21 February 2013

Liberia: Death Causes Riot in Bong Mines

An alleged killing of a worker of China Union, Lawrence Watson on Friday, February 15, 2013 has caused some employees of the China Union to go on the rampage with several of their employers including officials held hostage. According to Joseph T. Weah an employee of China Union who was present when the incident occurred, the deceased, Lawrence, retired at lunch time to take a rest under one of the heavy duty machines used in the mines.

A Chinese national, commonly referred to as Yung was told by Joseph that someone was resting under the machine, but to his utmost surprise, Yung entered and moved the machine thereby crushing Lawrence instantly.

Joseph narrated that Lawrence was respectful to his bosses and showed kindness to his friends.

"I have not seen a friend and workmate like Lawrence. He used to be respectful to all his friends," he stated further.

According to Sekou Kamara, another employee of China Union, the death of Lawrence is the second in the Laketa District. He said, as a direct representative of the Superintendent of the Laketa District, he has been in the middle of all of the pitfalls to bring calm amongst the people of the District.

Madam Martu Lawrence, wife of the deceased said they have three children and that she is carrying a two-month pregnancy. Martu said she lost her parents and Lawrence has been the only person she had known for the past 15 years.

According to her, their three children, James and Thomas live with Lawrence's sister while Madina lives with her and Lawrence, and now Lawrence is dead.

When the INQUIRER went to Bong Mines and visited the police station, some police declined to comment on the matter and told our reporter that the problem was above them and it is only their Commander that can comment. The police officers said their Commander travelled to Monrovia on the same issue and was expected back to Bong Mines in couple of hours.

On the streets, our reporter vividly saw young people in groups discussing the death of Lawrence. "This thing needs urgent solution," a young man believed to be in his early 20's said. "We should not sit here and allow strangers to come in the name of investing in our country and use our people as slaves and at the end kill us like dogs," a roasted corn seller, Memah Dolo stated.

According to some family members, China Union has so far deposited the corpse at a local funeral Home in Kakata. The family members said, an amount of LD$.64.500.00 and US$.2000.00 has been deposited at the funeral home, with the amount of 18bags of 25kilograms of rice given to the family, and the body of Lawrence is expected to be laid to rest in Monrovia in a week's time. Efforts to speak with officials of China Union proved futile.

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