The Analyst (Monrovia)

17 August 2012

Liberia: Two MCC Employees Severely Bruised -Civil Society Group Condemns Violence Action

The Movement against Violence and Impunity in Africa (MAVIA) has condemned in the strongest term Wednesday's violence by some alleged used car dealers that led to two MCC Employees sustaining major injuries.

MAVIA says the alleged violent action by used car dealers runs contrary to the Liberian constitution and created unexpected circumstances for the City Corporation and her employees.

On August 15, 2012 at about 11 a.m. employees of the MCC Sanitation and City Planning Departments had gone out on their regular clean-up campaign and enforcement of the City Ordinances and Municipal Regulations when alleged used car dealers attacked them near the Catholic Junction in Congo Town.

According to Charles Okai and Edward Jarpah who sustained major injuries in their hands, they had gone to this used car garage, opposite Dominion Church in Congo Town to affect City Ordinance No. 1 Section 4, 5 and 10 which prohibit keeping garbage in one's premise, open garage for repairs and refusal to cut grass; when angry mob started to stone them with broken glasses and sticks.

City Ordinance No.1 Section 4 states "occupants (whether owners re lessee) of residence commercial houses and factories of all types, religious and all city buildings are required to clean around and in front of their premises up to the sidewalk ad to keep them clean all of the times. Cleaning shall include the trimming of hedges and tress and cutting of grass on their property. No dumpsite sites on these properties shall be permitted". "The City Government shall bear the responsibility of cleaning sidewalk and streets ONLY. Any owner, lessee, or occupant found violating the provision shall be subjected to a fine of not less than $100.00 and not more than $250.00".

The alleged used car dealers have identified one of the suspects as an employee of their business, but denied ever been on the scene when the incident occurred.

Officers of the Zone 3 Police Depot in Congo Town have arrested three suspects linked to the violent situation and are currently investigating the matter.

The Civil Society group thinks the action of the alleged used cars dealers is tantamount to legal prosecution because it created more anarchy than expected and resulted into serious injuries.

MAVIA also believes MCC Employees should be given serious protection by the Liberia National Police when carrying out their clean-up exercises and enforcements of City Ordinances and Municipal regulations throughout Monrovia and its environs.

The Civil Society group is also cautioning residents of Monrovia not to allow themselves be used to perpetrate violence, but instead they should read the City Ordinances and Municipal Regulation to clearly understand the functions and responsibilities of the City Government of Monrovia.

The Movement against Violence and Impunity in Africa is also calling on Liberians especially residents of Monrovia to respect Statutory Authorities when they are performing their duties and refrain from violence.

MAVIA is at the same time urging those affected by MCC activities to pursue whatever legal channel possible for redress if they feel their rights have been violated or infringed upon.

The Movement against Violence and Impunity in Africa is a civil society group advocating for sustainable peace and democracy, teaching Liberians about non-violent approach to resolving issues.

It was established in 2009 and has more than 100 Human Rights and non-violence clubs in high schools around Monrovia, Margibi and Grand Bassa Counties respectively.

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