Liberia: Gender Minister Opens-Up ... On Leymah Gbowee

31 August 2020

Less than 24 hours after being severely criticized by Leymah Gbowee for doing little of nothing relative to the increase in the number of rape cases, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr has descended on the Nobel Laureate by revealing her hidden presidential quest.

During last Thursday's police brutality against anti-rape campaigners, Madam Gbowee took to the social media to condemn the action of the police and blamed Minister Saydee-Tarr for not doing her work, something that led to the protest.

Madam Gbowee wrote and said "I woke up this morning to news of the government of Liberia clamping down on the peaceful protest organized by young people against the pervasive rape culture in Liberia. This is sick, appalling, and a big shame on the Weah-led administration. To teargas and use violence on a peaceful gathering led by women against a pandemic is beyond unimaginable. I call out Minister Piso Saydee Tarr. Shame on you! Your job demands that you protect the most vulnerable population of Liberia, but you have chosen to align with your political God father. Minister Tarr, who plays politics with the tearing of a three-Year-old vagina? To say I am mad would be putting it mildly. I am angry, infuriated, boiling inside... if you had done your job void of politics we won't be where we find ourselves. Sad, sad, sad... "

But from all indications, the Gender Minister did not take lightly the 'rants' by Madam Gbowee, someone she considers as a sister considering the number of years they have known each other, thereby reacting with intellectual lethal force.

Madam Saydee-Tarr: "First and foremost, RAPE is an issue that I take very seriously and no one should ever be accused unjustly of being an enabler of rape. I know that Politics is interest - but to use this serious scourge to gain points against anybody, shows one's true colors. Now Sis, remember when you became a Nobel Laureate, the people YOU called YOUR friends stood alongside you, were there for you, placed their arms around you and supported you. NO lessons learned there for you? The least you can do is reciprocate in an authentic way."

But sadly, she said "as a woman who won her laurels on the backs of others, based on advocating for women, you have failed to see in your actions, the same thing you have accused others of doing - trying their best to beat other women down, just for the hell of it - knowing full well that there is no truth to what you are saying; nevertheless, still pushing on in your falsities, for the lack of having anything else to say. However you, my sis, cannot and will not destroy me. That is not your place nor is it my portion. As you always say - being a blessed daughter of glorious Jesus - only in his own time can anything happen; and he sure does not listen to wicked prayers. My dear sister - pray tell me, having been a Nobel Laureate for 9 long years, what is the hurdle you have in your way - that you cannot really, truly utilize your blessing from GOD to bless your country holistically, and see Liberia shine right now? Why is it that the only thing Liberians can get out of you, year in-year out is a pile of only negatives?"

Continuing, she said "I will not go back to your woes with the previous administration as that is not my business, but you and I know that this Weah- led administration opened up to you from day one, and showed you a hand of friendship, welcoming you as a leader from within our generation, blessed with a huge platform - to come in with your own ideas too to help move the country forward. Yet you choose to snub that hand extended in true cooperation. You and I both know that you, my sister, were one of the first that I called to inform of my preferment as Minister and to let you know that my doors are opened to you to help keep the Gender agenda on point. Yet you have refused to give of yourself. You profess to be this omniscient being, whereas we in this administration are a bunch of buffoons - what has been stopping you - what is really stopping you, from giving of this vast knowledge to your people, via this government, the past government, etc.? Since I am not doing my job, what has stopped you from reaching out with your savvy suggestions, emailing or calling me to show me how to do so? What is stopping you from using the same Whatsapp space we talk on ALL the time about all and everything? What has stopped you from making direct inquiries or making an effort? Please my Sis, you will not succeed in using me as a scapegoat in your bid to endear yourself where there is a lack. Liberia belongs to all of us and needs all hands on deck. Especially people like yourself with wealth and connections. Stop ill-treating your country and really come back to base. You can do so much more for your people. Nobody has exiled you."

The Gender Minister wonders "why is it that you cannot find it in your heart to see anything good of your country? For the huge platform that you have, the Foundation does not cut it. Per your own disclosure in your boastful rants, your reach is wide, your contacts are in excess. Use all of this for the good of your people nationally. Sis., Don't make this about you and me, because in your hearts of hearts you know the truth. Be truthful so that the GOD that you say you pray to daily can truly forgive you for this real mendacious situation you've played your hand into."

She challenged Madam Gbowee to use her international platform for national interest.

"It is truly sad Sis. Everyday women accuse you about being selfish and self-centered and being a person who only wants for herself and - over the years I have defended you, saying that you might have been misunderstood. But yet here we are today, in a baffling turn of events, whereby you are misguiding your selfish missile my way, choosing to pretend like you do not know the real and actual issues around societal ills in Liberia. Like you do not know the role of the Gender Ministry versus the role of all of the other SGBV duty bearers, actors, and the referral pathway in taking care of survivors and ensuring justice and protection for them. The SHAME is actually on you, when you of all people will come and grandstand on the plight of an infant survivor and accuse me of politicizing her case? Tell me sis, who's really doing the politicizing here? When did I do what you accused me of? Please refresh my memory and properly provide the full information to the public. And as you do that, also please educate the public about the job that I am NOT doing, that has got us here - to directly quote you - whereby rape, a worldwide scourge has all of a sudden become my invention. You my Sis, do not have the luxury to speak in riddles. Be clear. Be transparent. Be accountable for your words," she stated.

Continuing, she said "the SHAME is on Y.O.U, for using your platform to showboat and pontificate. I know you too well. Since you've already tried in every way possible to throw the kitchen sink, the mortar pestle and everything else that you can get your hands on at this government. Unfortunately, unlike the previous Administration that fell in your trap, we have not allowed your aim of expectations of an avalanche of negative backlash from us. Therefore she is now having the head scratching moment - trying to figure out what else she could do. And her most recent attacks on my person is her next plan. Sis, you have had a lot to say over the past months outside of the public glare, but not outside of my knowledge, and your continued attacks on my character on issues you have no interest in actually getting to the bottom of, is really not cutting it. Try something else."

Madam Saydee-Tarr: "Some of our mutual acquaintances are calling to express disappointment - saying, "oh it is too sad, she stabbed you in the back" and to that - I've told them nope, she did not. Because, in order for a person to stab you in the back, it means they are exposing some deep dark secret of yours that they were not expected to tell. In this case in point, my sister is simply trying this on for size, to see if it fits. Yep. Oh and I did copy the code sis. Very clearly. Never thought the day would come to see you stoop this low. And all for what? Your presidential ambition? Yes! Let's go to the actual issue. You are making accusations about playing politics? Who's more political than you? Even if Jesus Christ and the angels come down to run Liberia you will still find incessant faults. Do not use the space of Civil Society as your political platform and carry out political work in a CS space."

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