But concerns linger of notoriety and involvement in civil war
A pro-democracy group, the Democratic Watch Forum (DWF), has said that President George Weah could not have made a better choice to head the Ministry of Labor than former Lofa County District #5 Representative, Moses Y. Kollie. There are, however, lingering concerns about his alleged notoriety and involvement in the Liberian civil war.
The group said Kollie has the requisite expertise, experience and vigor to transform the country’s labor sector, and lauded the President for such a farsighted and upright decision.
Minister-designate Kollie was among the second batch of 83 appointees recently announced by the Executive Mansion. He is currently the chairman of the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP), one of the three political parties that formed the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), of which he is also the vice chairman.
However, the Minister designate, according to residents of Salayea District Lofa was a notorius and feared commander of the rebel National Patriotic Front (NPFL) who once ordered his men to apply “Baboon koto”(a hot burning substance) to a woman’s private parts and had her placed in the hot sun for hours. The woman, according to reports had been accused of infidelity. He was named in the TRC report as a perpetrator of human rights abuse following testimony by several witnesses to his involvement in human rights abuse during the civil war.
But the Democratic Watch Forum said, “Minister-designate Kollie, as a founding member of the Civil Servants Association of Liberia (CSAL) and a major player himself in the agriculture sector, will be an efficient agent in furthering the President’s pro-poor agenda.”
DWF executive chairman Anthony Wesseh, in a statement issued in Monrovia, said, “We are of the conviction that Mr. Kollie comes to the job with vast understanding of the plight of workers.”
He also expressed the hope that Kollie will design and push policies that would bring dignity and sanctity to the country’s labor force.
DWF believes the appointment of the former lawmaker further testifies to the President’s desire to transform the labor sector of the country and also ensures that government will address disadvantages and other unfavorable conditions in the employment sector.
The group recalled the significant roles Kollie and other colleagues, especially Jefferson Elliot, played in establishing the CSAL in the early 2000’s. The CSAL is an organization that champions the cause of civil servants and other government employees in the face of threats and intimidation.
DWF also expressed confidence in Kollie’s administrative skills and his enormous knowledge in policy and law-making, adding that during his time in the legislature, Kollie also served as chairman of the committees on Investment and Concession, and Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning.
The pro-democracy group prayed that Kollie’s appointment will add impetus to his work as chief administrator of the country’s labor sector.
Kollie holds a bachelor degree in Public Administration (BPA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Liberia. He also holds a Certificate in Financial and Economic Management from the West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in Lagos, Nigeria.