Sime Darby Destruction Scare Investors, As Local Authorities Call On Gov’t To Remove Illegal Squatters

palm3Recent 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.

palm5The 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.
palm4According 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.

palm6Madam Mary G. Varney, the president of rural women in Bomi County said the actions by the alleged perpetrators will make their children who are benefiting from the company to suffer seriously.

“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.

palm 7A  total of 113 hectares of palm were completely burnt  down by the angry demonstrators who went ahead setting the large palm farms at ablaze.

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.

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About Cholo Brooks 17126 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.