By Mark Mengonfia
Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh says the food distribution (Stimulus package) that started on May 23, 2020 is not a 4.1.9 [is not a false process]
Minister Tarpeh spoke over the weekend when he attended a dedicatory ceremony organized by the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) through an effort from Commerce Inspector General, Josephine Davies.
Minister Tarpeh told the gathering that they are on course with the distribution of the stimulus package as was approved by the Liberian Legislature to be done in the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia.
Since the approval of said distribution, there have been delays and postponement over the period of time.
Recently about two weeks ago, the distribution of the stimulus package started, but very slowly.
In his statement, the Commerce Minister said the Weah led government is not what he called “rush, rush government” but said “we are taking time for the right things to be done.”
According to him, the distribution of the stimulus package started two weeks ago, but was taken aback when he visited Facebook and saw some people posting on social media that the process has failed.
He indicated that they have received all of the funding for said project adding that the International Monetary Fund has provided additional US$50million for said project.
“We want citizens of the communities to be part of the distribution process, I will not take someone from different community to distribute food in other areas. That is why I am working with the community leadership,” he said.
According to him, he doesn’t want to leave the distribution of the food items to NGOs.
He went on to say this Tuesday, enumerators will be in the Peace Island Community for the purpose of getting the total number of members of household.
The stimulus package is or was intended to identify with Liberians during the period of the State of Emergency ( SOE), the period when the Lockdown was from 6am to 3pm, but it did not take effect until the lockdown period has changed from 6am to 6pm and recently to 9pm.
Due to how slow the process is moving, many Liberians have considered it as a 4-1-9 only intended to collect found from donors for their own purpose.
“That is same thing they did with the US$25million that was intended for mop up,” Joseph Flomo Kerkulah, a resident of Du-Port Road said.
He indicated that the time Liberians need the food has since passed adding that the distribution is late now.
“I will use the 6am to 9pm schedule to look for ends meet for my family and I,” he added.
Also speaking was a single mother of four children who for her party said ” the time I wanted that their 4-1-9 food has passed” adding “I have managed from the time the lockdown was from 6am to 3pm we did not die then is it now we will die.”
She said “I just want for school to open for our children to go back to school” indicating that ” what the government on is a total waste of time.”
Also on a phone in conversation, Peter Smith, who called from Johnsonville said” let this government stop this their lies know that this rice issue is a big lie.”
With June 21,2020 being the official date to bring the SOE to its end, the possibility for government to distribute food to the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia is something that many Liberians are finding increasingly difficult to believe.