By Tina S. Mehnpaine – Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, December 5, 2019.
It’s been over two years since George Weah took over as President of Liberia. Many are wondering why in just two years, the government and the entire country have run out of banknotes.
When President George Weah took over as president in January 2017 and said he took over a broken economy. This is a fact that many can manage to accept, pundits say.
Many still question what measures he put in place to avoid the now financial crisis his government and the entire country are going through right now.
Commercial banks have no money to pay their customers and the government for the past four months has not paid civil servants including the Judiciary, Legislature, and the Executive have not received salaries, National Telegraph has confirmed.
However, Liberians and the world at large are curious to know how Weah’s administration came to this grey line within two years. Many insiders say within the President’s first term, his financial expenditure was too high that within a short period of time, the government started borrowing money from NGOs’, and some stakeholders’ account in the name of “Dig Hole Courage Hole”.
Most of his officials have not declared their assets to the public. Others regret that each time the President is traveling out of the country he takes with him not less than 18,19-20 officials who stay in fancy hotels and return home with nothing to show for.
The country has gone broke to the extent that even mobile money is not giving money out to customers. For instance, when you received 2,000 Liberian dollars on your phone and decide to withdraw it, an agent will tell you he/she can only give you 500 Liberian dollars, citing a shortage of money in the banks.
More frustrating, Liberians say they’re unable to receive their money through MoneyGram, Express, Western Union, RIA because there is no money. “Once people abroad send their families money in Liberia, banks will hardly have the money to pay it out to them in Liberia.
As a result of this crisis, some have quit their jobs, some family businesses are not running anymore because customers do not have money to purchase goods, family business owners in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia have told National Telegraph.
President George Weah asked lawmakers to return from their annual break to report at the Capitol Building (where lawmakers hold sessions) to respond to urgent matters of state, including approval for the printing of new banknotes.
In a recent post from the District #8 Lawmaker, Honorable Acarous Moses Gray he said “Printing of new banknotes is a must to enable the government to pay salaries especially for this Christmas season”
Many Liberians are however of the opinion that there’s zero significance in printing new banknotes. They have argued that the government of Liberia is poorly managing the economy, adding officials within the government are looting massively as some have turned rich overnight.
This has been described as a twist of fortunes for George Manneh Oppong Weah, a Liberian politician and former professional footballer currently serving as the 25th President of Liberia, who was seen as a Messiah. Prior to his election to the presidency, Weah served as Senator from Montserrado County.
It’s unfortunate Weah’s former friend, Henry P. Costa is seriously mobilising Liberians to stage a massive protest in the West African country from December 30, 2019, to demand George’s resignation.
But, Justice Minister, Frank Musah Dean in a letter, Monday, December 2, 2019, stated the step-down campaign is not in accordance with the Constitution of Liberia, saying Weah can only be removed from office by impeachment as provided under Article 62.
Henry Pedro Costa, responded to the Justice Minister’s letter as an “empty bluff” “Musah Dean says we will be committing treason when we gather on December 30th to demand Weah’s resignation, Costa went on to say you better get ready to arrest tens of thousands of people, suffering masses will turn out. We do not fear you! Empty bluff.”