1 March 2017

Liberia: Internal Wrangling Hits Radio Cape Mount

This paper has reliably gathered that 'internal wrangling' has hit Radio Cape Mount 102.4MHz with aggrieved staff of the station reportedly resolving not to work with the current manager, Andrew S. Massaley.

Radio Cape Mount is located in Sinje, Garwula Distric in Grand Cape Mount County. The station is one of four community radio stations directly compensated by the county's authority.

The aggrieved staff in their five count-resolution alleged that manager Massalley is involved in some 'irregularities and unpleasant working relationship'. They claimed that such 'unfavorable situation' is causing serious dissatisfaction among the staff.

In a five-count resolution read by their spokesperson, Sandi O. Kamara, they alleged the deduction of salaries from staff without any given explanation especially the recent county development fund (CDF) received from the county.

"The manager takes the station's properties for his personal use, namely generator, tablet and PA system. He Lacks accountability; making allotment for the following and were not implemented, building of generator room, repair of station's towel and the purchasing of 3 drums of fuel," they alleged in the resolution.

The aggrieved Radio Cape Mount's staff also accused Massalley of taking none staffers to workshop in the station's name. "He has poor managerial skills and as such, three generators, air condition (AC) have been damaged by the management within a year, and has been aggressive to staffers at job and outside of job," they alleged.

According to them, their action will bring some level of 'sanity and stability' at the county-run radio station. When contacted to respond to the allegations levied against him, the station manager Massalley denied and he said it is 'troubling'.

Massalley told this paper that prior to taking over the station four years ago, some of those aggrieved staffers were earning between US$20 and US$40.00 and he decided to make them happy by increasing their monthly stipends as a motivation.

According to him, he increased the stipends of the staff to motivate them; with those making US$30.00 climbing to US$80.00, US$40.00 to US$100.00 plus others. He further indicated that the staffers protest is coming from a background where bonuses were added to their salaries after they got a contract from PCI during the Ebola crisis that only lasted for just one month and not their stable salaries as insinuated.

The 'embattled' station manager disclosed that what they earned at the station are given at every county sitting, which means they get their stipends in a lump sum after the sitting, but staffers are given weekly transportation to facilitate their movements.

"We put in for US$15,000.00 for this year, but we were given US$10, 000.00, so we were forced to adjust to meet up with other basic needs at the station. This decision was in consultation with the board of the station," he said.

He however admitted deducting little amount from their salaries, but it was agreed upon because they wanted to fast-track their salaries since it has delayed for more than a year.

"I used three months to run after the money. LD$1000.00 was deducted to facilitate the process and we used US$10.00 for ID cards. When we got the US$10,000.00, we decided to pay for eight months. They damaged four generators in one year, I brought in a new one and took the old one to my home for repair," he said.

The eight months, he said begun from February to September 2016. The 13 staff salaries for the eight months amounted to US$7,640.00. Meanwhile, the staff told reporters in the county that they don't have problem with the months owed them, but their concern is the deduction of their stipends by their boss.

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