Karnwea Quits FDA Job

Mr. Karnwea reportedly resigned to retire at Cocopa

Harrison S. Karnwea, managing director of the Forestry Development Authority, has resigned his post, the Daily Observer reliably learned over the weekend.

Mr. Karnwea’s letter of resignation, according to a well-placed source, is already in the Office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It is not clear whether the President has accepted it.

This newspaper also learned that Mr. Karnwea resigned to return to the Cocopa Rubber Plantation as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI), the company that manages the Cocopa Plantation.

Though Karnwea has not confirmed his resignation; he is on record for expressing his desire to retire at Cocopa and revamp the plantation.

It can be recalled that Karnwea’s recent crossover to the Liberty Party (LP) from the Unity Party (UP) angered a cross-section of Nimbaians including Senator Prince Y. Johnson and Representative Worlea Saywah Dunah, who said Karnwea’s political decision threatened the county’s unity.

Sen. Johnson, for example, described Karnwea’s cross-carpeting to LP as ‘laughable,’ as he will become one of those “political bats” masquerading the political terrain.

Johnson is the political leader of opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR).

His response to Karnwea’s decision to switch parties was prompted by calls from Nimba UP lawmaker Dunah that Mr. Karnwea should resign as head of the FDA, the agency overseeing the country’s forestry sector.

“It is the will of Nimba lawmakers to decide on what is right, but I think Karnwea’s resignation (from UP) has nothing to benefit our beloved county, neither the country, because he has nothing significant politically to offer the county,” Sen. Johnson countered.

According to him, Karnwea “has no weight to present the county to any politician, least to mention a political party.”

Johnson said he had gathered from a well-placed source that Mr. Karnwea wants to become a running mate to Cllr. Brumskine, a decision which he said, “has no steam.”

The multi-party system of governance calls for one to exercise free political will, “but the defection of former UP partisans is because of shame, and a complete misrepresentation of the culture of democracy,” Johnson opined.

“Why jump from place to place like a bat only because the UP has failed to deliver on its campaign promises?” PYJ inquired, noting, “They will be paid for their good job at the ballot box on October 10.”

Representative Worlea Saywah Dunah, a member of the UP Legislative Caucus, had also called on Karnwea to resign his post as FDA managing director “without the least delay.”

Like Senator Johnson, Rep. Dunah and Mr. Karnwea are prominent sons of Nimba County, hailing from Zoe-Geh Statutory District, a predominately Gio/Dan region.

Mr. Karnwea recently resigned from the governing UP and joined the opposition Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.

The decision has been described by some politicians as a blow to the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai, who is seeking the presidency in the October polls. VP Boakai has denied being frustrated, particularly by Karnwea’s defection.


  1. It is Karnwea’s prerogative if he wants to resign or retire from FDA. If he decides to go into private business, he is still making some meaningful contribution to the country. Our over reliance on political positions or working only for the government in Liberia is a disgrace. There are too many ways to contribute to Liberia’s economic development without being a politician or working for the government.

    How will Liberia ever develop when most students are studying political science, public administration or law? Liberia needs all types of engineers, scientists, doctors, pilots, agriculturalists, computer specialist, electricians, plumbers, builders, heavy duty mechanics, nurses, lab technicians, manufacturing technicians, entrepreneurs and many more. Who is going to rebuild the country that Liberians destroyed? Foreigners will not build Liberia for Liberians! We have to do it for ourselves!

    Liberia is a fragile nation where hyper-partisanship, tribalism and excessive polarization are undermining our development. People of different ethnic groups and different parties are not working together to move the whole nation to economic prosperity. If one party does not succeed or work with other parties, be it the executive branch or legislative branch, such dysfunctionality results in the failure of the whole nation.

    Let us put Liberia first before our individual party, before our personal aggrandizement, or ethnic affiliation. The world does not look at Liberia’s poverty or under-development from our partisan lenses or tribal affiliation. The world classifies all Liberians as one people who are poor. The world considers Liberia as one of the least developed country in the world. Irrespective of our ethnic or political affiliation, Liberians should put our country first. We are all Liberians. We either succeed together as one nation or we fail together as one nation. The world is watching!


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