By: Washington Tumay Watsonfirstname.lastname@example.org
Bong County District number six Representative Moima Briggs –Mensah has called on the Liberian Government through the Executive Branch to ensure the full operations of the local government’s Acts.
Representative Briggs –Mensah who is Bong County Legislative Caucus Chairperson said, there is a serious needs for the government and its developmental partners to support the elections of Chiefs and other local leaders across the country in line with the local government’s Acts and that of the constitution.
Speaking during a one day mediation Dialogue with Traditional Leaders from Montserrado and Bong Counties organized by the Angie Brooks international In Monrovia, the strong independent female lawmaker of Bong County said, chiefs are working at the will of the President and other top government officials, contrary to the local government’s Acts.
Representative Briggs-Mensah further disclosed that chiefs are working under fear of losing their jobs, if they do not adhere to the mandate from the higher ups, thus allowing the chiefs not to be independent in their function.
According to her, when the chiefs are elected by their people, they will serve properly, with independency, without worrying about being removed by top government officials.
She said most of the times, the local chiefs are to obey orders or calls from the top against their will because they have to feed their families with the little they can receive from the government .
Bong County Legislative Caucus Chairperson further said, chiefs are no longer respected by those who are close to those in power, stressing that chiefs are not consulted on those who are to open traditional Bush.
She further disclosed that because of the government’s inability to conduct local chiefs’ elections, the latter is affecting the democratic process of the country especially for women who are hopeful of providing leadership for their people.
Representative Briggs-Mensah said because chiefs are not elected, they have to take instructions from those in authority to use their traditional power to intimidate females who are aspiring to amplify the voices of women at the legislature.
Also speaking Bong County female paramount Chief, Mary Lahti and other chiefs at the gathering fully supported the holding of local elections for chiefs.
According to her and others, with the elections of chiefs , those elected will be able to work with their people without intimidation from their bosses by subjecting them to partisanship .
The chiefs expressed the hope that the government and its developmental partners will accept the call by their lawmaker to conduct local elections for chiefs.