As Ellen’s Administration Ends, Presidential Task Force Seizes All Gov’t Vehicles

As the administration of Africa’s first female president, Liberian leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf approaches its end come January 22, 2018, the pleasurable attitude of government employees using state owned vehicles has now ended based on the  mandate of the Liberian leader to take possession of all government owned vehicles.

This process which is been headed by the Director General of the General Service, Mary T. Broh and his team of special taskforce are said to facing some challenges as some of those in possession of government vehicles are putting on some resisting in handling over their assigned vehicles to the taskforce.

The incident which started two days ago in Monrovia and its environs has compelled many government officials who turned over their vehicles to the taskforce to walk or ride taxis to their respective locations, while those who resisting the process have been chased by police.

According to our source, since the process started, some of those in possession of government who earlier got the hints of this exercise have fled to neighboring borders for the sale of the assigned state owned vehicles, “I saw some government vehicles heading towards the Liberian/Guinean border. One of the driver told me he can’t afford to handover his jeep assign to him to the government,” Mary Gono, a resident of Ganta, Nimba County told GNN in an exclusive interview.

Speaking to reporters, officials of the GSA, Cole Bangaloo said the presidential mandate is intended to enable a smooth holding of the January 22, 2018 inauguration of President-elect, Senator George Weah, noting, “As you may be aware there are several foreign dignitaries are coming into the country for the inauguration as such government does not have money to rent vehicles for said purpose. Therefore, all those in possession of government vehicles have been ordered to turn over vehicles in their possession,” the Deputy GSA Director General said.

Bangaloo said GSA has in recent days retrieved and parked some of government vehicles, while there are some government officials who are not in full compliance.

“The GSA, with the support of the police, is ensuring that all those in possession of government vehicles comply with the mandate to turn over all vehicles,” the Deputy GSA boss pointed out.

He singled out the Health Ministry officials for complying with the mandate, expressing the hope that officials from other government ministries and parastatals who are in possession of state-owned vehicles would comply without delay.

“Government will not relent in ensuring that all of its vehicles are packed and used for the official turning over program and also be used by the incoming government,” the GSA Deputy Director General warned.

Over the weekend, a number of seizures of vehicles were made by GSA authorities who mounted inspection points on major streets.

On Friday evening, our Reporter witnessed a scene at the Parker Paint police checkpoint in the Paynesville suburb of Monrovia, when security forces stopped a government marked vehicle and told all the occupants to dis-embark and the vehicle was later impounded.

Over the past few months, there have been reports in the Liberian media that some officials in possession of government vehicles were removing official license plates and repainting vehicles at various local garages.

The attitude of many government functionaries towards its vehicles and other assets has been one of indifference and sluggish.

Back in 2016, GSA Director General Mary Broh told the media that empirical data available to the GSA showed that the use of government vehicles and other mobile equipment is completely out of control.

And Madam Broh said their support cost was significantly more than the benefit received by the Government of Liberia.

She said this prompted the GSA to introduce the fleet management policy. Report

Credit: NPT

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About Cholo Brooks 6255 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.