It’s ‘Hell’ to Cash Gov’t Checks at CBL


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted December 21, 2004

“Go! Go! Pa-pay go” was the popular song sang by Liberians at the time the civil war reached at the doorstep of the capital, Monrovia, in addition to the international community’s pressure on former President Charles Taylor to leave the country by then.

The people of Liberia sang the song with the hope and expectation that with the quick departure of the former President in August 2003, it would be well for them and their families in terms of improved system unlike the hardships experienced during his (Taylor) tenure.

Moreover, people thought that by Taylor leaving the seat of presidency this would have paved the way for better living conditions where basic services such as water, light and salary payment could be systematic and orderly. To the contrary, since the departure of Mr. Taylor, Liberians continue to suffer without any improvement.

Prices of basic commodities – rice and gasoline, have gone sky-high and meeting their daily needs is almost impossible.

The former Rovia Bank on Carey Street, which now houses the Central Bank of Liberia annex, is a scene of “survival of the fittest” where government workers stand for many hours without cashing their salary checks.

Many of the workers said that since they received their checks for Christmas holiday, they have been finding it difficult to cash them at the new Central Bank Annex. They experienced worst of it last Saturday when hundreds of them, including elderly men and women stood chill in a heavy downpour of rain for several hours finding means to cash their checks.

Despite the severe rain that flogged them, many of the workers went home disappointed, as their checks could not be cashed.

An elderly employee of the Internal Affairs Ministry, David Gbarga, told The FORUM “Ever since I came this morning my children, I cannot cash this one check.”

He said since last week, he has been attempting to cash his check but to no avail.

Mrs. Mary Tarnue, a Ministry of Education employee pointed out, “I do not know what my children will eat during the holiday if I fail to cash this check.” In a sorrowful mood, she told this paper that she makes LD$800 a month and has five children, with the husband being unemployed, saying: “ This suffering won’t stop in Liberia until we die.”

People are wondering why the Central Bank created one area for employees to cash their salary checks at such a time when people need quick cash to do Christmas shopping for their families.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.