Open Letter to President Weah: Please Address Madam Sheba Brown’s Conflict of Interest

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Dear President Weah:

Hello. I am Elijah F. Chilar; I am a Liberian. For the purpose of this letter, let me also say that I have worked at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) from July 15, 2008 to January 12, 2018 serving as Head of Human Resources, Assistant Director of Administration for Human Resources, Deputy Director of Administration, and Director for General Support Services.

Mr. President, I am kindly and humbly requesting you to withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. D. Sheba Brown to the CBL Board of Governors for the following reasons.

Firstly, Mrs. Brown as a Commissioner at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission should not and must not serve on the CBL Board of Governors to avoid a situation where Mrs. D. Sheba Brown and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission will be “referee and player” in the exercise of her duties which will a “conflict of interest.”. For example, if a corruption issue arises at the CBL and it requires the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate while Mrs. D. Sheba Brown is serving on the CBL Board of Governors, is it not a “conflict of interest” situation for the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission? It is, Mr. President. Therefore, I am humbly asking you to withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. Brown to the CBL Board of Governors.

In fact, presidential appointees serving in government integrity institutions like the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the General Auditing Commission, and the Internal Audit Secretariat should not be appointed on boards of government institutions to avoid conflict of interest in the exercise of their respective duties.

My second reason requesting you to withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. D. Sheba Brown is this. While Mrs. Brown was serving as Director of Administration at the CBL, she grossly, openly, and defiantly violated a major personnel and administrative policy of the CBL by hiring her son in person of Mr. Rodney Brown in her office under her direct supervision; Mr. Rodney Brown still works at the CBL.

The CBL forbids and prohibits hiring of children, parents, spouses, brothers or sisters of the employees of the CBL and the Director of Administration is responsible to enforce the policy to avoid conflict of interest situation at the CBL. Unfortunately, being aware of such policy and being the Director of Administration responsible to enforce such policy, Mrs. Brown went ahead and hired her son, Mr. Rodney Brown, in her office under her direct supervision to the disbelief of the entire staff of the CBL, thereby posing as an “untouchable.”

At the time, Mrs. Brown hired her son, we all have children, brothers, sisters, and spouses who were without jobs but we did not attempt to hire them at the CBL because we did not want to violate such policy. For example, while I was serving as Head of Human Resources, my wife who now works at the Lone Star Communications Corporation and my brother who now works at the Forestry Development Authority were without jobs for a couple of years but I did not attempt to hire any of them at the CBL due to the CBL policy forbidding and prohibiting hiring of spouse and brother of employees of the CBL.

My third reason requesting you to withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. Brown to the CBL Board of Governors is this. Mrs. Brown is a Commissioner at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and so for her to serve on the CBL Board of Governors at the same time is against the intent and purpose of the Pro Poor Agenda of your Government.

If you consider the huge salary and benefits that Mrs. Brown is making at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and at the same time having her on the CBL Board of Governors where she will be getting board sitting fees and other benefits, it is giving one person more than it is necessary while hundreds of other Liberians are without jobs and without a day’s meal every day.

After all, there are hundreds of Liberians who are qualified, competent and patriotic to serve on the CBL Board of Governors. Presidential appointments and general employment in government should be strategically done in a way that it fulfils the intent and purpose of the pro poor agenda of your government by sharing the wealth (resources) of our country to a larger number of our citizens. Therefore, Mr. President, please withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. D. Sheba Brown to the CBL Board of Governors.

In fact, I hereby humbly recommend to you not to appoint any one, who is already serving in a government position to the board of any government institutions except for statutory members in order to appoint other qualified, competent and patriotic Liberians to such positions. Such is one of the ways the wealth (resources) of our country can be shared to a larger number of our citizens as much as possible.

This is my fourth reason for requesting you to withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. D. Sheba Brown to the CBL Board of Governors. When Mrs. Brown was retired, she requested for severance (tenure) payment for the number of years she worked for the National Bank of Liberia (NBL) now CBL for which she was previously paid; the records are there on file.

So, where is the integrity for the appointment/nomination of Mrs. D. Sheba Brown to the CBL Board of Governors, Mr. President? Mrs. Brown’s son, Mr. Rodney Brown, still works at the CBL and so if an issue concerning Mr. Rodney Brown requires the CBL Board of Governors to decide, what will be the role of his MOTHER, Mrs. D. Sheba Brown? Is this not a conflict of interest situation, Mr. President? It is, Mr. President.

Some people may not like me for this but my conscience is clear because by so doing I have done nothing wrong except that I am serving our country and I am supporting our government to succeed because if our government succeeds we succeed as a country but if our government fails we fail as a country.

Some people may say, who is he requesting you to withdraw appointment/nomination. My answer to such people is, why not, my reasons make sense for requesting for the withdrawal and as a citizen, it is my duty to do so for the President, the government and our country to succeed. The failure of any government is a failure for us all.

For example, I did not support your candidacy for president during the 2018 Presidential and Legislative Elections – I supported Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai – but after the elections, I tell people that we all should put elections behind us and support the president and the government because their success is our success and their failure is our failure as a country. For me, that is one of the good virtues and principle of democracy, patriotism and good citizenship.

In this public manner, I am humbly asking all Media Institutions, Civil Society Institutions, Political parties, our Elders and our foreign partners to join me to request the President to withdraw the appointment/nomination of Mrs. D. Sheba Brown to the CBL Board of Governors in the interest of transparency, accountability and good governance in our country, otherwise it will be a very bad precedent.

Thank you in advance, Mr. President, for considering my request. My best wishes and long live our Republic.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Elijah F. Chilar
0886665358
[email protected]

Cc:  Media Institutions
Civil Society Institutions
Liberia Council of Churches

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1 COMMENT

  1. What a wonderful God we serve!! Thank you Mr. Chillar.

    This situation is a clear indication that the state (Govt) has been captured by a few (cartel) – politicians and business men/women. these very people are everywhere in government and autonomous institutions of the state – like LFA, Sports teams, CSOs, etc.. These very people are now recruiting some of our best young men into their folds to ultimately corrupt them. They are opening law firms for just that purpose, for example.

    I hope the President is listening. At some point – in the nearest future – he has to clean house if we are to make progress. With these people around, the recycling of corruption and broad day theft will continue unabated. Sheba does not need to think which position to hold; it is a travesty.

    God have mercy!!

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