Senator Sherman Questions Mano Palm Legality to Operate

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Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman

— Says Mano Palm reneging on US$12M transferred Sime Darby’s social obligations to Grand Cape Mount

Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, has informed the Liberian Senate that the Mano Palm Oil Plantation, Inc. which took over the Sime Darby Oil Palm concession in his county, may be operating outside concession of guidelines.

“It is my information that whatever was entered into between the Government of Liberia, Sime Darby and Mano Palm, which was intended to effectuate the transfer of the Concession agreement from Sime Darby to Mano Palm was never submitted to the Legislature for ratification as the original concession agreement was. If this information is true, it is my considered opinion that this failure or dereliction affects the legality and the binding effect of the transfer and exhibits a total disregard for the Legislature in the Concession transfer process,” Senator Sherman pointed out in a three-page communication to the Senate.

The July 2009 Concession Agreement allowed Sime Darby an operating area of 31,010 hectares of land in Grand Cape Mount, 57,003 hectares of land in Bomi County; 55,342 hectares of land in Bong County, and 159,827 hectares of land in Gbarpolu for the purpose of palm oil and natural rubber plantations and the production of products of these two crops.

The communication disclosed that Sime Darby only developed and utilized 5,600 hectares of land in Grand Cape Mount as an oil palm plantation, but did not develop or utilize lands in any of the other three counties.

Section 19.5 of the Concession Agreement obligates Sime Darby, as the investor, to make an annual contribution of US$5.00 for each hectare of land within its developed areas to a community fund to be used for development purposes for the county in which its developed area exists.

“However, Sime Darby never complied with this financial obligation to the people of Grand Cape Mount until it sold its interest in the concession agreement to Mano Palm oil Plantation Inc., which was concluded in early 2020. In recognition of section 33.10 of the Concession agreement which makes its terms binding on Sime Darby’s successor, the amount of US$12 million was reportedly made available to Mano Palm; notwithstanding, Mano Palm too has not discharged the financial obligations of Sime Darby to the people of Grand Cape Mount as at the date of this communication.”

Concluding his communication, dated March 16, 2021, Senator Sherman, who chairs the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions, requested plenary to cite the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Director General of the Bureau of Concessions and Mano Palm Oil Plantations Inc., for a five-count enquiry.

Senator Sherman wants the Senate to launch an investigation into the compliance of Sime Darby and Mano Palm with respect to their corporate social responsibilities to the people of Grand Cape Mount County pursuant to Section 19.5 of the Concession agreement.

The Senate’s intervention, according to Cllr. Sherman’s letter, “Is to ascertain the status of the US$12 Million which Sime Darby deposited with Mano Palm and to determine why Mano Palm has not paid to the people of Grand Cape Mount their overdue and unpaid entitlements.

It is also to show cause if any, why Mano Palm, has not paid the US$5.00 for the 5,600 hectares of land it utilized in Cape Mount during 2020, and to determine whether the agreement by which the Concession was transferred from Sime Darby to Mano Palm was ever ratified by the Legislature, and if not, why.”

In a strong-worded motion, Maryland County Senator, J Gbleh-bo Brown, requested that the communication be sent to the Committees on Concessions and Investment, Agriculture and Judiciary with the mandate to do a thorough investigation to report to plenary a week after the Easter break.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    If the con man himself was not in bed with the crooked regime, and was on top of the job that the citizens of Grand Cape Mount sent him to do in their interest, the citizens of Cape Mount would not have been crooked by the regime of their portion of the 12 million US dollars.
    The citizens of Grand Cape Mount County sent a crook to represent them in the House of Laws. But instead the crook decided to work along with thieves that out crooked the con man himself of the people’s money.
    Now he asking for his share of the 12 million US dollars. And being by the authorities at the Ministry of Finance, your share is in the mail. Meaning that was another sum of money that was never reported to the lawmakers. 12 million US dollars without accountability.
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

  2. But Mr. Editor and Mr. Reporter, WHAT A ONE SIDED STORY! Are the people of Grand Cape Mount County, or at the least the national public not entitled to the other side of the story…?The Mano Palm’s side of the story. In fact, no mention of the MANAGEMENT, proprietor or proprietors of the Mano Palm Company. We mean names, etc. etc.???

  3. True Nationalist has a point related to two key standards of journalism. First, completeness or thoroughness of stories, and, second, fairness. Unless a series is being written, readers shouldn’t be left guessing. And to ensure balanced reporting, the company’s public relations office should’ve been asked for a comment.

    Needless to say, it amazes many that in spite of widely publicized reports about 64 out of 66 concessions agreements approved by the previous government were bogus, no known attempt has been made to review them for renegotiations. Ironically, the Senate Judiciary Committee ought to have been the body asking pertinent questions about them

    The truth of the matter is that unlawfully-acquired or illegal contracts aren’t binding, therefore, international agreements will not be violated for thwarting furthermore of fraud. Most investors not only want their operations to be seen as guided by integrity, but also are conscious of corporate responsibilities to the communities where they do business. But when politicians and bureaucrats collect proverbial brown envelopes religiously, and then assure managements to not worry about noises of locals, the government lacks adequate revenues to pay salaries, and implement development projects thereby widening discontent.

    • You see Mr. S. Gbayahforh Moses, what inter alia actually strikes the conscience and even attempts to incinerate the imagination, are,

      (1) besides these guys’ modus vivendi of paid to politicize or advocacy journalism for the highest bidder, or even their recklessness viz viz public policies, laws, and regulations which affect media structure and operation, a person as J. Burgess Carter who have been reporting for somewhere around 50 years, or even more as is the case with individuals as John H.T.Stewart Jr. would

      (2) generally have absolutely no regard for such core key principles of journalism as TRUTH AND ACCURACY, FAIRNESS, INDEPENDENCE, HUMANITY, AND ACCOUNTABILITY, thereby confirming Leymah Gbowee’s observation of “the Liberian media being a biased guard dog for the highest bidder instead of performing its role as a watchdog to expose the ills in the society.“ In short these journalists hardly ever adhere to THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY THEORY OF JOURNALISM.

      Take for example their conduct in this Brownie Samukai’s case , in which the usage of ”blatant lies or propaganda” would be understatements debunking their disseminations which are no different from those which are emitted by ”transmission belts” on behalf of culprits or cartel, or as the case here a convicted felon.

      Dissecting their modus operandi, all inter alia one observes and may confirm is that what are being put out by FrontPageAfrica and Daily Observer are absolute DISINFORMATION carried out in the interest of the convicted felon, these news outlets, the so called corrupt and unreliable opposition, AND NOT IN THE INTEREST OF THE TRUTH OR THE INTENDED RECIPIENT ..THE PUBLIC.

      Everything they emit are generally always certain to be in some respects misleading or not fully truthful and are usually cannot stand up to the professional journalistic scrutiny viz the standards of reasonableness, fairness, truth and accuracy or completeness, not to talk of good faith!

      CORRUPT POLITICIANS (eg. Brownie Samukai, etc.), especially in this day and age of the ”INVESTMENT THEORY OF POLITICS” ( eg.Cassell and his PLP) are certainly A MENACE to any society, polity, or nation, but the conduct of these reporters and editors are far far far worse!!!

    • Laughing Out Loud. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !
      Due to fairness, the publisher should go and get the side of the company’s account, and asked did you the regime in taxes and your social responsibility to the people of Grand Cape Mount ? Did you ? The con artist Senator Sherman is asking questions whether the amount of 12 million US dollars was paid to the regime after the signing and after the turnover of your company ? Do care to respond to this publisher in all fairness to the general public ?
      The company’s account to the reporter, get the HELL OF MY PROPERTY OR HAVE YOU ARRESTED.
      The citizens have seen this kind of movie in the so-called fairness where by the reporter is chasing the tail of the question, like a dog chasing its own tail.
      But one will wondered if Director of National Security, Mr. Moses ever went out of his way to provide details informations to the public and to journalists in fairness to the public’s right to know on pressing issues ?
      The fact of the matter that concerned the public is , the previous owners of the palm oil company sold out the palm oil company, and all agreements were met before departing the country. That’s what the citizens are aware of so far. Now questions are being asked concerning 12 million US dollars, and the failure of the regime to inform the Senate, perhaps through its judiciary system concerning concessions.
      And all of a sudden and in defense of the regime, the reporter and the publisher should have reported the account of the new palm oil company’s side of the story.
      The citizens spoke about 16 billion in local currency stolen before. The citizens spoke about the 25 million US dollars that was meant to mop-up depreciated currency in circulations.
      Now 2021, it is 12 million US dollars. And the new narrative is the the reporter should have first checked out with the new palm oil company to get their side of the story in fairness to the general public.
      Of course, the former National Security Director is aware of this kind of political game being played on the citizens. He too has politically played this very well played game before.
      It is about the questionable 12 million US dollars that the con artist Senator who feels duped of wants to know about.
      Where’s the Grand Cape Mount County people’s money George and Samuel ? When will this kind of stealing public money actually come to a stop ? Are you guys trying to prove the Biblical Scriptures right ? That the rich through stolen wealth will continued to be rich and the poor will continued to remain poor ? Is this what the Pro-poor Agenda For Prosperity means, and has come to ? George and Samuel ?
      Where’s the money ? Go ask the palm oil company .
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
      What A God Forsaken Regime ? 12 million US dollars gone missing again ?
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

  4. James Davis

    An unsupported – some would say slanderous – statement such as “Of course, the former National Security Director is aware of this kind of political game being played on the citizens… He too has played this kind of political game before” as response to a reasoned comment suggests dementia. And “he too played this kind of political game on citizens before”; duh, what provoked that drivel?

  5. Yap. According to his critics, the gentleman who’s spearheading the above investigation is more than a con artist. Don’t ask me, ask his enemies!

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