Following the removal of the leadership and members of the House’s Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning Committee, who are considered Pro-Tyler Lawmakers, former chairman Rep. Moses Kollie said their rights were violated and is demanding immediate reinstatement.The Lofa County District # 5 Representative and ten others lodged a complaint for ‘declaratory judgment’ against Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, Acting Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives. The eleven, claiming marginalization because they were ejected as members of the House’s Finance Committee, believe their rights were violated in accordance with the House’s rules and procedures. A declaratory judgment determines whether or not someone has a legal right to action.Declaratory Judgment According to the Writ of Summons of the Declaratory Judgment, Deputy Speaker Barchue and others are commanded to appear before the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which is the Civil Law Court for Montserrado, before Judge Yussif Kaba on Monday September 19. Rep. Kollie and others argued that under Chapter 43.1 of the Civil Procedure Law, “Courts of record within their respective jurisdictions shall have power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. “No action or objection or proceeding shall be objected on ground that a declaratory judgment is prayed for, and such declaration shall have the force and effect of final judgment.” The petitioners (Rep. Kollie and others) claimed that under Article 38 as found on page 26 of the Liberian Constitution, each House shall establish its own committees and subcommittees. Rep. Kollie, in his petition, argued that the Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning is among the Statutory Committees under the House’s Rule 56, which is headed by the petitioner. “Under Rule 54 of the House’s Rules, all committees’ chairpersons and memberships shall serve for three years, but only the chairpersons and co-chairpersons are subjects to removal by 2/3 majority vote of the membership of the House for a cause,” the petition said. “Because petitioners contend… that the respondent herein, in violation of Rule 54 of the House, the respondent are replacing members of the statutory committee members, whereas petitioners served for only one year and six months.” It added: “And also because petitioners submit… that Rule 53 of the House states that Ways, Means and Finance and Peace and National Reconciliation shall consist of one member from each of the fifteen counties, and shall serve for three years, but the Respondents disregarded Rule 53 and began appointing its own supporters, disregarding other Counties in gross violation of Rule 53 of the House.”New CommitteeOn Thursday, September 1, a new Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning Committee was appointed by Deputy Speaker Barchue in the wake of the in-house wrangling, and sacked and replaced eleven of the 15-members on the House Finance Committee.The chairman is Rep. Prince Moye (Bong County District # 2), vice chairman Rep. Jeremiah Koung (Nimba County), and members Rep. Julius Berrian (Montserrado County); Rep. Julia Wiah (Lofa County); Rep. Haja Siryon (Bomi County); Rep. Gabriel Smith (Grand Bassa County); Rep. Jefferson Kanmoh (Sinoe County) and Rep. Isaac Roland (Maryland County). The rest are Rep. Aaron Vincent (Grand Cape Mount County); Rep. Morais Waylee (Grand Gedeh County); Rep. Opee Roland Cooper (Margibi County); Rep. Numennie Bartekwa (Grand Kru County); Rep. Johnson Chea (River Gee County); Rep. Alfred Koiwood (Gbapolu County) and Rep. Byron Zeahway (Rivercess County). The selection of the committee was made in the Joint Chambers, predicated upon a motion from Montserrado County Rep. Edwin M. Snowe on Thursday, August 25, mandating the Rep. Kollie’s Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning (in the main chambers) Committee to resume budget hearing on Monday, August 29.However, the Committee failed to resume the budget hearing, which according to sources was due to the intensive division among lawmakers, and of the parallel sessions, which have also spilled over to the Senate.Budget Hearing ResumesNonetheless, Chairman Kollie resumed hearing on the Expenditure Component of the 2016/17 Draft National Budget, which is expected to end on Friday, September 16, while sources said the budget may be endorsed on either the 20th or 22nd of September.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Quarter-finalists Cece United U17 players celebrate after one of their victories The draw for the quarterfinals of the Montserrado Community League playoffs was yesterday held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium with several exciting fixtures to kickoff next Tuesday at the ATS.All of the fixtures according to the Sub Committee will be honored on the same day, with Downtown FC taking on Habiba at 10:00 am. Downtown FC yesterday booked their slot in the quarterfinals after a 3-1 victory over the Gabriel Weah Foundation at the ATS. In the second quarterfinals match, Nas FC will go against PYC at 12:00, before Zion FC/BBC battle Stages at 2:00 pm In the final encounter, Saye Town Ambassadors, Cece United U17, after a thrilling 6-0 win over Villa, will be hoping to extend their scoring form when they go into a cracker with CCIP at 4:00 pm.After those intriguing encounters, four teams will advance to the semifinals with the best three qualifying for the Montserrado 3rd division championship.In a related development, one of the top performing sides in the competition, Cece United U17 has expressed confidence over their qualification to the remaining stages of the competition.It may be recalled that the team during the preliminaries stages of the competition targeted the playoffs and succeeded in advancing to the playoffs after qualifying from the group stage.Full DrawDowntown vs. Habiba- 10:00 a.m.Nas FC vs. PYC – 12:00 p.m.Zion FC/BBC vs. Stages – 2:00 p.m.CCIP vs. Cece United – 4:00 p.m.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Nimba District #7 candidate for representative, Kuku YansineBy Wender K. MassaquoiThe only female representative candidate in the race for the seat for Nimba County District #7 Madam Kuku W. Yansine has vowed to carry speedy development in the district if she is elected as the representative to succeed outgoing Rep. Worlea Dunah.In an interview with the Daily Observer, recently, she assured the people of the district of her readiness to take the district to another level, in terms of development and empowering the youth and women.She said her presence in the House will pave the way for women, who have never occupied the seat before, since Nimba gained county status in 1964, to do so.“We want the voices of women to be heard,” she said. “I’m the only lady well prepared and strong to take the people of this district to another level through economic empowerment, social services, and infrastructure development.”“The women of our dear country and this district are tired of suffering and want a change in their lives and the community too needs greater development,” she added.She outlined some of her platforms as, economic empowerment, agriculture, empowering people with disabilities, women empowerment, education, health and sports and infrastructure development.“I’m a daughter of the soil, so I will help my people,” she said.She further called on her fellow women and the entire citizens of the district to join her in her endeavor, as she put it, “I’m the only person ready, prepared and strong enough to move this district forward so, my fellow women, youth and men of District 7 vote for me so change can come into your lives.”Madam Yansine is the wife of the late Horace V. Yansine, one of the strongest agriculture entrepreneurs Nimba has ever had. He died in August 2015, while working as County Manager of the US funded Food and Enterprise Development/FED Nimba.Her late husband left several legacies, of which she is anticipating to follow. The people of District 7 and many farmers across Nimba, as well as young people, can boast of the late Yansine’s activities when he served as director of Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center (LOIC).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
WIPNET Gbarnga Women Celebrate receiving Alflait Independence Day GiftAs part of Alfalit’s International Liberia’s activities in observance of the country’s 171st Independence Anniversary, the organization has donated 25Kg bags of rice and assorted food items to over 800 women, who are from the Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET) residing in five of the 15 counties.Many of the women, who benefited from Alfalit’s gesture, were in the age range of 50 and living in “extreme poverty.”On the distribution list, women from Montserrado County received 313 bags of rice; Bomi County, 100 bags; Grand Bassa County, 50 bags; Bong County, 294 bags; and Margibi County, 40 bags. Other items donated included gallons of vegetable oil, onions and beans.This year’s donation, which is the largest of Alfalit’s goodwill gesture, is carried out twice a year — during the festive season of July 26, Liberia’s Independence Day, and in December during the Christmas season.Reverend Emmanuel Giddings, Alfalit-Liberia Country Director, said that the donation is meant to help the women, especially those residing in poverty stricken communities, to sustain their families during the Independence Day celebrations.“Festive days are times for all people to be happy and not time for one to sit and worry about what to eat or wear. So this donation can help. Our work is not to distribute food to people, but to teach them to read and write, but we are doing this to make you happy this July 26. The donation to WIPNET is part of Alfalit’s corporate social responsibility and continuous support to WIPNET as well as to poor and underprivileged women.“Although the country is now peaceful and people are moving on with their lives, Alfalit International Liberia still appreciates the role of the WIPNET Women in helping to restore peace to Liberia during the civil war, and we feel by doing this is just to show them that we have not forgotten them,” Marie Morris, Alfalit Field Monitor, said at the start of the donation in Kakata, Margibi County, and Gbarnga, Bong County.Receiving the donation in Gbarnga, Bong County, WIPNET County Coordinator, Cerue Lyeah, thanked Alfalit International for the donation and described the gesture as timely and life-saving.“I want to be so grateful to Alfalit International for this timely donation which will indeed sustain their homes for a month. You’ve just saved us during this difficult economic time. We will never forget what Alfalit has done for our women today,” Madam Lyeah added.She further appreciated Alfalit International for teaching the women to read and write over the years, something she said has brought great changes in the lives of the women under the peace hut.“Because of Alfalit, most of the women can now read, write and sign their own names; they are no longer using their thumbs to sign,” the Gbarnga WIPNET coordinator said.In all the counties, towns and places visited, jubilation by the women marked the distribution, with the recipients describing the donation as timely and a great relief to them during this Independence Day celebration week.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Former Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn-Dr. Dahn Says at stakeholders meeting on Public Health ProgramsBy Bill E. Diggs (UL Intern)Dr. Bernice Dahn, former Health Minister and a faculty member of the A. M. Dogliotti School of Medicine, on Thursday said that lessons learned from the devastating Ebola epidemic (2014, 2015) has been a catalyst for stakeholders to strengthen its public health workforce to respond to any disease outbreak.“We all remember Ebola, because the virus thought us some serious lessons, but the one good lesson we learned from there is that if you have a weak public health system, diseases can overwhelm the country and can carry its development programs backward,” Dr. Dahn said.She said that while the country was responding to Ebola, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners developed an investment plan for building a resilient healthcare delivery system.“That plan,” the former Health Minster said, “has led to the development of a three-level public health program at the University of Liberia (UL).Dr. Dahn further said “globally there is a continuous emergence of diseases which nations including Liberia need to continuously addressed.”She spoke at a public health stakeholder’s meeting held at the UL Fendell Campus, where a public health program has been approved to train some high school graduates, graduates and undergraduate students, to ensure that the health workforce is ready to carry on public health function effectively.The first level of the program will be to enroll high school graduates to receive training that will prepare them to enter into public health workforce in entry-level positions and function effectively in those roles.Also, the program will focus on training for middle-level health professionals and serve as a bridge program to provide complete undergraduate education and prepare them for graduate-level programs such as the UL Masters of Public Health Program.UL President, Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, who said that although the Faculty-senate has approved the curricula for the program, it would begin only if the University Board of Trustees approved.She said the program was part of the many indicators that the UL was starting to reach new heights in providing Liberians the kind of academic environment that is needed to propel the country forward in all sectors.“I cannot think of any place for any program to be that is more sustainable than the UL campus, because institutions can come and go, but higher education institutions are the most stable ones that can be counted on to sustain these kinds of programs,” Dr. Dahn said.Sonpon Sieh, One Health Coordinator; Dr. Masoka Fallah, Deputy Director General for Technical Services at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia; and Dr. William E. Allen, Vice President of Academic Affairs, were part of Thursday’s event. They spoke separately on topics such as, “Vision for a School of Public Health, Public Health Workforce Support under Regional One Health Initiative and the next steps for Operating School of Public Health.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. James M. Strother, president, Liberia Business Association (LIBA)-Lauds GOL for prioritizing Liberian businesses in its PADPThe Liberia Business Association (LIBA) has called for the robust and uncompromising implementation of the Liberianization law, an instrument that gives explicit rights for local entrepreneurs to have exclusive operational rights in certain businesses.Enshrined in Liberia’s Investment Act of 2010, the policy of setting specific businesses aside to be done by Liberians has never yielded the anticipated outcomes as local businesses continue to strive in the shadows of their foreign counterparts since the inception of the law.But with the official launch of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) flagship development program, the Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity (PADP), LIBA says there is no better time for local businesses to boom or become more vibrant than under a leadership that was propelled to power by the ordinary masses.At a press conference in Paynesville, LIBA president James M. Strother lauded the government for the launching of the development agenda and for specifically highlighting local businesses. He, however, proffered series of recommendations to the government, which according to him, would lead to the creation of more jobs through micro, small and medium-sized Liberian enterprises.The Investment Act of 2010 exclusively gives ownership right to Liberians in several business activities, including the supply of sand, block making, peddling, travel agencies, retail sale of rice and cement, ice making and sale of ice, tire repair shops, auto repair shops with investments of less than US$50,000 and shoe repair shops.Other businesses reserved for only Liberians in the Act include the retail sale of timber and planks, operation of gas stations, video clubs, operation of Taxis, importation or sale of second-hand or used clothing, distribution in Liberia of locally manufactured products and importation and sales of used cars (except authorized dealerships which may deal in certified used of their make).The law also provides for at least 25 percent of all Public Procurement Contracts entered into by all government institutions including State – owned enterprises to be allocated and provided to Liberian – owned MSMEs, at least five percent of which are allocated and provided to women – owned MSMEs.Speaking at the Association’s office in Paynesville, LIBA president called for a comprehensive enforcement of the Investment Act of 2010.“As prime partners to the developmental goals of government, we welcome the launch of the agenda. We affirm our commitment and fullest support for the implementation of the PAPD in the interest of the wholesome improvement of the people of Liberia,” he said.“We are particularly inspired by President Weah’s desire to restructure and revisit the programs around Liberian businesses in terms of having access to finance and human capacity development,” Mr. Strother said.Mr. Strother said that these are intended to enhance Liberia’s participation in the creation of wealth in the Liberian economy. “We at LIBA see this as government’s willingness to conform to the President’s explicit statement that Liberians should not be spectators in their own economy,” he said.Improving local businesses falls under Pillar II of the PAPD which, among others things, calls for transforming the business regulatory environment and climate: (doing business and cross-border trade improvement).Mr. Strother also called for the provision of dedicated and well-targeted stimulus plan to address emergency capital needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) owned and operated by Liberians.“LIBA will provide its expertise to ensure that the stimulus plan is well designed and implemented to minimize risks abuse and repayment,” Mr. Strother added. He urged strong enforcement of Section 4.1(c) of the small business empowerment law.However, adhering or enforcing the Liberianization law has been very difficult over the years, as the policy is frequently manipulated by some higher-ups in government who undermine the law with their personal interests. Also, foreign business people have somehow been engaged in some of these reserved businesses.An investigation conducted by the House Standing Committee on Commerce, Trade, and Industry a few years ago revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) made several changes to the Investment Act of 2010 in favor of foreign businesses.In its report entitled, “Stakeholders Engagement for A Better Legislative Oversight,” the Committee noted that during its consultation with stakeholders of the business sector, it found out that there is an addendum to the act which was passed into law on May 15, 2010, that gives right to foreigners to invest in businesses that were set aside only for Liberians.The controversial portion of the law denounced by the lawmakers points out that, “Foreign investors may invest in the following business activities provided that where such enterprises are owned exclusively by non-Liberians, the total capital invested shall not be less than US$500,000; and, where such a listed enterprise is owned by non-Liberian in partnership with Liberian and the aggregate shareholding of the Liberian is at least 25 percent, the total capital invested shall not be less than US$300,000.”Businesses concerned are the production and supply of stone and granite, ice cream manufacturing, commercial printing, advertising agencies, graphics, and commercial artists, cinemas, production of poultry and poultry products and the operation of water purification or bottling plant.The LIBA president hopes that all of these will be addressed by the new government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. Kwenah (immediate left in the African gown) with other stakeholders at the ceremony,-Says new NCL team leader at induction ceremonyThe newly inducted management team leader of the Non-governmental organization (NGO) Coalition of Liberia (NCL) has declared that every Liberian is entitled to resources that God has endowed the country with, and all must therefore benefit from the way the resources are being used.Samuel K. D. Kwenah said stakeholders in the resource sector, specifically the government and concessionaires must ensure that local communities, who are the custodians of these resources, adequately benefit from proceeds of resources that are extracted from their area.Kwenah spoke at the induction ceremony of NCL’s newly elected management team. The ceremony was held on Thursday, August 23, 2018, in Monrovia.Those inducted along with him were Dominic Johns, deputy team leader, Amos Kanneh, secretary, and Judeh F. Blamoh, finance officer.According to Mr. Kwenah, Liberia has a lot of natural resources which, if managed with efficiency and transparency, would transform the lives of Liberians. “This is possible, but we just have to do our best for all of the people, especially the vulnerable masses, to benefit,” he said.He said that the formation of NCL was as a result of a survey which showed that the perennial conflicts in the country, including the civil war that erupted over the years, are as a result of disenchantment over poor management of natural resources.Kwennah is also program manager for the Extractive Industry and Human Rights program of Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU), a member NGO to the NCL—a conglomeration of local NGOs involved in natural resources advocacy.The coalition, since its establishment 15 years ago, has been managed by an interim team until this year when the members elected a permanent management team.It was founded in the wake of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in 2003 by three local NGOs. One of its founding members is the Green Advocates International, headed by Cllr. Alfred Brownell.“While stakeholders at the CPA were all about sharing power and the country’s wealth, NCL was about protecting our natural resources,” Mr. Kwenah said.“Today marks a major milestone in the history of the NCL since its formation because we are consolidating the vision of our founders. We must all endeavor to ensure the proper management of our resources for all Liberians,” he said.Kwenah recalled that Liberia has about half of the entire rain forest remaining in West Africa as 45 percent of the country’s 4.3 million hectares is covered by forest underscoring that with a relatively small population, and rich natural resources, proper management can provide income and opportunities for future generations.According to him, NCL has elevated its strategic plan dialogue on accounts of transparency, accountability and competence as a new management assumes office soon.It can be recalled that a few months ago, the NCL held a five-day retreat at its resource center in Dwazohn, Margibi County, where a five-year strategic plan was developed to re-engage collaborating actors, a process that is aimed at enhancing the proper use of natural resources.The retreat focused not only on conflict resolution in the management of natural resources, but also on strengthening a peaceful coexistence among member NGOs within the coalition.Abraham Guillen, then representative from the EU delegation who served as the installing officer, said it will be a huge benefit to the country if it is to manage its resources well.“Liberia is a very rich country, and every Liberian can benefit if the right things are done,” Mr. Guillen said. He was also the Team Leader of Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Support Unit.Guillen then urged the team to ensure unity among its members. “You need not to just work as a team but to differentiate the mandates of each member and the coalition. You can achieve a lot more for your country when you work hard,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Two men were killed in a Cornelia Ida, West Cost Demerara accident.Dead are Romeo Henry of Windsor Forest, WCD and Doesh Sukhnandan of La Jalousie, WCD.More details in Thursday January 25th edition of the Guyana Times.
In light of World Cancer Day 2018, a non-profit organization took the opportunity to launch its services to the general public. The Sar and B Non-profit Foundation aims to combat and reduce the effect of cancer on the Guyanese population by providing treatment and screening for citizens.Volunteerism enthusiast Bibi Sheonarine, with the help of her close relatives, friends and medical colleagues, launched the organization after experiencing first-hand the effect that cancer can have on patients and their families.Mrs Sheonarine expressed that the organization was founded in honor of her parents — Sarifan Amjad Yusuf and Mohamed Yusuf, and her mother-in-law Mangri Sheonarine, who all passed away due to varying types of cancer.Volunteerism enthusiast Bibi Sheonarine (centre) is flanked by members of the Sar&B FoundationShe explained that whilst on a volunteer mission distributing clothing to Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, she noticed that citizens of the other two countries seemed carefree, but a lot of Guyanese citizens told stories of being affected by cancer. As a result of this, she said, she felt compelled to leave her home in California to return home and start the organization.Specifically, the Sar and B Foundation is working to provide cancer screenings, mammograms and pap smears for citizens around Guyana. The foundation has already begun doing outreaches, providing pap smears for women. At the moment the foundation has 50,000 pap kits on order, to continue this type of outreach.Speaking at the intimate gathering of the launching of this foundation, Dr Narindat Sooknandan spoke about the struggle it has been to get accessible treatment and testing for patients.“We never had radio therapy, we never had chemotherapy, now we have all this,” he said.He expressed gratitude at being part of such an initiative, where he could be of service to those in need.To date, the Sar and B Foundation, with the assistance of Dr Sooknandan has done approximately 97 pap smears in areas on the West Coast of Demerara and in Berbice; and is looking forward to working with Government, hospitals, private doctors, businesses, and like-minded entities to bring a halt to cancer in Guyana.
The community of Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara will see the construction of a new Gurukula (learning institution) which is expected to be completed by the year 2020. A ground-breaking ceremony was consecrated with a havan on February 4, 2018, to commence the construction of the building. The land, measuring 300 feet by 100 feet, was donated by the Uitvlugt Arya Samaj.According to Dr Satish Prakash, who spearheads the operations, the building will function as a residential school but following the lines of an ashram as it relates to discipline. The curriculum will be dual-secular and religious and students will live at the institution.The proposed plan of the completed buildingThe aim of the secular curriculum will be to assist those persons who were not successful at their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and wish to rewrite eight of them, so as to gain admission at a university. Dual curriculum caters to CXC subjects, Hindi, Sanskrit, Shastras, yoga and music.Another objective of the organisation is to make it a centre for social service, and also function as a health centre, providing basic health care.Around 400 persons were present at the ceremony. Funds were donated for the construction and many have pledged to donate in the future to complete the institution.Dr Prakash aims at improving the moral values amongst Guyanese which have been diminished under the influence of suicides, broken homes, alcoholism, school dropouts, crime and economic slide. He will also lead the recruitment of teachers. This institution will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean and students will set across Guyana after studying to serve their society.