……Says His Regime Failed On Gender Issues
By: Leila B. Gbati
Monrovia, Liberia: In a response to the 6th annual message, the Political Leader of Liberty Party and Senator of Grand Bassa County, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence has disclosed that President Weah’s regime has failed on gender issues, especially justice for rape victims.
Senator Lawrence made the statement at a press conference organized by Liberty Party in response to President Weah’s State of the Nation Address at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
The LP Political Leader indicated that so many of their mothers, sisters, and daughters are molested and raped across the country and their cases go nowhere in the judicial system for so many different reasons, including the lack of support for the structures that are responsible for investigation and prosecution.
According to her, this regime has not invested in an expedited judicial process for rape cases, thereby allowing rapists to go about their lives with impunity.
She recommended that more support should go to the Ministry of Gender, Children, and the Women and Children Protection Unit at the Liberian National Police.
Senator Lawrence used the medium to call for the recruitment of more women, training, and logistics for the Justice Ministry but with programs, structures, and systems that will take into consideration decentralized coordinated efforts.
Meanwhile, in response to President Weah SONA on service delivery, she emphasized that the primary responsibility of the Government is to ensure that the citizens access the minimum quality of public services that will enhance their dignity, expand opportunities, and improve their standards of living.
“Accountable governments and responsible leaders around the world often focus on continuously improving the quality of public services, especially in education, health, water, and sanitation. It is regrettable that the president since his ascendency has paid very little attention to appraise the nation on the state of service delivery in the country. Yet our people are suffering because of a public service delivery system that has virtually broken down,” she asserted.
Senator Lawrence mentioned that it is painful talking about the health sector of the country while the state of healthcare is in peril adding that “we continue to see a systematic decline of our healthcare system, unlike the elaborate picture of success pronounced by the president’s address. The president has displayed insincerity to the Liberian people by mesmerizing about the conditions prevailing in the sector when for the past five years there has been no strategic plan for the health sector to tackle the challenges, yet the president has boasted in his address of constructing two hospitals: the military hospital in Lower Margibi County and another hospital in Gbarpulu County built by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)”.
However, she lauded the Government for the construction of the two hospitals stressing that it is equally important that the true state of the healthcare system must be told by the president.
Today it is an open secret that hospitals and clinics across the country have no drugs, no electricity, no fuel for ambulances, and no beds to cater to patients amid insufficient doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff to provide lifesaving care. Health facilities in many counties are struggling to function because the decentralization of health policy faces serious challenges. Despite pleas from some of us in the Senate to increase the budgetary allotment for healthcare, the majority vote in the legislature continuously outweighs our stance, while the insufficient amounts approved for operations are always delayed or never forthcoming. This is unacceptable.
“Health facilities in many counties are struggling to function because the decentralization health policy faces serious challenges. I need not emphasize how it has become very difficult for the government to attract and retain professional health workers willing to be deployed in the interior and underserved areas due to a lack of social amenities, which among others, include, electricity, pipe-borne water, housing, and better roads, while low salaries and lack of incentives pose a major drawback so that the noble medical profession has virtually become unattractive to young people in our country. In the face of these predicaments, qualified doctors and medical consultants are forced into retirement while still capable of practicing and well-experienced without a better pension. officials of this government have the luxury of getting on flights to seek care in foreign countries while all the public hospitals remain non-functional with a consistent short-change in their budgetary allotments,” she noted.