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Friday, July 19, 2024

CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS DISMISSAL OF MINISTRY OF LABOR EMPLOYEES IN GBARPOLU COUNTY

Date:

MONROVIA – The Ministry of Labor recently made headlines with the immediate dismissal of five employees for their involvement in illegal activities in Gbarpolu County. However, the situation took a controversial turn as documents revealed a conflicting narrative behind the dismissals.

The saga began on June 17, 2024, when the Superintendent of Gbarpolu County alerted Minister of Labor, Cllr. Cooper W. Kruah, Sr., about individuals posing as ministry inspectors conducting arrests and seizing passports under false pretenses. An investigation by the Ministry of Labor confirmed that the employees involved were not authorized inspectors and were engaged in illegal activities.

Despite the Ministry’s swift action to dismiss the employees, further revelations emerged that painted a different picture. Documents showed that the dismissed employees had been authorized by Inspector General Charles Brown and Assistant Minister for Planning and Manpower Emmanuel Barnes to conduct inspections in Gbarpolu County. During their authorized inspections, they identified alleged illegal workers and handed over passports to local authorities, supported by the Liberia Immigration Service and the Police Commander.

The situation escalated when Assistant Minister Barnes raised concerns with Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Selena Polson Mappy about Superintendent Zinnah’s refusal to release the employees, citing impersonation. A conference call involving key officials revealed conflicting instructions and jurisdiction claims over the inspection area.

Superintendent Zinnah’s testimony in Monrovia shed light on the internal power struggles within the Ministry of Labor, with Assistant Minister Zorh claiming authority over the inspection area, contradicting the initial mandate given to the employees.

The dismissal of the employees without following established disciplinary procedures outlined in the Civil Service Standing Orders raised concerns about procedural lapses and internal conflicts within the Ministry. The incident underscored potential integrity issues and the protection of vested interests in government operations.

Furthermore, the revelation that the fine for the violation of Chinese nationals without work permits amounted to a significant sum, but was downplayed due to interference and obstruction, added another layer of complexity to the situation.

The controversy surrounding the dismissal of Ministry of Labor employees in Gbarpolu County highlights the importance of transparency, adherence to protocols, and the need to address internal conflicts to ensure the integrity of government operations.

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