-Due to ‘lack of political support’ from Weah Administration
The Daily Observer has reliably learned that the donor community, which has been responsible for at least 80 percent of the Liberia Land Authority’s (LLA) support, is greatly concerned about the recent resignation of the LLA’s chairman, Dr. Cecil O. Brandy, apparently due to lack of political support from the Weah Administration.
According to Stanley Toe, LLA’s executive director, Dr. Brandy, whose tenured position expires in 2020, submitted his letter of resignation in December 2018, asking the President to allow him to retire “due to illness.” In the letter, which was accepted by Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, on behalf of the President, Dr. Brandy said that he would remain in office up to January 31, 2019.
Mr. Toe said Mr. McGill, in return, lauded Dr. Brandy for the level of work done at the LLA and other government institutions.
However, a source at the LLA told the Daily Observer that the donor community is gravely concerned about the lack of political support from the Government of Liberia to the Land Authority, which is a significant part of the reason why Brandy resigned.
“Dr. Brandy is very passionate about Liberia’s land development and, having him to resign due to lack of support from the government is shocking. President Weah needs to work with Dr. Brandy if he has the intention of solving land problems in the country,” the source told the Daily Observer.
“The donor community has invested much in the land sector of Liberia and will like to see more support from the national government. Land issues have to be taken seriously, and people with passion must be given the opportunity to contribute to land development,” the source said.
According to the 2018-2019 national budget, only US$1,549,373 has been appropriated to the LLA by the Government of Liberia, not more than 20 percent, with the rest given by the donor community. Amounts generated from the donor community amount to more than US$6 million each year.
Dr. Brandy recently told the Daily Observer that Liberia continues to experience huge land conflicts in Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa counties as these are the “red zones” of land conflicts in the country. This assertion comes against the current backdrop of a spate of land-related conflicts which appear to be on the increase.
Dr. Brandy, who joined LLA in 2008, said Liberia is overwhelmed with land cases, indicating that the rural communities are also experiencing the problem, especially those involving boundary disputes between clans.
“Margibi is seriously overwhelmed with land cases, including Duazohn community. It is considered as the corridor of land problems in Liberia. Marshall and Todee have many land cases ranging from double sales to fake ownership. Bong, Nimba, and Montserrado continue to have more cases,” he said.
“Nothing about the land issue is small, as the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) laid-out procedures are now in place to resolve land conflicts,” Dr. Brandy said.