The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Engaging the Executive Branch Constructively

editorial

Liberia's infrastructural under-growth and under-development continues to be attributed to 'marginalization' by elected officials. This blame-shifting, as one of its sources, may not just have some Liberians aggrieved, but most of those who find themselves in the employ of the government - especially Members of the 53rd Legislature. Just recently, Rep. J. Byron Brown of District #4 in Grand Bassa County said the abject poverty to which citizens are subjected is due to dishonesty and insincerity exhibited by elected officials.

Representative Brown told a group of Legislative reporters at the Capitol in Monrovia that 'mismanagement and misappropriation' were key factors that are responsible for the impoverishment of the vast majority of Liberians, suggesting that despite the abundant resources Liberia has its citizens, on a daily basis, are faced with untold sufferings and hardships as a result of 'mistrust' on the part of their leaders.

In as much as it may not be justifiably prudent to determine the reference of the blame-game being played by the Grand Bassa County Representative and most of his colleagues in the House of Representatives (especially those from the opposition), it is also easy to suggest the Executive Branch as the primary target. True to the foregoing assertion, it leaves one to further wonder as to whether Representative Brown and his likes are not considering themselves as "elected officials or leaders" within Liberia? One would even wonder as to whether they consider themselves separate from the Government of Liberia, only looking at the Executive Branch as the 'Government of Liberia' as evidenced by their numerous public utterances referring to the Executive as the 'government'.

Members of the House of Representatives must be made to understand that the Government of Liberia is inclusive of the Legislature (House of Representatives and Liberian Senate), Executive and Judiciary, and therefore, the Executive branch must not be used as reference in elected or public officials' public utterances with the aim of exposing the Executive Branch, headed by the president of the republic of Liberia, to public ridicule.

Moreover, the issue of Liberia's infrastructural growth and development are not only the responsibility of the Executive Branch or the leaders to whom Representative Brown and his likes continue to make reference; it is rather the responsibility of the members of the 53rd Legislature, Judiciary and Liberians themselves, in terms of 'selfless' law-making, true representation, appropriate oversight, implementation, appreciation and care/maintenance on the part of all stakeholders. If Liberians should blame anyone for the country's 'backwardness,' in terms of infrastructural growth and development, it must be attributed to Members of the 53rd Legislature, most especially Members of the House of Representatives in whose hands the entire process begins.

Interestingly, it is important to note that the expenditure of the County Development Fund and Social Development Fund appropriated by law is most often directly supervised by most county caucuses, through their respective Chairs under the guise of Legislative "oversight". Other than blame-shifting, Representative J. Byron Brown and his likes in the House of Representatives must constructively engage the Executive through coordination in consonance with the Liberian Constitution so as to make "infrastructural growth and development" across the country a reality.

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