Recent action on the part of some residents of Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties to burn down major parts of the Sime Darby Plantation in the area destroying several parts of the plantation on an report that a lady was missing from the hospital of the company is reportedly scaring investors.
For their part, local authorities of Bomi County told reporters on Monday that the arson attack on Sime Darby Plantation is a threat to the economy and the investment climate as a whole.
The Superintendent of Bomi County, Samuel Browne, along with local authorities including, chiefs and elders told journalists that such act was anti-investment and wanted government to do all it can to help protect the company’s investment, and are calling on government to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.
The demonstration took place last week after a lady who went to the company’s clinic went missing. They embarked on demonstration accusing the company of being responsible for the disappearance of the lady. After a day, Kumba Fallah was seen with her boyfriend at a different location in one of the camps.
Taking the lead in the condemnation, Superintendent Samuel Browne of Bomi County said the people of the county want the law to take its course and whosoever found guilty should face the full weight of the law.
Superintendent Browne bewailed that such actions have the propensity to bring the country to a stopping point and potentially drive away investors.
“We regret this act, it is satanic, barbaric, naïve, and irresponsible. We regret this incident and it is not the doing of the people of Bomi County because a real Bomi citizen will not behave in such cruel manner. The law should take its course,” he said.
According to Browne, the health, education and other important components provided by the company will be damaged if they cause the company to pull out of the country.
“Again, we regret this act and it is the works of the wicked people. We will stand by the company in whatsoever decisions through the legal means to ensure justice to the company,” he added.
For James K. Tarpeh, the District Commissioner of Senjeh District in Bomi County, he said, the local authority will continue to show solidarity to the company during its period of setback.
“We have evil people among us and we should do everything through the law to get them out. We are development friendly and the evil people are not citizens of Bomi County. Let central government ensure that this situation is investigated to the letter,” he indicated.
“Let the government quickly come in to help. We are begging the government through the president find solution before our foreign partners start to run away from us,” she noted.
Tension at the Malaysia owned palm Plantation Company, the Sime Darby in western Liberia came following the missing of a lady who was reportedly returning from the company’s hospital after treatment.
Sime Darby provides medical services to its employees and their families as well as other locals in the area. Sime Darby Management says it is still counting losses sustained as a result of the violent protest, while local chiefs and community leaders in the proximity of the company have reportedly regretted the incident.
At its Bomi County estate, the total of 80 hectares of palm were destroyed which totaled 13,032 palm trees. In Grand Cape Mount County estate, 25 hectares were destroyed, totaling 3902 palm trees and at its Lofa estate, 8 hectares of palm or 1440 palm trees were completely destroyed.