Speaker Chambers Blames Past Gov’t for Country’s Failing Economy

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House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers.

The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government has refused, up to this moment, to take any blame for the country’s crumbling economy despite being in office for more than one year, and has blamed the past government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the current failure and its attendant hardships on the people.

The latest defense came from Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers who said the action and inaction of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Unity Party government have led the country into the current challenging situation it is faced with. Chambers, who is the Speaker of the 54th Legislature recently said in a radio interview at the Liberia Broadcasting System that the CDC government is doing all it takes to revamp the economy through the means of diversification.

He said at present several investors are expressing interest to do business in the country and the Legislature will be meticulous in reviewing and legislating those pieces of concession agreement(s) in order to meet the standards set by the laws of Liberia and that when they are good, the impact on the Liberian economy will be felt positively.

“This government — I mean the Weah administration — has accepted the challenges left behind by the past administration and is working to turn the situation around for the good of the Liberian people,” he said.

The Speaker, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since the beginning of the Sirleaf administration, said the failure of the past administration to properly legislate or put into law several concession agreements are responsible for the nation’s failing economy. He added that the Weah government is exerting frantic efforts to curb the prevailing situation, which is threatening the stability of the country at all ends.

“We all are aware of reports which clearly noted that out of the sixty-eight concession agreements signed between the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime and foreign companies or investors, only two were in line with the best international practices of concession deals between the government and the investors,” Chambers said.

He added that, unlike the Unity Party (UP) era, the CDC leadership will not fall prey to any corrupt or clandestine deals.“The Pro-poor agenda is about reaching out to those who have not partaken of the country’s benefits. This government’s intent is big and so we want to expand it. We don’t want to create a Utopian society. Therefore, we are not going to promise heaven on earth but do our best to change the course in our country’s history,” he promised.

With the country yet to receive the needed international support as it was with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, it is worrisome as to how the CDC regime may succeed in fulfilling all of its 2017 campaign promises.

About the work of journalists in the country, Speaker Chambers said journalists should stop stereotyping people for the sake of satisfying the political interests of others. “Journalists in the country have to refrain from stereotypical ways of reporting issues in the media. A number of bad taste reportage is often propagated by a few media practitioners. They need to desist from such practice,” he said.

He said journalism is a noble profession and he believes that it has rules and code of ethics that should be followed.

Chambers said journalists must have the courage to report and execute their functions in line with the ethics of their profession, to include objectivity, fairness, independence, impartiality, and humanity.

He, however, distanced himself from any plan to revoke the accreditation of Truth FM reporter Musa Kenneh and his colleagues assigned at the House of Representations for any reason.

Commenting further in his live radio broadcast, he said under his stewardship at the legislature, he will work with his colleagues for the promotion of the passage of reasonable laws and ensure that there is a proper representation, and constructive oversight, in consonance with the responsibilities of a sitting lawmaker.

Concerning the reports from the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) and Kroll Associates, Chambers said he is pleased that both the Legislature and President George Weah have been exonerated.”Many accused us without any proof that the Legislature, I mean both Houses, colluded with the Central Bank of Liberia under the stewardship of former Executive Director Milton Weeks to print more money and steal it. Thank God we have arrived at a conclusive point in which the issue of blame shifting is no longer directed at us,” he said.

He said come what may, it is expected that the US$25 million used for the mopping up exercise will be properly investigated as commissioned by President Weah and the findings from that report will be made public.

“Whoever will be found guilty, be it from the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank will face the law as it is now being done in the case involving Charles Sirleaf, Milton Weeks and their colleagues. We are in a country of law and I am of the strongest conviction that Liberians respect laws,” Chambers noted.

David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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