I have found out 11 interesting reasons why H. E. Chief ‘Ponofalo’ Dr. Jewel Cianeh Howard-Taylor has gone on strike and I thought to share them with you. Here are they:
1. The budget of her office for 2018/2019 was US$2,216,196.
2. Her office could only receive US$2,047,197 out of this total amount. This means she did not receive US$168,999 of her budget last fiscal year.
3. The amount for her office in 2018/2019 was cut to US$1,837,246 in 2019/2020 National Budget.
4. This means US$378,950 was sliced from her budget this fiscal year and it accounts for a whopping 17 percent reduction or cut in her budget for FY2019/2020.
5. January begins the third quarter of Liberia’s budget year according to the 2009 Public Financial Management Law. The office of JHT is yet to even receive 25% of her budgetary appropriation.
6. To make matter worse, JHT’s US$1.8m is being illegally and forcibly sliced to an amount between US$1m and US$700,000 while GMW (US$2,103,675), Bhofal Chamber (US$1,043,265), Albert Chie (US$1,188,444) and Clar Weah (US$700,000) remain constant and untouched this fiscal year.
7. Min. Samuel D. Tweah has been cutting and withholding JHT’s budgetary appropriation and incentives because he thinks she is a threat to his ‘2023 Vice Presidential Ambition’. Min. Nathaniel McGill and NPA Boss Bill Tweahway hold similar view because they too are eyeing such post.
8. The staffers of JHT have not been paid for almost 6 months and she is unable to implement her programs and projects as Vice President due to funding constraints. Her office is even challenged with transportation and cash for miscellaneous.
9. JHT newly-founded Jewel Star Fish Foundation is a target of repression. Her rivals think she will be gaining more traction and political leverage through this foundation.
10. The executive immunities or entitlements that JHT deserves have been cut off. Confidants of GMW are intentionally strangulating her office to put her in a weaker position ahead of 2023.
11. JHT is unsettled and unhappy about an engineered plot to remove her as VSB of CDC and VP of Liberia which was revealed in 2 leaked audios with voices of Superintendent Esther Walker and CDC Chairman Mulbah K Morlu Jr..
Amidst all of these mistreatments, JHT is taking a tactical retreat and reflection. She is now leaving the garage as a ‘parked car’ and protesting against a government she fought to make. Senators were on capitol hill this first day of session but JHT could not be seen or found to preside as President of the Liberian Senate.
I knew this daunting moment was nearing for JHT. So, I wrote a 3-page analysis predicting it. Follow this link to read my analysis which is titled “From Up To Down After 24 Months – Does Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor Have A Future In CDC?” (Link: http://www.theperspective.org/
A day before JHT could even go on strike, one of NPP’s strongman Cornelius Hunter outlined these challenges facing her office: No official armored vehicle for almost a year – Default or non-payment of leased property – Delay in processing checks and non-remittance of budgetary appropriation – Refusal to consult before critical decisions are made or taken – and Lack of respect and courtesy to her office especially by fanatics of CDC and pro-Weah protégés.
A FACT GMW and CDC need to know:
GMW or CDC would not have won 2017 elections without JHT. CDC failed in 2005 and 2011 after running alone in those elections. A convenient political marriage with NPP Strong woman, H. E. Chief ‘Ponofalo’ Dr. Jewel Cianeh Howard-Taylor, gave CDC victory. The ‘Jewel Factor’ was key.
Since coming to power on January 22, 2018, VP Howard-Taylor appears to be an outcast in CDC. The ongoing protest by JHT is in favor of Samuel Tweah, Nathaniel McGill and Bill Tweahway because they are eyeing her post ahead of 2023 elections. The prevailing impasse is a plus for the opposition. If this crisis persists and JHT is ousted from CDC, opposition political parties and politicians stand a far better chance in 2023.
Political structures and partisans of NPP are becoming increasing disenchanted. The cracks in the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change are deepening as credible sources privy to information say, “JHT may boycott the State of the Nation Address” next Monday, January 20, 2020.
Good afternoon from my end – Martin K. N. Kollie, an exiled activist.