Sime Darby Employees Cry for Gov’t Protection

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Sime Darby security officer, Tamba, undergoing treatment at the SDPL hospital.

In order to live peacefully and continue their business activity in Western Liberia, workers of Sime Darby Plantation-Liberia (SDPL) have added their voice to citizens of Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties by appealing to the government and lawmakers from those counties to provide security protection for the company.

For now, the company is basically operating in the two counties, but the call was made following an attack on five security officers of the company by some unknown persons.

The incident was reported recently when over 30 men, suspected of being armed with cutlasses and other deadly weapons, allegedly attacked and wounded five of the company’s security guards. According to reports, the alleged robbers had gone to steal palm brunch from the plantation when they reportedly attacked the security guards.

In recent times, allegation of stealing has been going on at the plantation, until a forth night ago when officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) raided the area and made a number of arrests. But the suspects are yet to face court prosecution.

“We the citizens of Bomi and Grand Cape Mount want the government to protect this investment,” Madam Sarah Askie, a resident of Bomi, said while other citizens expressed similar concerns.

“You can not have such huge investment in these two counties that is not fully protected from marauding armed men, so let the government come and institute some measures to instill fear in the minds of anyone wanting to steal the company’s palm,” Lewis Keadi said.

Anthony Tamba, one of the security officers who was recently wounded by some unknown persons, said  that they want government to allow them to carry batons and handcuffs in order to protect themselves and the company’s facilities.

Tamba believes that in the absence of approval from government, they are afraid that those things could happen in the future.

It can be recalled that attacks at the plantation is not the first time. In recent past, a security officer was shot at by people who had reportedly gone to steal palm brunch. The victim was admitted at a local clinic for treatment . But reports from the plantation say the first victim has been transferred to another health facility apart from the one operated by SDPL management.

One of the employees, Rufus Jenkins, henceforth called on the government to ensure that protection of the investment is done in a business way. “As you know, this government told the entire world that it is investment friendly and will do everything to protect investments. But as it is for now, let our representatives from here take the lead,” Jenkins said.

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