CDC Warns Against Protest over ‘Missing Billions’

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Mr. Morlu: “There are bad elements within the NEC working against the CDC."

-Describes ex-President Sirleaf as propagandist, TRC’s criminal indictee, ANC Cummings as underdog

The governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has warned against today’s protest and encouraged Liberians to go about their normal businesses, arguing that the George Weah-led government has nothing to do with the reported “missing L$16 billion.”

CDC National Chairman, Mulbah Morlu, said the masses must not get involved into any protest, but should be patient and that if anyone is caught in any financial malfeasance, that person will be prosecuted.

Morlu reassured Liberians that businesses and schools will remain open, and that no one should stay away for being afraid of a “political bluff that is being master-minded by a handful of unpatriotic opposition on the pretext of protest.”

He also warned CDC partisans to be peaceful, and not get mixed up in any brazen political demonstration.

“Let me say to all marketers, our students, civil servants, and ordinary Liberians, go about your normal businesses as of Monday. Do not be perturbed or distracted by a political bluff of a handful of Liberians who do not have the capacity,” Mr. Morlu declared.

He accused the standard bearer of opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, of sponsoring the impending protest, describing Cummings as an underdog in the 2017 Presidential and Representatives election, with the ANC taking 5th place.

Up to press time last night, neither Mr. Cummings nor the ANC had responded to Mr. Morlu’s claims.

“CDC has heartened Liberians to continue to trust and respect President George M. Weah, having given him the mandate to lead, because he will definitely end corruption in public service and not let them down,” Morlu assured.

He told Liberians that, with the setting up of an investigation committee, including international partners, there will be a transparent and rational conclusion of the “missing L$16 billion,” which has drawn the George Weah-led government under domestic and international scrutiny.

According to him, President Weah will remain the “country’s giant,” to clean the mess it inherited from the past government. He also stressed that the CDC is aware of “a political deception, cunning and treachery masterminded by the opposition.”

Mr. Morlu has meanwhile sharply disagreed with former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf that the eight-month-old government under President Weah has done nothing, arguing that the CDC-led government has done much as compared to her regime, describing Madam Sirleaf as a propagandist.

He said it is obvious that the missing L$16 billion did not involve President Weah, because the extra L$11 billion printed was authorized by former President Sirleaf and ex-Central Bank of Liberia Governor Milton Weeks, with the intent to destroy the “good character” of President Weah.

He therefore wants the Special Investigation Committee to question Madam Sirleaf, in order to have her tell her side of the story.

Morlu’s statement is in support of a similar comment made by Bong County District #3 Representative Melvin Cole, following an earlier argument that called on members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to interrogate Madam Sirleaf for her role surrounding circumstances of the missing L$16 billion.

He also called for imprisonment of Mr. Weeks, adding: “This man should have been incarcerated by now, having been the head of the autonomous entity that have the sole authority to print, import and keep the country’s money.”

He said that the Legislature only authorized the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to print L$5 billion, not L$16 billion.

It may be recalled that in May and April 2018, through two resolutions adopted by two-third members of the total membership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, an authorization was given to the CBL to print additional L$5 billion in compliance with Article 34 d (II).

Article 34 d (II) of the 1986 Constitution states: “No monies shall be drawn from the treasury except in consequence of appropriations made by legislative enactment, and upon warrant of the President, and no coin shall be minted or national currency issued except by the expressed authority of the Legislature. An annual statement and account of the expenditure of all public monies shall be submitted by the office of the President to the Legislature and published once a year.”

Morlu also called for questioning of CBL Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf, son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Author

  • I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, Weah’s officials do need to get their act together. Each one seems to be croaking from his own hymnal. No wonder people find it difficult believe their story.

    In this regard, it may help if the INVESTIGATORS could remember to question John Bestman, David Farhat, and all other members of the Central Bank’s Board of Directors. These characters are paid BIG U.S. BUCKS for their services, and would normally approve all major decisions taken by Management, on such matters as the printing, importation, and security of the L$16 Billion now reported “missing”.

  2. A big thanks to those who took to the streets to demonstrate for the missing 16’Billion dollars.Liberians must not be intimidated in exercising their constitutional rights. We demand an immediate release of the findings.

  3. Liberians need to know how to TRUST their Own securities personnel… WHY bring in foreign security personnel…Do you know what this security apparatus did or still do to black people in the US.?

    Trust your own security personnel…

  4. Morlu is right to suggest that the protesters should calm down. By suggesting that, Morlu is not saying that the protesters do not have a right to express themselves, neither should the protesters not be concerned at all about the mysterious disappearance of the missing money. Of course not. Please cool it. Weah has promised to get to the bottom of this fiasco. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, a protest cannot and will not solve the missing money debacle. Please, let’s calm ourselves down.

    Peace.

  5. What’s alarming is that members of the Legislature do not understand their own instructions about the printing of new notes. It now seems like neither does the ruling government party Chair understands the full instruction.

    The Legislature actually did give EJS administration authorization to print the amount printed, unless the current government can prove the amount printed was more than the legacy notes in circulation. That’s what the Finance Minister, I believe was attempting to reconcile in his public statement. One should rely on his and the CBL Chair’s judgements than any other cabinet official.

    Below is a free legal analysis of what the Legislature authorize and what became ot it. I am relying solely on public information I have read in the various online publications of the local papers and do not have access to any other information or access to any official of both the current or prior administration.

    The instruction was two-fold. The first specified an amount of L$5B, which the Central had the responsibility to execute. Upon printing of this initial amount, there were additional L$10B legacy notes still in circulation. So the CBL printed an additional L$10B to replace them. The question, why didn’t the CBL seek Legislative approval, stems from the fact that the Legislature already granted approval in the original authorization when it mandated that all legacy notes be replaced completely. Unless the Legislature can prove that only L$5B legacy notes were in circulation, they have no credible proof the CBL printed excess.

    Below was the second in the two-fold instructions given:

    “to replace the legacy notes completely with the newly printed banknotes so that there will be a single type of Liberian currency, thus facilitating proper control of the money supply.”

    The burden of proof lies with the current administration.

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