There was no need, it seemed to me, to reject outright the outsourcing of the Ebola fight and to insist on Liberians doing it alone, on their own terms, as some significant individuals have suggested. On the other hand, there was also no need to reject, outright, Liberians trying to get a handle on the Ebola epidemic by doing it on their own as a sovereign nation. The truth, it seems, is somewhere in the middle and that is what Dr. Dunn (The Liberian Observer September 10, 2014 https://www.liberianobserver.com/editorials/ebola-threat-international-peace-and-security and The Perspective September 11, 2014 http://www.theperspective.org/2014/0910201401.php) and Mr. Morlu (The Perspective September 9, 2014 http://www.theperspective.org/2014/0909201404.php) have provided for us. What we need is a constructive cooperation, a partnership, with the international health organizations, identified both by Morlu and Dunn, to battle and win the fight against this Ebola scourge. These organizations, in addition to the financial resources they can bring also have the needed technical and scientific skills and the accumulated historical knowledge to help the Ebola situation significantly. With such a joint venture between Liberia and the international health organizations we can learn and get the expertise and resources which may help us to set up lasting institutions of our own to combat future crises. I commend Dunn and Morlu for providing us the framework for such a cooperative undertaking. Let us combine their two recommendations to form the base organization for the cooperative venture to fight the scourge of Ebola.Dr. Dunn provided us the international framework for such a cooperative venture. The five points he recommended for accomplishing this international cooperative venture should be taken seriously and implemented immediately. His call for prominent African leaders including our own Madam Leymah Gbowee to respond openly and actively to the crisis is significant in expanding the context.And it is his call for prominent African leaders including our Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Leymah Gbowee that connects his recommendations to the three-point recommendation of Mr. John Morlu 111. Mr. Morlu frames his recommendations with a focus on Liberian participation and he recommends significant Liberians to be included, such as Senator Nyonblee Kanga-Lawrence and one could add Madam Gbowee to this list. To this Liberian list I will suggest adding: The Dean of the Arthur Grimes Law School, Professor David A. B. Jallah, Dr. Joe Diggs, Mr. Kenneth Best, Mr. John Morlu 111, Dr. Ayele Ajavon and Dr. Elwood Dunn. These plus others could form the Liberian contingent of the Ebola Eradication group. As both Dunn and Morlu suggested, the international health organizations like MSF, WHO etc, can name those who will constitute their contingent and the two groups will form the institutional base for the fight against Ebola. Of course the American military can help as they have started to do but they will have to be under the over all rubric of this organization. This group or institution will have to be given the legal and constitutional basis for functioning in Liberia. It is urgent that we establish this immediately.However, all these will not work and the monies and resources generated can easily be swallowed up and squandered if there is no transparency or accountability. This, to me, is the significance of Mr. Morlu’s insistence that the institution so set up “Ask the European Union or American Government to appoint a Chief Accountant … to manage the Ebola money. This will send a clear message that Liberia is ready for accountability”. This, in my judgment, is very important because corruption has, for long, crippled and incapacitated us in building our Nation. Corruption is not only eating up our resources and exporting them to the developed countries but also consuming our birthright in the lots and property we sell or mortgage to foreigners. We need a credible outside accountant to control the recalcitrant edges of our loose and undisciplined money-management habits.Dr. Dunn and Mr. Morlu 111 have given us the framework for a viable organization to combat Ebola in Liberia. Let us move very fast in implementing their recommendations.About the authorDr. Igolima T. D. Amachree can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
After 60 striking workers who were dismissed by bauxite company – Russian Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) – which is owed by RUSAL, for downing tools in protest of an arbitrary one per cent salary increase, Government met with the company on Wednesday.Led by Minister of State Joseph Harmon; Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman; Social Protection Minister Amna Ally; and Junior Social Protection Minister with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott; along with RUSAL’s representative Vladimir Permyakov and Director of Alumina and Bauxite Department at RUSAL, Sergey Kostyuk; met to discuss ways in which the issue can be resolved in an amicable manner.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman; Social Protection Minister, Amna Ally and Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle meeting with RUSAL’s representative, Vladimir Permyakov and Director of Alumina and Bauxite Department at RUSAL, Sergey KostyukDuring the meeting, Harmon asserted that Guyanese workers must be treated in a respectful manner and the country’s labour laws must be upheld.“There are two objectives to this: the Guyanese workers must be treated in a respectful and fair manner at all times; their rights must be respected and at the same time, the company must function and ensure it makes profits for its shareholders. It is a question of finding common ground and ensure that our workers’ rights are respected. We must find common ground to move forward. The issues must be dealt with in a clear way,” Harmon is quoted by the Ministry of the Presidency as saying.Ally also shared that the Government has sought to lay out its contentions, giving the company an equal opportunity to do so as well. Adding to that, the dismissed workers will also get a chance to be heard today via a meeting with Government at Aroaima.Officials from the company also committed to making a decision after further discussions with their principals.Meanwhile, at a press conference on Friday last, when asked for a comment on the issue, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said Guyana’s laws must be upheld.The 60 workers were fired by the bauxite company for protesting against a one per cent salary increase. On Tuesday, residents of Kwakwani, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) in disagreement with the dismissal of the striking employees attached to the company retaliate by blocking the access road which leads to the company located at Aroaima.During initial deliberations, representatives of the company stated that they do not recognise the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU), which has been advocating for the affected workers.“We have no relation with this union,” the Russian company’s representative said. “It happened before I came to Guyana to work… it was an alternative poll. This poll took place on October 3, 2017. It was won by Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union.“Only a few weeks after, we got information that the Judge in (a case decided) this board was constituted with some breaches and could be considered illegal. It meant former worker was considered by decision of judge illegal. I think many people knew the Board was illegal. But nobody said to us such a (poll) could be considered nil and void.”This is a reference to the judgement issued in the case of the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board (TURCB) versus the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG).FITUG General Secretary Carvil Duncan had claimed that TURCB unilaterally appointed a chairman in 2015 without consulting them, and only recognised the Guyana Trades Union Congress.In the written judgement issued by the High Court on November 8, 2017, it said FITUG was not consulted prior to the appointment of a chair in 2015. This was found to be in violation of the Trade Union Recognition Act, especially as it relates to the selection of a chairman of the organisation.Chairman of the Union, Lewis maintained that the company has no authority to ascertain this, stating that it a responsibility of the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board (TURCB).