By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The plenary of the House of Representatives has urged the management of Sime Plantation Liberia (SDPL) to cooperate in finding amicable solution to the disturbing situation at the company’s plantation in western Liberia.
Members of the House of Representatives are probing the Malaysian oil palm company for alleged torturing of a Liberian by security officers of the company in a video purported to be from the company.
Based on this allegation, the management team was invited last Thursday to explain what it knows about the video purported to be from the company.
At the first hearing on Thursday April 19, 2018, the lawmakers said they were not satisfied with the explanation from the management team over the allegation and rescheduled them on Thursday April 24, 2018 to reappear before full plenary to state why they shouldn’t be held in contempt.
The Thursday April 24, 2018 hearing was more elaborate and convincing according to the lawmakers. The SDPL management team even apologized for whatever it has done wrong on the first appearance that didn’t go in the right direction for the lawmakers.
Liberia House of Representatives’ chambers
The management team was asked to cooperate with the plenary to mitigate the situation at hand. However, the lawmakers maintained that the management team is still under oath and could further be held in contempt if it doesn’t cooperate with the specialized committee setup by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers to authenticate what went wrong.
The specialized committee was setup following a cross examination of the witness (Sime Darby General Manager), David Parker. Parker deliberated in a convincing manner which later resulted into the lawmakers going into executive session to decide what actions should be taken.
Upon returning from executive session, a motion was filed by Lofa County Representative, Francis Nyumali for the plenary to setup a committee that will ascertain what happened at the plantation that gave rise to a citizen being handled in such manner.
The motion also mandates the committee to find out whether the company is in compliance with the agreement signed with the Liberian Government among other key issues in the agreement.
Members of the specialized committee include Representatives Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh, chairman, Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis, co-chair, Johnson Gwaikolo, Matthew Zarzar, Beyan Howard, Mensah, Edwin Snowe and Mabu Sonii respectively.
Meanwhile, the management of Sime Darby has appreciated the plenary of the house for the manner in which they are handling the situation at hand and vowed to fully cooperate.