President Weah’s “Pro-Poor” dispensation. It (“Rich Agenda”) must not succeed!!

Time Line of Events and Facts of the Dr. Malachi Yorks Case

Dr. Malachi Z. York as a global African nationalist and icon of African as a phenomenala phenomenal teacher, author and international diaspora community leader in America leadership in the United States, the CarribeanCaribbean, Canada, United Kingdom, US and world overabroadother territories, whose activities has also been observed by many West African countries. Dr. Malachi York waas a two-way muilti-purpose bridge that not only connected Liberians, Africans citizens, and displaced refugees in need but also provided progressive exchange progamsprograms in has exchanged the ideas of progressive programs, literature , moral as well asand legal assistance to Liberian and west African citizen’s and refugees displaced families who have fled to the U.S. from the conditions of war.


The primary objective of Dr. Malachi York establishing theed African exchange programs was to aid and provide support to to those Liberian and West African students, refugees, and citizens who were in desperate need of support and assistance in the receiving statetheir new country of residence [in the United States] while their country ravished with internal turmoil. The first Liberian war and at the outbreak of the second Liberian war introducedcaused years of instability,y and forced out created thousands of valuable human resources into exile while refugees and killed hundreds of thousands perished with no grave stone to remember them. As if that was not enough, hHeavy fighting in April of 1996 interrupted a ceasefire offrom 1995, the Abuja Accord through Gen. Sani Abacha championed- in the disarming of the fighting troops and contested the democratichonest elections for Liberia afterward.

In July of 1997, Nnational Eelections for the Presidency and Nnational Aassembly, took place and Charles Taylor and his National Patriotic Party won an overwhelming victory. As the overwhelming concern grew for Liberian refugees who were at lost and seeking support and protection in the US, Dr. Malachi Z. York’s programs and organization were an ideal rest haven for settling Liberian, thousands of Liberians and African nationals have benefitted from Dr. Malachi York’s great mind of organizing African diaspora peoples, Dr. Malachi Z. York’s pursuit in more of a direct assistance moved him in all manners capable of involving himself directly with the government of Liberia in their urgent need of protection of their nationals in the United Statess abroad. Dr. Malachi York was the ideal representative, to afford all protection, to as a diplomatic agent and as a Consul general. This appointment was designed to strengthen the international relationship that developed in order in hopes to continue to provide the services to citizens,s in order the help maintain the integrity and hopes of the broken spirits of of Liberians affected by the conflict, and stabilize its legal order, with economic empowerment, this position has been held throughout his appointment . Between the years of 1997 -1999 Dr. Malachi York travelled to Liberia to become a naturalized citizen of the country and on December. of 1999 was chosen to represent the government of Liberia by then President Dr. Charles Taylor, as a diplomat and consul general of the Republic. The appointment of his position by the Liberian Government is a reflection of their trust of Consular York’s upholding his obligations and his dedication to the mutual benefit of the cooperation rendering the support and services for the people of Liberia, in the time of crisis, below is a timeline of facts surrounding the events of the Dr. Malachi York case.

1997

1. July 12th 1997, DECLARATION OF INTENTION ‘I, DR. MALACHI Z. YORK ON OATH OR AFFIRMATION DECLARE THAT IT IS MY INTENTION TO SETTLE PERMANENTLY IN THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA AND TO BECOME A CITIZEN THEREOF, AND I DO HEREBY DECLARE BY ALLEGIANCE AND FIDELITY TO THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA….’ CLERK, CRIMINAL COURT ‘B’ given under hand and seal of this Court..

1. (Dr. Malachi Z York took his oath and swore allegiance to the republic of Liberia which resulted in him obtaining his certificate of citizenship meaning he is a rightful citizen by law under the judicial branch of Liberia Montserrado county.)

1999

2. July 12th 1999, PETITIONER PETITION, IN FIRST JUDICIAL, CIRCUIT COURT, CRIMINISLA ASSIZES ‘B’ MONTSERRADO COUNTY, SITTING IN ITS FEBRUARY TERM, A.D. 1999., IN RE: THE PETITION OF DR. MALACHI Z. YORK AND AMERICAN NATIONAL, PRAYING THIS HONORABLE COURT FOR ADMISSION INTO LIBERIAN CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION.

2. (Dr. Malachi Z. York Petitions the First Judicial, Circuit Court to Receive his Liberian Citizenship by Naturalization)

3. August 12th 1999 PETITONERS AFFIDAVIT IN THE OFFICE OF THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE FOR MONTESERRADO COUNTY, R. L. ‘…in my office, Dr. Malachi Z. York, Petitioner in the attached Petitioner’s Petition, and OATH according to law, that all and singular the allegations of facts and circumstances as contained in Petitioners Petition for CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION are true to the best of his knowledge and belief…’ witnessed by three.

3. (Dr. Malachi Z. York makes an Affidavit affirming all information in his Petition is true and correct)

4. October 1999, Temple Oath of Allegiance, Criminal Court “B”, R.L. DR. MALACHI Z. YORK DO SOLEMLY SWEAR IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ALMIGHTS GOD THAT I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THAT CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA AGIANST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC…’ signed by Samuel A. Paasewe.

4. (Dr. Malachi Z. York swears under Oath Allegiance to the Republic of Liberia)

5. November 26, 1999, Transcript of Criminal Court “B” First Judicial Circuit, Special Chamber Session, November Term, 1999, Before Her Honor, November Term, 1999 Before Her Honor F. Masa Kamara-Nyumah, -Sheet One, The Petition of Dr. Malachi Z. York, an American National Praying This Honorable Court For Admission Into Liberian Citizenship By Naturalization. Petitioner: Dr. Malachi Z. York of Congo Town, Witness: David Nymah of Gbarna, Bong County, Witness: Prince Thomas of Congo Town. Signed by Kamara-Nyumah.

5. (Transcript of Dr. Malachi Z. Yorks Petition to the Republic of Liberia for Naturalization being heard in the First Judicial Circuit Court)

6. December 15th, A.D. 1999, Certificate of Citizenship, Malachi Z. York who previous to his or her naturalization was as a citizen and subject of the United States at present residing at Monrovia in the Republic of Liberia. Ordering that Malachi Z. York be and he is hereby admitted as a citizen of the Republic of Liberia by Naturalization. Signed by Clerk of Court aforesaid Samuel A Passawe.

6. (Dr. Malachi Z. York is issued a Certificate of Citizenship by the Republic of Liberia)

7. December 15, 1999 Appointment Letter from the Republic of Liberia, Office of the President Dahkpannah Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor, Dr. Malachi Z. York Athens, Ga. United States of America, ‘I am pleased to appoint you hereby Consul General of the Republic of Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America’

(Dr. Malachi Z. York appointed as Consul General for the Republic of Liberia by President Charles Ghankay Taylor)

2002

8. May 8th 2002, Consul General and Diplomatic personnel of the Republic of Liberia H.E. Dr. Malachi Z. York was arrested and post was raided and destroyed, the inviolability of his off infringed upon and the government of the Republic of Liberia was not made aware of his arrest nor detention in flagrant violation of international diplomatic law norms that protect foreign officials inviolability attached to its premises and offices.

9. H.E. Dr. Malachi Z. York tortured for a year and forced into duress, being denied all consular communication to the Republic of Liberia and denied all rights under VCCR, VCDR and international covenants that protect diplomatic and consular relations.
2003

10. March 28th, 2003, Letter from Attorney Manubir S. Arora, to Lt. Guy Mustello, Jones County Jail, P.O. Box 874, Gray, Ga. 31302, in notification that Dr. Malachi York be considered for International Prisoner Transfer under the provisions of 81 §U.S.C. 4100 et seq.

2004

11. June 4, 2004, Letter from the Garlawolu Law Associates, Opposite The DDRR Office, Capital Hill, and Monrovia Liberia, to Acting Minister the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representing the legal interest of Dr. Malachi York soliciting the intervention of the Republic of Liberia. Signed by Francis Y.S. Garlawolu.


12. July 12, 2004 the Republic of Liberia Montserrado County, in the 6th Judicial Circuit Court, in its June Term, A.D. 2004. Before His Honor: Yusuf Kabah…Assigned Judge. Dr. Malachi Z. York by & thru his Attorney In-Fact and Legal Counsel, Counsellor Francis Y.S. Garlawolu of the City of Monrovia. Petitioner respectfully petitioning of and against the Republic of Liberia

13. June 14, 2004 Diplomatic Note NTGL/MFA/2-2/0891/’04 The Ministries of Foreign Affairs Monrovia, Liberia to the State Department of the United States of America to intercede with concerned authorities for Dr. York’s voluntary repatriation.

14. July 21st 2004, June Term A.D. 2004 of the 6th Circuit Judicial Court of Monrovia Liberia’ss Final Judgment on the Petition For Declaratory Judgment, the courts in its final decision was ordered to, ‘To protect and defend (Diplomatic Protection) the person (Dr. Malachi Z. York) and the premises of Petitioner (404 Shady Dale Road, Eatonton, Ga. Tama-Re) a Diplomatic Personnel (Diplomatic Agent), to all intents and purposes (full Diplomatic Immunity) and in light of that, Respondent (the Government of Liberia) is further ordered to liaise (liason, to contact or connect maintained by communication) with the Government of the United State of America, to ensure the effective (Repatriation and deportation, and release Lands, Property) endorsement of this Judgment’

15. July 30, 2004, Letter from Acting Minister of Justice Attorney General Edward Goba, , requesting that the Minister of Foreign Affairs give effect to the orders of the Final Judgment of the Civil Law Court for their perusal and official action.

16. August 12, 2004 Diplomatic Note NTGL/MFA/3031/2-5/’04 DATED from: The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, P.O. Box 9002, The Embassy of the United States of America Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia. Honoring a First Judicial Circuit decision, court confirming that Dr. York is a Diplomatic Personal of the Liberian Government, with the status of Consul General.

17. August 17, 2004, Diplomatic Note NTGL/MFA/3031/2-5/’04 dated, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monrovia, Liberia. The government of Liberia takes the necessary measures it deems proper to intervene and request the Government of the United States of America to have Dr. York declared ‘a persona non grata’ and repatriated or deported to Liberia.

(The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the ROL communicates to the Embassy of the United States of America in Mamba Point Liberia and requests the Embassy to “confer with the Appropriate Authority of the United States Government to effect the release and subsequent repatriation of Dr. York a Naturalized Citizen and Diplomatic Personnel of Liberia accredited near Atlanta, Georgia;”)

17. August 17, 2004, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicates to the Liberian Embassy in Washington D.C. that the MOFA has designated Counsellors Jenkins K.Z.B Scott, Deputy Minister & Legal Counsel for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R.L., Francis Y.S. Garlowalu of the Garlowalu Law Associates And Attorney Morris A. Kaba of the Ministry of Justice, to intercede the Release and Repatriation Dr. Malachi Z. York


18. September 29, 2004, Diplomatic Note LEW-3/7A/O772/9/04 To Whom it May Concern: Introducing Counselor Francis Y.S. Garlawolu of Liberia, Personal Attorney to Dr. Malachi York, on a special mission seeking his release and repatriation. Signed by Minister Counselor, Alexander H.N. Wallace, III
18.

2005

19. Feb. 16, 2005, Legal Power of Attorney for Dr. Malachi Z. K. York through the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia by Acting Minister Abel Momolu Massaly.

20. February 29th, 2005 to whom it may concern letter from Cllr. Edward K. Goba, Acting Minister of Justice & Attorney General/RL, certifying that the signature of Mary Mamie Howe, Notary Public for Montseraddo County, Republic of Liberia, appearing on the attached Notary Certificate, Amicus Brief and motion to leave of Court to file Amicus Brief.

21. March 9th 2005, Motion to Leave of Court to File Amicus Curiae Brief Filed, Appellate Case No. 04-12354 in the US Courts, Respectfully submitted: Minister of Foreign Affairs Cllr. K.Z.B. Scott, Republic of Liberia, West Africa, Cllr. Francis Y.S. Garlawolu, Minister of Justice Attorney Morris Kaba Republic of Liberia.

(This Amicus Brief was the Republic of Liberia’s filing made on Dr York’s behalf in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the State of Georgia which informs the United States Courts of Dr York’s status and the Republic of Liberia’s finding that Dr. York is Innocent.)
20.

22. March 23rd 1st 2005 Requested by Dr. Malachi Z. York) Notary Certificate dated, signed by Marie Mamie Howe for authentication of ‘COURTS FINAL JUDGEMENT ON THE PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGEMENT, ISSUED BY THE CIVIL LAW COURT, SITTING IN ITS JUNE, A.D. 2004 TERM, AND SIGNED BY YUSIFF D. KABA’

21. (Clerk of Court Samuel A. Passawe for the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Court Montserrado County certifies the Naturalization proceedings of Petitioner Dr. Malachi Z. York renouncing allegiance to the United States of America)

22.23. June 1st, 2005, Letter from Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly at the Capitol Building, Monrovia, Republic of Liberia, George G. Koukou, to Secretary of State, State Department H.E. Condoleeza Rice requesting assistance in the facilitation of the repatriation of Dr. Malachi Z. York.

2006

23.24. October 24th 2006, Diplomatic Note # RL/MFA/3066/2-5/’06 from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia to the State Department through the Embassy of the United States of America agreeing to ‘Intercede with concerned authorities to facilitate and ensure the repatriation or deportation of Dr. York to the Republic of Liberia.

24.25. December 19, 2006, Diplomatic Note GOL/MFA/3452/2-3/’06, Letter to the Ambassador Charles Minor for the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia in Washington D.C. from the Acting Minister Marcus S. G. Dahn (Phd), to intercede on the behalf of the Government of Liberia to negotiate the release of Dr. Malachi Z. York, in keeping with note No. RL/MFA/30066/2-5/’06, sent to the United States Embassy near Monrovia.


2012

26. October 25th, 2012, Legal Correspondence was written on behalf of Dr. Malachi Z. York by Cllr Jerome G. Korkoya Consular at law (Now head of the National Elections Commission) in the Republic of Liberia addressed to the Embassy of the United States of America in Monrovia that contained an Apostille of Dr. Malachi Z. Yorks Certificate of Citizenship, Oath of Office, Appointment Letter, and all of his relevant Naturalization Paperwork from the Liberian Courts.
2009

25. March 9th 2009, Motion to Leave of Court to File Amicus Curiae Brief Filed, Appellate Case No. 04-12354 in the US Courts, Respectfully submitted: Minister of Foreign Affairs Cllr. K.Z.B. Scott, Republic of Liberia, West Africa, Cllr. Francis Y.S. Garlawolu, Minister of Justice Attorney Morris Kaba Republic of Liberia.

2014

1. March 20th 2014, Letter from the Embassy of The Republic of Liberia Washington D.C. Dated, Requesting to Counselor Mr. L. Robinson for a Consular visit with inmate Malachi Z. York (mis-nomer Dwight York) from Deputy Chief of Mission

The Republic of Liberia finds its Consul General and Diplomat Dr. Malachi York Innocent of All U.S. Charges

On May 8th 2002 the Republic of Liberia’s Consul General and Diplomatic personnel Dr. Malachi York post and property’s inviolability was violated in the most unprecedented way. The injuries against the Republic were committed by gross violations of international law by the U.S. in what became known as the largest raid in U.S. history. Three hundred U.S. federal and local agents of the State of Georgia swarmed down with military clad attire, helicopters, machine guns and even armored vehicles to arrest H.E. Dr. Malachi York in apparent attack that has left the international community bewildered, reminding them of a similar attack by Iranian officials who infringed upon the diplomatic inviolability of the internationally protected U.S. Embassy and Consulate post near Tehran, Iran in 1979. Though the International Court of Justice in case U.S. vs. Tehran ICJ, ordered the immediate release of U.S. Consul Generals and Diplomats from Iranian courts authority and custody, the same international protection has not been as swift to be delivered to Dr. Malachi York who is also afforded the same protection under 61’ and 63’ Vienna Conventions of Diplomatic and Consular Affairs.


In a small town in the State of Georgia, Milledgeville where Dr. Malachi York travelled with his consulate staff on a bright sunny day, his envoy was surrounded and attacked, Dr. York’s car was ambushed where he was snatched out of his vehicle, diplomatic credentials destroyed and staff silenced by the force, threat and aggression of agents who were charging him with crimes of transporting minors across state lines with an intent, and structuring money. One of the most egregious violations was that the U.S. did not make the Republic of Liberia aware of these attacks on their Consulate post or the arrest of their Diplomat formally in his 16-year incarceration. Though these alleged crimes were later proven to be false by the Republic of Liberia’s legal analyst, lawyers and even proven false by recanted statements and testimonies by prosecuting witnesses, Dr. Malachi York was tried and sentenced to 135 years in the most secure prison in the world U.S. ADX Super-Max prison in Florence, Colorado. To this day Dr. Malachi York laments in an underground cell where he has sat for 16 years in hopes that the Republic of Liberia comes to his aid and rescue.

In the earlier years and process of the repatriation and protection of Dr. York which was initiated by the courts of the Republic of Liberia two years after his arrest, three months after his sentencing, in a July 21, 2004 hearing the Republic of Liberia was ordered by Judge Yusuf Kaba in a final judgment of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court to

‘To protect and defend (Diplomatic Protection) the person (Dr. Malachi Z. York) and the premises of Petitioner (404 Shady Dale Road, Eatonton, Ga. Consulate Post) a Diplomatic Personnel (Diplomatic Agent), to all intents and purposes (full Diplomatic Immunity) and in light of that, Respondent (Government of Liberia) is further ordered to liaise (liason, to contact or connect maintained by communication) with the Government of the United State of America, to ensure the effective (Repatriation and deportation, and release Lands, Property) endorsement of this Judgment’

The Republic of Liberia pursuant to its court order the Ministries of Justice Attorney General Cllr. Edward K. Goba, retained three high end Cllrs namely K.Z.B. Scott, of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Cllr. Francis Y.S. Garlowalou of the Garlawolu Law firm, and Ministry of Justice Cllr. Morris Kaba to represent Dr. Malachi York in the U.S. in order to effectuate the decision of its internal courts. In an Appellant hearing in Case No. 04-12354 the Republic of Liberia Motioned the U.S. Court to File Amicus Curiae Brief on his behalf, to lay upon the record the collusion discovered to conspire to defame, torture, and character assassinate Dr. Malachi York. These discoveries by the Republic of Liberia was carried out against a broken U.S. judicial system plagued with racial and ethnic judicial disparities, enormous disproportionalities of arrest of ethnic groups of minorities and Africans in America compared to whites in the U.S., but what is most shocking is the lack of international uproar and support the international community has rendered to the Republic of Liberia in its attempts to repatriate and protect Dr. Malachi York having attached to his person the oldest protection afforded in state comity. The Republic of Liberia has discovered a preponderance of evidence of the innocence of Dr. York such as prosecutorial misconduct, no d.n.a evidence or pictures, no physical or medical evidence, lack of accurate testimony and lack of credibility, witness tampering and recantations, violations of diplomatic immunity and violations of international peremptory norms. With the Republic of Liberia having all the necessary evidence that shows that Dr. Malachi York is innocent of all charges and should without a doubt be repatriated and protected by its government, the question remains why is the U.S. still torturing and abusing this 72 year old ailing Diplomat in the worst prison in the world, the people of Liberia and the international community needs answers, is he another Dr. Martin Luther King? Is he a iconic leader like Marcus Garvey ushering in a unification of Africans in America and their Liberian extended families? Are we witnessing the same pattern of abuse against our great Liberian and African American leaders? Will we sit back and allow this iconic leader to continuously be abused and tortured while innocent and turn a silent tongue and deaf ear as he suffers in silence. Contact Liberian government and U.S. officials to assist in the Repatriation of our very own, Free H.E. Dr. Malachi York….

Thousands of Africans in America are returning to Liberia with the Repatriation of Liberian Diplomat and Consul General

Now that the Republic of Liberia is currently in talks to repatriate Dr. Malachi York a Liberian Diplomat who is languishing in Florence ADX Supermax prison, in the U.S., thousands of his supporters of the United Nuwaupians Worldwide who are particularly Africans in America and Africans in the Caribbean are preparing to return home to the land that they view historically as a land of Liberty, the Republic of Liberia.


This new exodus of Africans in America to Liberia is a continuation of the settling migrations of descendants of African slaves and indigenous peoples of the Americas that have longed wished to return back to their grassroots to escape the racism, discrimination and abuses endured in the U.S. This prepared exodus is not something new, great African American leaders implemented plans to immigrate to Africa known as ‘Back to Africa’ movements during the late 1800 and 1900’s. Marcus Garvey particularly was pivotal in motivating thousands of Africans in America to journey across the Atlantic on the ‘Black Star’ ship line to settle in the great land of Liberty to join the extended families of West Africa in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

This new Exodus has gained momentum in the U.S. as thousands of Africans in America plan in joint ventures to assist in the rapid development of West Africa, Dr. Doosua York Chair of the International Diaspora African Forum and President of the Dr. Malachi York Foundation here in Liberia says that ‘It is imperative that Africans in America encourage the pursuit of the land of Liberty in West Africa, Liberia and like countries has always been our home to pursue real equal opportunities, a place where you will be excepted by your very own kind with open arms.’

Africans in America contribute to billions of dollars annual to the economy of the U.S. yet they still are continuously discriminated against and racism in the country has seemed to become more overt and socially accepted as normal. With the repatriation of Dr. Malachi York a Liberian West African leader of Africans in the Diaspora his 40 year influence of great leadership amongst the people have led to a inspiring conscious awakening of the realization that ‘African is for Africans’ and that in order for the successful rise of Liberia as an economic powerhouse on the continent Nuwaupians Worldwide, Africans in America have to contribute to the economic stimulation needed to secure the future the Republic of Liberia.

On March 31, 2018 President Donald Trump recently lifted the protection of Liberians in the U.S. and ending a program that has allowed immigrants to remain in the United States and work legally since 1999, nearly 800,000 thousand refugees fled Liberia during the war some sought protection in the U.S. This program ending is a reality check for many Liberians that the U.S. is no longer welcoming Africans in America, giving greater meaning this new exodus and repatriation of Africans in America back to Liberia. Along with repatriation of Dr. Malachi Z. York many Liberians feel as though it is time to come together and continue to build where we are welcomed.

This modern day Exodus will do great wonders for the peoples of the Republic as the Africans in America who are preparing to re-settle here are bringing profession skills, and craftsmanship, educators in academics and health, master builders, engineers, architects and other skill sets needed to balance the needs of the peoples of Liberia. Lets welcome our sisters and brothers with open arms as they work with the Republic of Liberia to continuously restore the dignity and pride of our nation.

Return to Active Duty for a Cause

The unfortunate situation I find myself in currently following President George Weah’s unexplained outbursts against me, and the subsequent high-level misrepresentations and misinterpretations of the issue and historical facts compels me to make this clarion call: If you are an older journalist or media practitioner sitting somewhere in self-imposed retirement, please return to active duty. Return because the absence of people like you in the mainstream media ---- leaving journalism solely with the young ones with little experience---- is not doing our country any good.


I appreciate and admire the brilliant work young journalists are doing under difficult conditions; but they need the help of the older, experienced ones for mentorship to excel. I think leaving them alone is unfair.

RECENT LESSON LEARNED FROM THE VETERAN KENNETH Y. BEST

In his BBC interview, played on the evening of Sunday, April 17, the veteran journalist Kenneth Y. Best mentioned that his ability to remember things when he was as young as four years old was one factor that made him a successful journalist. Remembering events, the 79-year-old said, makes media coverage easier. I could not agree with him more.

This is the challenge facing the current generation of media people in the country in trying to accurately present historical facts. As I said, I admire their courage and commitment to the noble profession; in the face of difficulties, they are scoring some successes; but being too young to remember some of the major happenings in our recent past poses a serious challenge to them.
The fact that the vast majority of them are too young to know events and occurrences of the 1990’s, for example, means they have to rely on second hand accounts of things to report; this is an impediment.

When investigating certain happenings, our knowledge of the events means more to us than the accounts of others. This is one shortcoming for young and promising Liberian journalist who are in the majority in the profession today; they have the urge to excel, they are doing a fantastic job; but their lack of knowledge of how, for example, the civil war of the 1990’s started and ended, who were the key players, and who did what at what times leaves them vulnerable to believe people’s selfish accounts of the national upheaval.

A media practitioner who is thirty years old now, for example, was born in 1987; this means he or she was less than three years old when the civil war broke out in 1989; and obviously that journalist has very little or no knowledge at all about the advances of the NPFL forces in the early 1990’s, the formation and roles of rival armed groups, and, moving forward, that journalist cannot speak to who did what, say, during the April 1996 Monrovia crisis because they were just too young to remember things.

What makes this even worse is we are not a country where accurate and unbiased accounts of past events are written; and even if they were written, by nature, we are not fond of reading.


This is one reason why people tell lies and go unquestioned.

If those who are engaged in active media work in Liberia today were largely people who are old enough to remember and write about the rice riot of April 1979, the military coup of April 1980, the rigged presidential and general elections of 1985, the Thomas Quiwonkpa-led failed coup of November 1985, the 1997 election of Charles Taylor and so on, they would be reporting on the civil war from an informed position.

But sadly, instead of older and experienced journalists remaining in the profession to mentor the young ones, they have left the practice squarely with the young ones to fend for themselves.


Because of this gap, there is a likelihood that the young media community would be fed with false official accounts of past happenings without question.

Of course, If we still had in active practice knowledgeable journalists who have gone into self-imposed retirement, the pronouncement by President George Weah that he was in human rights advocacy during the bloody civil war would have been seriously challenged, with no disrespect to the head of state. But because the vast majority of media people in active practice today are too young to know who did what during the civil war, many of them were tempted to believe the president.
People take advantage of others’ lack of awareness to get away with things that are not true. We need to work toward tackling these challenges.

If we had older journalists practising side-by-side with the young ones, they would not be told what roles the current information minister, for example, played in the recent past ---- in the NFPL, in the much-feared police then and then in the offices of former Vice President and President Moses Blah (a former General of the NPFL) before ending up with the CDC just in 2005.

But all that most of the young practitioners know is that Eugene Nagbe was originally with the CDC, crossed over to the Unity Party when the grass there was still greener, and then when the leaves were fast falling on the side of the Unity Party, he returned to the CDC.
And so Eugene can succeed in presenting himself as a perfectly clean gentleman and get away with it because even most of those hosting radio talk shows in Monrovia are too young to know his past affiliations. But I am just using these instances as examples of what happens when old hands are not involved in moulding society.


We often hear people make claims either to vindicate or bring unnecessary glory upon themselves and all they say as a proof is “the records are there.” We have never tried to check whether those records are actually there to see.

That is our national shortcoming. We don’t research, we don’t go beyond what people claim; and so we are very likely to end up placing serious national responsibilities in the hands of the wrong ones. Smooth talking has earned unqualified people top jobs in Liberia in recent times.

The point is, experience matters in everything we do. When my wife and I arrived in the United Kingdom in 2008 to receive the Speaker Award, I was on a tour of the parliament building when my guy showing me around, Colin Brown, an elderly, actively practising journalist, asked me: Jonathan, how old are you? When I responded I am 45 years old, he said back to me: so you are still a young chicken in the profession? Mr. Brown was in his mid-sixties but still feeling he had a long time still in the profession. We retire from journalism in Liberia in our thirties.

So I think in order to help the young community of journalists in Liberia grow, we the older practitioners should place ourselves in the position of a palm tree. For a palm tree to grow, the old fonds (leaves) eventually give way to the young fonds, but the old fonds don’t just fall suddenly; they remain hanging up there, watching the young fonds grow and become strong and capable to carry on before falling at last.

In short, we need back in the filed seasoned journalists who still have the potential to help a crumbling society but who have left the media work in the hands of the young ones --- young ones who are desperately yearning for direction and guidance.

By Jonathan Paye-Layleh
(A practicing Liberian journalist)

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