Rights Advocate Frowns On Traditional Council Chief

By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas/GNN Senior Staff

Mr. Brima Lahai Sowa
Mr. Brima Lahai Sowa

One of Liberia’s rights advocates has frowned on the head of the Traditional Council of Liberia in its recent mediatory role in the ongoing crisis involving House Speaker, Alex Tyler and his colleagues who are calling themselves ‘The Majority Bloc’, a group that is opting for the recusal of the Speaker from presiding over regular session.

Mr. Brima Lahai Sowa speaking in an exclusive interview with the GNN-Liberia online newspaper, making specific reference to the stance taken by the head of the National Traditional Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzan Karwa said mediatory efforts to resolve such tense Legislative crisis on Capitol Hill requires a neutral person or body.

He noted that a neutral third party role expected to have been played by Chief Karwa was not in the interest of settling the dust at the House of Representatives, adding,  “A mediator is not a judge, he or she or must not take a side in resolving a conflict,” Mr. Sowa speaking to the GNN-Liberia noted with a grieve concern said.

Speaking further on the role Chief Karwa played in his recent bid to settle the dust at the Capitol, Mr. Sowa said “I knew Chief Kawor would have been a good mediator giving his position as a Presidential appointee who serves at the will and pleasure of the Liberian Chief Executive,” Sowa indicated.

He noted that the Speaker absence from a meeting organized by the National Traditional Council of Liberia does not in any way warrant him, what he termed a verdict in a case that is before the Supreme Court, final interpreter and arbiter of Justice in the country.

Chief Karwa joined the Anti-Tyler lawmakers to call on Speaker Tyler to step aside due to his disrespectful action by not attending a meeting of the Chiefs and rival colleagues.

But human rights advocate, pointed out that Chief Karwa has now demonstrated his own support to the Anti-Tyler lawmaker like the President instead of playing a role as the third and neutral party to the conflict.

 “The fact that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had written the Anti-Tyler Representatives assuring them of her continued cooperation as evident by two separate communications, there was absolutely no way Chief Kawor could have ignored the position of his boss, he lamented”.

Chief Zanzan Kawor has been criticized by cross section of Liberians on various Radio Talk Shows in the Capital, Monrovia over the Traditional Council’s decision calling on the Speaker to recues himself during its mediation.

Mr. Sowa, a strong supporter of Pro Tyler bloc, said the anti-Tyler lawmakers now headed by Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue are proceeding wrongly in their pursuit to have the Speaker recues himself as a presiding officer by ignoring their standing rule as well as the organic law of the state, the Constitution.

Sowa pointed out that in keeping with the House Standing Rules, a member (s) having whatever offence must write a former complaint that will be investigated after which a decision shall be taken after voting taking in keeping with Legislative proceedings.

“It is disappointing for those entrusted with state power to grossly ignore the functions and responsibilities to the Liberian people in the name of removing Speaker Tyler, the Human rights advocate observed”.

He said the action of the lawmakers is not only treasonable, but undermines the attainment of the country’s development plans.

According to him, the quest to remove Speaker Tyler is not based on morality, but politically motivated and reportedly orcharatsed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Unity party.

Sowa, also a trained GEMAP auditor wants the lawmakers (Anti-Tyler) to adhere to the rule of law, noting the Speaker is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

“The fact that some lawmakers have admitted to receiving bribe to remove the Speaker, their intention is characterized by sinister motives, Sowa noted”.

But Mr. Sowa believes if it were only on the basis of moral, many lawmakers should have been out of the Legislature for corruption and other vices that continue to bring the state into disrepute.

He dismissed their reason, saying the move highly political and has evil intentions, something that is part of the Unity party’s desperate desire to regain state power after the 2017 elections.

Chief Zanzan Kawor has since been criticized by cross sections of Liberians on various Radio Talk Shows in the Capital, Monrovia over the Traditional Council’s latest decision to call on the Speaker to recuse himself during its mediation.

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About Cholo Brooks 15580 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.