21 April 2014

Liberia: Clergy Wants Lawmakers Audited, Warns of Same Sex Marriage

Monrovia — Father Ambrose Kroma, the Priest of St. Kizito Catholic Parish in Paynesville, has stressed that the fight for transparency and accountability in Liberia cannot be achieved without the inclusion of the National Legislature.

According to the Catholic Prelate, there are too many unanswered questions about Lawmakers which he said, include; legislature salaries, bonuses, gasoline and diesel allowances. "If all of these are tax payers monies they need to be clarified and be made open to the public. One may wonder why has the Legislature, not embrace an open and independent Audit? One may also ask who makes the budget for the legislature and who vet the budget operated by National government? These are troubling questions that need answers", the prelate said.

He also called on the National Legislature to account for the usage of money that has been made available under the county development funds before calling for budgetary allocation of 73 Million United States dollars in the name of the district development fund.

"If you cannot properly account for two hundred thousand United States dollars at the level of the County how then can you account for US$1 Million at the level of the District. "

"The logic does not hold maybe our Legislature should first exercise greater oversight over county development fund before advocating for development fund for districts if this is not done Liberians will remain highly skeptical and distressful of those calling for district development fund in the tone of 73 Million United States dollars," the Catholic priest added.

The Catholic clergy warned that if the 10 years of Peace Liberians now enjoy is to be sustained there is a need for Liberians to do away with envy and jealousy and strive with renewed energy and vigor in eradicating the growing inequality in Liberia where the vast majority of the country's population live at the mercy of those in authority.

Take position on same sex marriage

At an Easter night program held at the St. Kizito Parish in Paynesville, Priest Kroma described as ironic the action by National government not to provide a definite position of what he called an immoral and evil act of same sex Marriage. He said, though other countries in Africa have condemned the practice despite pressure from powerful Western countries, Liberia is yet to make a definite position statement on the issue, some of which he said include; Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria.

Priest Kroma said: "Government of Liberia when you will break the silence on same sex marriage with a definite position? Could this silence be interpreted as acceptance of same sex marriage in our society? Could our rejection of same sex marriage be reflected now and today in code of conduct bill as well as the Vision 2030 for transformation. In the beginning God created Adam and Eve marriage is between man and woman".

Ritualistic killings

The Catholic prelate expressed that he hopes acts of ritualistic killing does not increase as the country approaches midterm senatorial election.

"As we prepare for election this year, let us pray that ritualistic killing does not occur anymore in this country? When will Liberian politicians realize that a human body part cannot give you state power, when will Politicians in Liberia realize that drinking human blood cannot win you popularity among people and accept that power comes from God if God does not approve it cannot be," Priest Kroma said.

He cautioned members of his congregation and Liberians in general not to vote anyone who is associated with such practice and called on all state actors to demonstrate some sense of leadership and responsibility by avoiding those things that could polarize the state and divide Liberians.

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