6 June 2012

Liberia: Senate Slaps Mary Broh

Photo: New Democrat
Ms. Broh celebrating Liberia’s debt waiver

The Liberian Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly expressed a vote of no confidence in Acting Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh for failing to appear before that body as requested earlier.

Last week, the Senate voted to have Madam Broh before the full plenary to answer to complaint of assault against madam Nancy Gaye, Special Assistant to Maryland County Senior Senator John Ballout. Madam Gaye had complained Mayor Broh of physically assaulting her on Mechlin Street in Monrovia, something which left her with handcuff wounds and lost of several items, including her car keys.

But to the surprise of the Plenary, a letter from Madam Broh appeared on the floor during Tuesday's sitting, informing the body that she was not prepared to appear due to ill-health. However, the embattled iron-fist Mayor failed to attach a medical report to the effect or request the Senate to grant her another date for appearance.

Following the reading of the communication, many of the Senators in plenary called for the communication to be rejected, on grounds that the move by Madam Broh demonstrated disrespect to the body. Senator Prince Johnson of Nimba County was quick to call for a vote of no confidence in Madam Mary Broh, noting this was not the first of its kind.

Other Senators, including Henry Yallah of Bong County, Lahai Lassana of Bomi County, Joseph Nagbe of Sinoe County and John Whitefield of Grand Bassa County, amongst others; recounted the many alleged violations committed against many Liberians, including members of the Legislature by Madam Broh.

They said the Mayor on several occasions, made people including women to "pump tyers in the streets", beat on the vehicle of Lofa County Senior Senator Sumo Kupee, and forced Margibi Senior Senator Clarice A. Jah to fill a form before seeing her at the Monrovia City Hall.

Senator Yallah pointed out that the decision of Madam Broh to refer to herself as "Monrovia City Mayor," as was stated in the letter, amounts to impersonation, on grounds that she has not been confirmed as the Mayor of Monrovia.

He also frowned on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for allowing the controversial Mary Broh, who is the longest acting official in government to occupy such position without senate confirmed. After the many views were expressed, the Senate then reached a decision to have the Acting Mayor to appear before the body at 2:00pm Tuesday, just within an hour.

Following the expiration of time, the Sergeant at Arms in the Senate, who had dispatched the communication, informed the body that he had gone at the Monrovia City Hall to deliver the letter, but noted that Madam Broh was not at work and that the communication was signed for by one of her office staff.

The response from the Sergeant At Arms prompted another serious argument across the floor, with some Senators calling for a vote of no confidence against Mayor Broh, while on the other hand, others felt that the mayor should be provided 12 hours as a benefit of the doubt to appear before any action could be taken against her.

The argument could not hold as a motion for a vote of no confidence was made by Maryland County Senator Dan Morrias with 14 out of the 19 Senators voting IN FAVOUR OF. He Secretary of the Senate was then mandated to write President Sirleaf, informing her about plenary's decision and asking the President to nominate another mayor to fill the vacant seat.

Also appearing before the Senate, Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah denied ever saying that Madam Broh was above the law, and could not be arrested.

He however informed the Senate that Madam Broh as City Mayor operates her own City police and that the LNP only provides manpower support when there are emergency issues. All eyes are now out to see whether or not, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will listen and abide by the decision reached by the upper House.

It can be recalled that the Senate declared similar vote of no confidence against former National Investment Commission Chairman Richard Tolbert, but it did not take effect.

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