Monday, July 4, 2011
It has come to our attention that the Acting City Mayor of Monrovia, Madam Mary T. Broh is using an iron-fist leadership by intimidating and harassing residents with her Monrovia City Police Force in and around the city of Monrovia. Madam Broh is in the habit of harassing civilians she accuses of littering the streets or for leaving children walk alone in the streets. She at the same time convicts her accused and punishes them publicly. The nature and style of such use of power is no different from the sad days of Chuky Taylor and his Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU). The only difference is that Chucky and his ATU were well armed, and we can only imagine what would happen if Broh and her Monrovia City Police were armed.
Madam Broh must realize that as Acting Mayor she has very limited power which she must fully exhaust before going beyond the margins. She must also be informed that as Mayor – acting or proper - she has no prosecutorial power to try, nor a judicial power to convict and sentence people. I have personally witnessed her excesses, and the report by Front Page Africa of a helpless mother convicted in Broh’s ‘street court’ is troubling. Front Page Africa online reports and shows picture of a woman ‘pumping tire’ for allegedly leaving her child walk alone in the streets of Monrovia. This is a serious miscarriage and an abuse of the rights of that poor woman. This woman is a mother of children to be humiliated publicly for an alleged crime. Besides, she has her rights under Liberian laws to defend herself in court for any allegations against her. That right was not recognized, but abused by the Acting Mayor and her troops. This is a terrible signal of the emergence of a powerful and unchecked establishmentarian in President Sirleaf’s inner circle.
We use this time to call on the City Council of Monrovia to put the Acting Mayor to check and define her terms-of-reference openly. We also want to call the immediate attention of President Sirleaf to these excesses and to make her know that they have the proclivity of undermining the human rights credentials of her administration
Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei
Independent Campaigner for Democracy and Social Justice