Liberia: 'He Would Be a Dangerous Statesman'

... UP, Independent Legislative Caucuses caution Senate against confirmation of 'Zoely Zoe'

Ahead of confirmation hearings of Presidential appointees by the Senate, the Unity Party (UP) Legislative Caucus Chairman and executive members of the Independent Legislative Caucus (ILC) in the House of Representatives, have warned against the confirmation of the newly appointed Deputy Defense Minister for Operations, Tarplah Davis, aka Zoely Zoe.

The lawmakers also branded Zoely Zoe as being 'extremely dangerous with bad human rights record.'

The two legislative caucuses, in a joint communication to President Pro Tempore, Albert T. Chie, wrote against the confirmation of the newly appointed Deputy Minister for Operations, Tarplah Davis.

In the communication, dated December 3, 2019, Montserrado County District #17 Representative, Hanson Kiazolu of Unity Party; Montserrado County District #4 Representative, Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis; River Gee County District #3 Lawmaker, Francis Dopoh, II, affixed their respective signatures for the Independent Legislative Caucus.

"We present our compliments and wish to express to caution the Honorable Senate not to confirm the newly appointed Deputy Minister for Operations, Tarplah Davis, aka Zoely Zoe.

"Davis, sometime in May and June 2019, promised to kill fellow Liberians in a peaceful protest should anyone of them damage or cause to damage his property during the citizens' peaceful protest," the communication said.

It added: "We believe with such a statement from Mr. Davis when he was not in a position, he would be a dangerous statesman should he be confirmed, and have full authority to execute his plan against peaceful citizens. Mr. Pro Tempore and members of the Senate, we, the Independent Legislative Caucus with the Unity Party, pray your indulgence not to confirm Mr. Davis at the detriment of the Liberian people. You will agree with us that modern democracy or democratic practices call for security personnel who shall have respect for the citizenry. Moreover, we as legislators and include people shall not condone such threat by Mr. Davis."

Reports from the Senate said confirmation hearing of appointed officials are expected to begin on Thursday, December 5, 2019 on Capitol Hill.

President George Weah appointed as Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations. He was named to the position recently despite allegations that he holds American citizenship.

Few days before his appointment, Davis went live on Facebook and openly expressed his disgust for critics of the President and planners of protest, threatening to "kill" would-be protesters of the 'Weah Step Down Campaign' and critics of Weah.

He reduced the constant protests happening in Liberia for various reasons as a strategy by the protesters to loot and destroy properties and make the government appear ugly to the international community.

In the live video session, he promised to defend the government of President Weah, his family and others with plans intended to thwart or go against the Liberian Constitution.

"The symbol of everything that I have worked for personally is in Liberia. And I told people, anybody tries my property, I will kill them. I have said it and will continue to say it openly," he said.

He reaffirmed, "I, Zoely Zoe or Tarplah Z. Davies, will never ever sit down in this America when Henry Pedro Costa and his likes, who are thinking about covertly overthrowing the Government and thinking about looting the resources of our country. When they carry out their wicked plan, I will not sit in this America and witness my country in chaos. I will defend my properties, I will defend my government and people, I will defend my family and do everything possible to ensure that those people who have their devilish intention of trying to subvert the Constitution, their plans are reverted and the Constitution will take over.

Mr. Davies is a ranking officer in the U.S. Army from 2009 to 2019. To join the army in the United States, one must be either a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident.

Liberia's Alien and Nationality Law does not recognize individuals, who have served in the army of another country as a citizen of Liberia.

In their recent dual citizenship bill, the Senate recommended that "A natural-born citizen of Liberia may hold the citizenship of another country, but shall not qualify for elected positions, and the following appointed positions: Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia; Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers; all heads of Autonomous Commissions, Agencies and Non-Academic/Research/Scientific Institutions and Ambassadors."

Though Senate's proposition is yet to become law, eyebrows are raising over how the Senate would handle the confirmation of Mr. Davis for reasons relating to his threat and his citizenship.

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