Dillon’s KaKaKoro

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Fowls, including wild and domesticated ones, feed on a variety of insects including bugs and even perhaps beetles. But there is a particular kind of bug or beetle no wild or domesticated fowl would dare attempt to swallow. Just about every ethnic group is familiar with the characteristic of this bug and they all know that fowls especially chickens do not dare mess with it. This is because the bug, once swallowed, cannot go down the digestive tract, neither can the fowl regurgitate it. Its strangulating effect eventually leads to death.

The Kpelle word for this bug is KaKaKoro. A popular play song amongst kids goes like this… “KaKaKoro teh va Kpaylay” literally meaning, KaKaKoro, chickens dare not swallow”.

Senate newbie, Darius Dillon’s gambit he has thrown out to his colleagues in the national Legislature appears to be strongly resonating with the public but chances that the rest of his colleagues will follow suit remain highly suspect and for good reasons too. Already, some of his colleagues have reportedly expressed disagreement and have vowed to ignore his call which they see as a play to the galley. Some are even threatening his removal by a “Joint Resolution”.

Whatever the case may be, there can be no denying that Senator Dillon’s stance has created much discomfort for many of his colleagues who may find it extremely difficult weaning themselves off a US$15,000 monthly dose of cash to settle for less than half a dose.

Liberian legislators rank amongst the highest paid in Africa and perhaps the world. For a poor country of 3.5 million people, most of who live on less than a dollar per day, a monthly paycheck of fifteen thousand US dollars per legislator can rightly be considered nothing less than predatory.

And it is for this reason that Senator Dillon’s statement appears to be resonating so well with the public. Interestingly, some legislators who have hitherto prided themselves as bearers of the people’s trust have remained mute, at least publicly, in response to Senator Dillon’s “KaKaKro”.

So far there is only one legislator who has not only expressed support for the Montserrado County Senator but has vowed to follow suit — it is Representative Yekeh Kolubah. Other legislators have remained quiet and there is no telling whether they will yield to public pressure to fall in line especially in view of threats by the voting public to deny those non-compliant legislators a second term.

Senator Dillon’s move has clearly raised the bar, but he may yet find himself confronted with even greater challenges other than salary and benefit cuts. Such challenges may come in the form of brown envelopes to grease the palms in order to ensure the passage of certain bills in favor of vested interests.

In the eyes of his detractors, Senator Dillon is seeking cheap popularity at the expense of his colleagues, some of who lack the courage and stamina to take him head on. However there is no dispute that the Senator’s move has earned him plaudits from the public and placed a heavy burden on the heads of his colleagues.

Perhaps public threats of rejection at the polls may be sufficient to move some legislators into complementary mode and yield to public pressure to follow suit. Whatever the case, Senator Dillon by his action has thrown out a gambit that may prove to be in essence a “KaKaKro”. Only those with “large throats” and strong regurgitating abilities (true patriots) can dare venture.

4 COMMENTS

  1. For God sake! Who in their mind crafted such high salaries for our lawmakers knowingly known the poverty level of Liberians and the cost of living in our country is averagely $1.50 cents per day. I think Hon. Dillion did the right thing and that’s what a true comrade will do to supports the people’s struggle. I really now understand why we are were we are today’s in Liberia global standing in terms of our infrastructures development. How can a nation like Liberia national budget allocate 35% to lawmakers that actually work probably 2 days a week, goes on vacation for 3 to 4 months with paid and that’s just fine with them. This is the real motive behind fighting and killing each other for these kind of elected position in Liberia. We need people to understand that, the job of representing your people is all about sacrifices and true love from you to your people and not the other way around. We as Liberians need to address this very issue about what it means to be a senator or representative for your people, what to expect and the sacrifices that comes along with the position. Don’t see it as a position to enriching yourself rather you are the connecting link between government and your people and most of all, the other eyes of your people being represented. How can they earned such salaries and claimed they are working for their people? It is their people working working for them which is wrong and should never had happened in the midst of many smart and intelligent Liberians working as lawmakers. They should have put Liberia first and their selfish interests. Until Liberians can learn to put Liberia first, Liberia will remained like a merry go round for a very long time. J. Ark

    • President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf initiated this and the blame rests squarely with her. More than making this a publicity stunt and exposing this thievery by the lawmakers as the Liberian populace sinks deeper into poverty, Senator Dillon should take this further by crafting a bill that seeks to effect salary reduction of the lawmakers as he is proposing; and then building support around this with other like-minded lawmakers.

  2. The payment of high salaries to the lawmakers of Liberia is a national disgrace. Something has to done in order for the payment of high salaries to be seriously looked into, if not completely stopped.

    Nonviolent Protest is the answer.

    The Indian freedom fighter, Mr. Gandhi used the tactic of nonviolence to liberate India from the imperial grip of the British. Nonviolence simply means to fight for something that’s in your best interest persuasively without the use of violent force. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a nonviolent tactic. It was used effectively in Alabama, USA, by Dr. King and his associates. The boycott called for all black Americans to offer rides (not necessarily free) amongst themselves without riding on public buses throughout the state. So for instance, if a black person had to go to work, a black person who was free from his or her job, went out to provide a ride.

    At first, many white people dismissed the strategy as a waste of time. Guess what? The doomsayers were stupidly mistaken. A period of months had gone by and black Americans did not cave in. In the end, the courts entered into the fray. Dr. King and his associates won.

    I strongly believe that the nonsensical payment of high salaries to the legislators of Liberia can be stopped by a nonviolent means! Such a tactic, is referred to as civil disobedience.

    So, how could a civil disobedience tactic work effectively in Liberia without anyone losing his or her life?
    Okay let’s take a listen: Just a few examples….

    1. All public and private school teachers will stay home for a week, nationwide,

    2. All college and university professors will stay home for a week, nationwide,

    3. Parents and non- parents will converge on Capital Hill, nonviolently every day for one week and
    4. Students across the nation will boycott classes for a week.

    The strategy will work. The strategy may not work overnight, but it will eventually put pressure on the legislators to do something.

    The suggestions I have mentioned are for internal purposes. But we can go external.

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