FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

Liberia: Executive Mansion Lied - More Documents in PR Saga Released

Monrovia — In what now appears a tussle between a member of the House of Representatives and the Executive Mansion regarding huge payments purportedly for public relations abroad, the lawmaker in the fray has released more documents in support of his call for an investigation of the Executive Mansion for what he termed 'exploitation' indicating that the third branch of Government headed by the President has lied to the Liberian people.

Representative Bhofal Chambers (Congress for Democratic Change, Maryland County) on Monday March 17, 2014, unveiled new information to back his claims.

Speaking at the launch of an Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) sponsored project being implemented by the Center Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Liberia (CAMTEFIL) Monday Representative Chambers provided more documentary evidence in support of his claims.

In the document, a copy of which is in the possession of Frontpageafrica it is stated that the Executive Branch of Government paid US$ 50,000.00 to BKSH and Associates owned by Charles Ray Black, Jr., located in Washington DC in the year 2006 as fees for Public Relations, US$544,500.42 to Clearly, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton located in Washington, DC in 2006 for legal/other/lobby fees and US$ 412,424.52 to Jefferson Waterman in 2007 located in Washington DC as Public Relations.

The document also shows that KRL International the only company President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf communication to the National Legislature admitted doing business with received US$ 502,018.34 also in Washington DC for public relations, Radelet, Steven Charles another firm in the US State of Washington DC also received US$90,000.00 as lobbying fees while US$ 261,635,941.00 was given to LISCR owned by Yoram Cohen in Washington DC as lobby /other fees by the Sirleaf led government between the years 2007 to 2012.

Representative Chambers said: "Government itself should be asking questions and not when people ask questions and raised concerns than a kind of Drum mayors will come out to sound tones of the establishment and insult people, I think that is unfair".

The lawmaker continued: "We lifted the issue that has to do with lobbying and public relations, lobbying and public relations are two good things but Liberia has a unique case. In Liberia we should be proud that our President has enough fans around the world than anybody in the world, including the pope of the catholic church, so people today should be rushing to pay our President to do work for Liberia and not the other way around."

He also said his decision to raise concerns about the manner in which Liberia's resources is being spent is not idiotic and preposterous as claimed by the President in her communication because according to him Liberia is for every Liberian and no one should pretend to be more Liberian than the other.

The Maryland lawmaker stressed the need for putting in place systems in Government and promised to always tell government it is wrong whenever things go wrong and to also say things are right whenever they are right.

"I think it is helpful to tell people they are wrong whenever they go wrong. Sometimes Madam Sirleaf has been right and sometimes not so right. I must say she is not the only person who knows and she is not the only person who exists," Chambers added.

Recently the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf responded to an allegation by the Maryland County Representative that the Executive spent over two hundred million on foreign public relations, describing it as idiotic, irresponsible and misinformation.

The President in a letter to the plenary of the House of Representatives claimed that Liberia could suffer potentially great harm by the allegations made by Representative Bhofal Chambers.

The President in her communication to the House plenary last Tuesday said, it is simply preposterous to believe that with a budget under US$ 600 million and under a transparent and accountable financial system government could spend such amount.

According to the President in her communication, Liberia's Ambassador accredited to the United States of America Mr. Jeremiah Sulunteh, who was at the time in the country to participate in the US Liberian partnership Dialogue confirmed the concern expressed by friends of the Liberian government in the US congress who may believe that a statement made by the legislators has to have been verified.

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