The General Services Agency (GSA) over the last few days has impounded Government of Liberia licensed vehicles, the Daily Observer has gathered. Some of the vehicles are reportedly parked in the courtyard of the Executive Mansion on Capitol Hill.
Police spokesman Sam Collins confirmed the report, saying, “While the GSA was impounding the vehicles, police officers supported the exercise.”
Up to press time last night, GSA Director General Mary Broh did not respond to calls or reply to a text message the Daily Observer sent to her seeking her official comment.
However, this newspaper gathered also that the action comes against the backdrop that many vehicles with government license plates belonging to the various ministries and agencies have been replaced with private plates.
The exercise intensified last Friday and has frequently caused traffic congestion at the Vamoma Junction in Sinkor and other intersections in Monrovia.
An eyewitness told the Daily Observer on Sunday afternoon that GSA Director Broh, on two occasions, arrested two government vehicles from those the vehicles had been assigned to. They had reportedly removed government’s license plates in an attempt to make them their private property.
“At the compound where the incident took place in Sinkor a guy brought a vehicle and parked it, and then replaced the license plate with a private plate,” an eyewitness said. “He did not know that GSA security officers were deployed in strategic places to trace government marked vehicles and so after he left the vehicle and later returned he was told Madam Broh had taken the vehicle away.”
Another eyewitness recalled how a driver, who went to the Ministry of Transport last week to arrange for his car’s license plate, realized that most of the vehicles at the compound had private plates rather than their previously assigned GoL license plates.
There are also stories yet to be confirmed that many government vehicles with O-plates have vanished from the streets of Monrovia.
Further reports from the leeward counties also yet to be confirmed informed the Daily Observer that some of the vehicles assigned to local authorities have already been turned to scrap and important parts removed.
It may be recalled that when the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) headed by the late Charles Gyude Bryant turned over to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration, many of the GoL owned vehicles went missing though a few were recovered by the authorities.
It may be recalled that the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) license plate on one of the vehicles was removed and that vehicle was rented to one of the competing political parties during the 2005 elections.
When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won her second term in 2011, some lawmakers who lost their positions reportedly ‘looted’ equipment including computers, chairs, and tables, and even went as far as taking away window curtains.
The ongoing exercise, according to a police source, is done regularly whenever one administration of government is taking over from another.