-Dr. Kimmie L. Weeks
Internationally acclaimed Liberian activist and humanitarian Dr. Kimmie Weeks has called on members of the National Legislature to immediately begin a process to slash their compensation packages by at least 50% and divert the savings to supporting investments in education, health care, and the creation of jobs for young people. Dr. Weeks made the statement when he appeared on various radio talk shows last week to discuss his recent departure from corporate Liberia to focus his full attention on addressing national issues.
Weeks highlighted that a growing number of Liberian families are facing hardships. “It does not take a rocket scientist to know that there are significantly more Liberians facing extreme circumstances. There are more Liberians who are going to bed hungry daily, more clinics and hospitals that lack necessities, and more young people who are unable to pay their tuition,” Weeks pointed out. Weeks said that with the level of hardship facing Liberians, it is inhumane that the National Legislature alone was consuming millions of dollars annually simply in compensation for Legislators and their staff. “Imagine the massive impact that would take place in our education and health care sector if our lawmakers passed adjustments in the law to divert millions of dollars from paying themselves to investing in education and health care.”
Kimmie Weeks who was known for strong stance on national issues prior to entering corporate Liberia went on to call for lawmakers to begin to take measures to cut their salaries by a minimum of 50% and divert the savings into the education and health sectors. Weeks said: “We are at a juncture in Liberia when many families are going to bed hungry, hospitals lack basic necessities, and many young people are out of school because they cannot afford to pay tuition. It is unthinkable that with these circumstances our lawmakers are allegedly making upwards of US$17,000. We call on them to begin the conversation to cut their salaries by a minimum of 50% and direct that back into the budget not for paying other salaries but to invest in education, health care and the creation of job opportunities.”
Weeks concluded that Senators and Representatives needed to set an example of being transparent by releasing information about the value of their compensation packages and lead the way for austerity measures by taking steps to cut all excesses and waste at the National Legislature