Monrovia City Majoree Accuses Of holding Employees Salaries

By: Patrick K. Wrokpoh


The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted October 7, 2003

Employees of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), have lashed at the their boss, City Mayoress Ophelia Hoff-Saytumah, accusing her of failing to pay their salaries arrears in the tune of L$400,000.
The angry MCC employees who stormed the offices of this paper to express their grievances, said the amount in question include their salary arrears for the months of February and March, 2003 presented to Mrs. Saytumah on July 9th, 2003 by the Government of Liberia.

The employees in a 3-page petition statement, a copy of which was served this paper, accused Mrs. Saytumah of hastily putting in place a skeleton team to run the affairs of the corporation shortly after receiving the money.

According to the petition, the employees want the payroll for their February and March salaries be returned to the Ministry of Finance. They also want the MCC Management to provide them death benefits, medical opportunity as well as transportation benefits among others.

The MCC employees who were accompanied to our offices by Mr. Zubahyea Flomo and Sampson Clerk, Deputy Director for Community Services and the Supervisor of Health Education respectively, accused the skeleton team headed by Mrs. Saytumah’s executive assistant, Mr. Peter Kerkula, of administrative wrongdoings.

They alleged that the skeleton team has put in place a current program financed by CRS, OXFAM and UNICEF without informing them what they are to get for their labor.

The aggrieved employees during their visit alleged that the MCC management is receiving funds from GOL and international donors but has failed to purchase the appropriate and adequate gears for those working with the Sanitation and Environment Health Department. They said these funds were rather directed to pay agencies such as HELP Incorporated and Ophelia Travel Services both of which belong to Mrs. Saytumah.

When the Finance Ministry was contacted on the issue, our reporter was informed that the Minister was not available to comment on the issue.

However, our reporter met the head of the MCC skeleton team, Mr. Peter Kerkula who refuted the worker’s claims.

Mr. Kerkula who appeared relaxed during the interview with our reporter, said as far as he was concerned, the GOL is yet to settle salary arrears for the months of February and March as claimed by employees.

He said some higher-ups at the corporation who feel dissatisfied, were using the ignorance of the employees to cause confusion at the concern.

He said his boss Mrs. Saytumah, is concerned about the plight of MCC employees and will not abscond with their salaries as is being alleged.

According to him, his boss was on a brief trip to the USA and will be back soon.

Commenting on the contract with OXFAM, CRS and UNICEF, he said only 60 employees have been selected to work and they are being paid US$15.00 monthly. He said these funds are not being handled by the MCC, but the financiers, adding, "we are just trying to do something that will keep our employees on job to get some money since government salaries are not forthcoming".

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.