By. Jerromie S. Walters
An energetic and hardworking Liberian woman, Madam Mary T. Broh, who is admired by many people for her straightforwardness, has extended an apology to the Fulani Community for a statement that she made in public conversation. Madam Mary Broh co-chairs the Special Taskforce to Combat the Stealing of Power in Liberia.
She said it has been brought to her attention that some members of the public have reacted negatively to a conversation she had with a member of the Fulani Community in Monrovia earlier last week.
Madam Mary Broh in a statement issued to the public over the weekend said as a member of a newly-formed anti-power theft taskforce, which was created by the Liberian Electricity Corporation, her team visited dozens of neighborhoods to disconnect illegal connections. She said they ensuring that criminals are punished.
“On Thursday, while conducting this exercise, we discovered a third-party connection involving a young woman. In the heat of the subsequent verbal exchange, I made remarks that, in retrospect, I should not have made. For this, I apologize unreservedly,” she said.
Madam Broh said it was not intended to cast doubt on our Fula community or call their patriotism into question. “We all cherish Liberia and strive to improve our nation for the greater good”.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that I have no prejudices against anyone or any group of people. My connections span numerous sectors of Liberian society. Therefore, anyone attempting to form such an opinion would be misjudging me”.
The General Services Agency’s (GSA) Director General, Madam Mary T. Broh, responded to those who criticized her for making a comment they consider unfavorable while performing official duties by claiming that her most recent statement is being politicized.
Speaking to reporters late on Saturday, November 12, 2022, Madam Broh stated that she has since come to believe that many Liberians are enthusiastic about her job and consistency over the years, and that she is therefore not concerned about what she considered a misinterpretation of her statement made during one of her recent power anti-theft exercises in Paynesville.
She however said, people want to politicize her statement, and warned that they desist from politicizing her work. She said people shouldn’t come and politicize anything, because she would not pay attention to it.
On the Anti- Power Thief exercise in Paynesville Madam Mary Broh was captured on camera having conversation some one who was thought to be a Liberian for giving energy to a Fulani on the grounds that they (the Fulani) don’t have any allegiance to Liberia.
Members of the Fulani community denounced the behavior and demanded an apology from the GSA boss during a news conference as the video spread on social media (Facebook).
It should be remembered that on November 9, 2022, the Liberian government, through the Liberia Electricity Corporation, initiated the Anti-Power Theft Campaign with the aim of lowering the alarming rate of power theft in the country.
Homes that were unjustly connected were unplugged as part of the campaign’s initial visits to various Paynesville areas, and people were imprisoned.
However, while some Liberians have praised the GSA CEO for her dedication, many have claimed that the approach will not be able to reduce nationwide power theft since they think the LEC should first make sure that individuals without meters are provided with meters.
The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) was established in 1973 as a result of a legislative act in order to generate and provide citizens with affordable and dependable electricity.
Unfortunately, power theft has consumed the LEC, leaving the company unable to manage and properly carry out its national responsibilities.
The Liberian government and its international allies have made large expenditures in the restoration of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant and raising the LEC to meet its national obligations since the conclusion of the civil war, but it seems the efforts are failing to bear fruit.
The act to alter Chapter 15 of the Penal Law by adding a new section, 15.88, which addresses electricity theft, was signed into law by President Weah on October 4, 2019.
Ironically, the purpose of this clause was to acknowledge and treat power theft as a nightmare for national security and to take potential outcomes into account.
During a visit to the LEC on August 26, 2021, Michael McCarthy, the U.S. Ambassador accredited near to Monrovia, stated that over 50% of the electricity supplied by the LEC was unaccounted for due to power theft and unpaid invoices, which seriously endangered the company’s capacity to remain financially stable.
He pleaded with the Liberian government to put an end to power theft because it frequently causes the LEC serious setbacks.