Appointments To Bogus District Backfire
-Citizens Seek Pres Weah’s Attention
It seems many legislators and local leaders of counties are taking advantage of the new administration and are shoving all kinds of names for appointments to local authority even without regard for the legal status of those political subdivisions.
A case has emerged in Sinoe County where a legislator presented names to President George Manneh Weah for a district that was never legislated at all.President Weah this week released a batch of nominations of local officials in Sinoe County, including Seekon Statutory District which a ground of citizens and the Sinoe Legislative Caucus discovered to be fake and bogus.
In a letter to complaint over the matter, the Tarjuowon National Congress (TNC), has drawn President Weah’s attention to the nominations to a somewhat ghost district, Seekon Statutory District.
“We extend our warmest compliments on behalf of the people of Tarjuowon, Sinoe County, and wish to firstly congratulate on the occasion of your election as President of Liberia and for your able stewardship in the peaceful and prosperous navigation of the State of Ship under the flagship Pro-Poor Governance Agenda for Development and Prosperity. May God bless you as you continue to expertly handle the enormous challenges this nation faces,” the TNC wrote in a letter sent to President Weah.
The group added: “Your Excellency, kindly allow us to draw your attention to a potentially troubling and disquieting development brought about by the faking into existence of Seekon Statutory District in Constituency #3, Sinoe County, Hon. Matthew Zarzar, Representative of the Constituency. The people of Tarjuowon were shocked by your recent appointments of administrative officials of an unknown statutory district called Seekon Statutory District. Information and documents available to us indicate that Mr. Zarzar succeeded in providing misinformation that might have led Your Excellency into appointing local government officials to this bogus statutory district.”
According to the group, in 2017, Hon. Zarzar succeeded in misinforming and ill-advising yourpredecessor, ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, into appointing local government officials to the bogus Seekon statutory district, but with the help of the Sinoe Legislative Caucus, under the leadership of Senator Joseph Nagbe, his efforts were forestalled or rescinded.
Following an investigation of the report on Hon. Matthew G. Zarzar’s maneuvers, the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus discovered that it was true that there had never been an enactment of the district called Seekon Statutory District in Sinoe and that the District #3 Representative was proceeding wrongly and illegally and needed to be stopped.
In a communication to then Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs who now Minister proper of the Ministry, Hon. V arney Sirleaf, Hon. Senator Joseph N. Nagbe not only conveyed the Sinoe Legislative Caucus’ apprehension and disapproval of moves by Hon. Zarzar to smuggle names of officials of a nonexistent district on government payroll.
Hon. Nagbe wrote in his capacity as the Chairman of the Caucus and the oldest legislator still serving in the Legislature since the interim government.
In his letter to then Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Senator Nagbe wrote: “I present my compliments and write to bring to you attention that the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus has been informed through its Chairman that Honorable Matthew G. Zarzar, Representative for District #3, has created a Statutory District named ‘Seekon” in Sinoe County, without legislative enactment. Officials of said District have already been nominated by Her Excellency, the President of Liberia; and Honorable Zarzar is believed to be maneuvering through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to have them placed on the Government of Liberia payroll without Senate Confirmation.”
Senator Nagbe stated further: “The information is causing apprehension amongst some citizens of Sinoe County; therefore, the Sinoe County Caucus requests the Ministry of Internal Affairs to cease the processing of payroll documents, if any, for the officials of said ‘Sekon’ District until circumstances surrounding the alleged creation of said Sekon Statutory District are fully established.”
In another attempt to fully reject the illegally Seekon District, the full bench of the Sinoe Legislative Caucus of the 53rd Legislative described Seekon District as a fake district.
In response to a letter complaint against Hon. Zarzar from the Tarjuowon National Congress (TNC), informing the legislators about the fake district and Hon. Zarzar conflict-inciting maneuvers to falsify the creation of Sekon District on the land of other district and tribes, the Sinoe Legislative Caucus wrote:
“We present the kind wishes of compliments of the Sinoe Legislative Caucus and by this communication knowledge receipt of your communication dated April 3, 2017 in which you brought to our attention the alleged creation of the Sekon Statutory District by Hon. Matthew G. Zarzar, Representative of Disrict #3, Sinoe County, which annexed towns and villages under the political jurisdiction of the Tarjuowon Statutory District to the purported “Seekon Statutory District.”
The Caucus further wrote: “The Sinoe Legislative Caucus agrees with your allegation that Hon. Mattherw G. Zarzar possesses a ‘fake instrument’ purporting to be an ‘Act’ creating the Seekon Statutory District in Sinoe County.”
The Caucus cited Article 34 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia which they said vests in the Legislature the authority to create new counties and other political subdivisions, and readjust existing county boundaries.
“According to our existing knowledge, coupled with a thorough search of legislative records, the alleged Seekon Statutory District was never created by the National Legislature,” taking cognizance of the maxim, “What is not done legally is not done at all,” the Caucus further asserted in their communication to the citizens’ group.
The communication signed by members of the Caucus at the time, including Jeremiah W. N. McCaully, Jefferson S. Kanmoh, J. Milton Teahjay and Joseph N. Nagbe further stated: “The Sinoe Legislative Caucus takes cognizance of the creation of the Tarjuowon Statutory District by a Legislative enactment as a sub-political division within this Republic. And until the Legislature recalls itself by either amending or repealing the Act which created the Tarjuowon Statutory District, said District remains a legal sub-political division within this Republic. The singular action of any citizen or any instrument cannot undo the Act of the Legislature nor can a purported legislation triumph over an existing law.”
TNC says Tarjuowon people maintain that Mr. Zarzar’s handiwork, the Sekon Statutory District, is bogus because every research carried out at the Capital Building, the Executive Mansion and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates no trail and trace of evidence that the self-styled district is a product of conventional legislative and governmental processes legally and constitutionally germane to the creation or enactment of political subdivisions in this country.
“Mr. President, besides claims by Hon. Zarzar that the act was passed in July 2005 purportedly under the administration of the interim government headed by former Transitional Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant, there are no legislative sources to prove that the bogus Seekon Statutory District was ever debated in the plenary of the unicameral Transitional Legislative Assembly, sent to committee rooms, subjected to public debate, and other formalities appertaining to normal legislative procedures,” the TNC told President Weah.
“We are kindly requesting Your Excellency to look into this development of unsavory prospects for harmony and people because, indeed, the faking of a legislative process culminating into the faking of the Sekon Statutory District, coupled with the act of encroachment by the said purported Statutory District on several communities in Tarjuowon Statutory District leaves much to desire.”
“While the people of Tarjuowon remain calm, peace-loving and law-abiding under the circumstances of deliberate provocation, please consider this communication asa formal complaint, and we kindly look forward to your intervention in the soonest possible time.”