LIBERIA: Some Bong Lawmakers Accused Of ‘Cutting Staff’s Salaries’

By Emmanuel Mafelah

This paper has gathered that 60% of Lawmakers from Bong County are said to be ccutting the salaries of their office Staffers, a situation that is said to be seriously undermining the progress of the struggling staffers.

Despite the huge monies including salaries and allowances they make at the Legislature, they are reportedly cutting the salaries of their helps which some of the staffers have said is seriously beating their progress.

Some of those that have been accused of deducting the salaries of their office Staff is Bong County include electoral District #4 Representative Robert Flomo Womba, Joseph Papa Kolleh of electoral District #7 Representative Albert Hills of District #1 Moima Briggs Mensah of electoral District #6 and newly elected Bong County Senator Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa.

According to rule 29 of the Rules and Procedures of the House of Representatives, each Lawmaker needs to have twelve persons employed to help serve in the best interest of their Constituents.

The twelve positions include, Chief of office Staff, Administrative Assistant, Special Assistant, Recourse Officer, Executive Secretary, Page, Secretary, Filing Clerk, Receptionist, Yard boy, Cook and Security.

But contrary to the rules, some of the Bong County Lawmakers have employed more than what being mandated by the Houses’ rules thus creating problems for the Staff in terms of salaries and allowance.

Like Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa who was few months back elected as Senator, this paper has gathered that three persons are taking one salary in his office which is greatly undermining their livelihood improvement.

A closed source to the office of the Bong County Senator who refused to be named told this paper that he does not even understand the amount he is working for despite the many challenges he faces as staff to the Senator.

Our Bong County Correspondent says another problem affecting the Senator is his desire to have employed more people on grounds that he wants to satisfy everyone who strongly supported him during the elections.

“For us in our department, we are four taking the one salary and our allowances can be shared on other supporters of our Boss” our accurate source secretly told this paper.

Our Correspondent says, Representatives Robert Flomo Womba, Joseph Papa Kolleh, Momima Briggs Mensah and Albert Hills Jr. are deducting the salaries of their Aids in order to prepare for the 2023 elections.

Five of Bong County Seven Representatives were elected in the 2017 general elections and will all be contesting to gain second term mandate from the citizens.

Our Investigative source have it that out of the five newly elected Lawmakers, only electoral District #3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole is not taking cent from his staffs salaries and allowances.

Instead, the remaining four are deducting 30-35% of the salaries of their Staffs to prepare for upcoming elections.

Even though there is still secrecy surrounding how much Lawmakers and their office staffs earn monthly, our Bong County correspondent’s investigation has established that the Liberian government pays Chief of Office Staff  (CoS) of every Lawmaker $500 USD as allowance and $25,000 LRD as salary.

Out of the said allowance, government pays 20% in United States Dollars which constitute $405 Dollars and the remaining in LRD While the 25,000 remains constant as salary.

Administrative Assistant, Special Assistant and Recourse Officer earn USD $360 as allowance with salaries between 14-20,000 LRD.

Political Affairs officer, Executive Secretary, Secretary, Page and Steward earn $260 United States Dollars each as allowance with salaries between 10-15,000 LRD amongst others.

While it is true that government gives gas, 90% of Lawmakers office Staffs that are to receive gas from GoL are not receiving it.

Our Bong County Correspondent says some of the Aids of the Lawmakers are afraid to openly say what is hampering them as they might likely lose their jobs instead; they have been complaining behand doors and wishing the story of their backwardness be lifted by the media.

Since November of last year, the Lawmakers have not responded to the report besides Representative Robert Flomo Womba who has stated that all those in his office are to contribute to the 2023 elections and as such, he needs to start deducting their salaries and allowances to prepare for the election.

There are people who believe that Hon. Womba needs to deduct his salary if he wants to financially prepare for future elections instead of taking the salaries of his struggling Staffs whom have their families to cater to.

According to our Source, when government pays the Staffs, he calls everyone and mandates them to divide their monies.

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About Cholo Brooks 13330 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, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.