Pres. Weah’s Appointment in River Cess Raises Tension

CESTOS CITY, River Cess – Activities at the government building in Cestos were stalled on Tuesday morning when youth groups protested against the appointment of Ruth Sawmadal as superintendent of River Cess.

Speaking to The Bush Chicken, the leader of the protesters, Peter Tow, said the appointment of the former assistant superintendent for development is a “affront” to the people of River Cess.

“We the youth of River Cess are saying no to the appointment,” Tow said. “In recent time, you heard the civil society calling for a comprehensive report from the local administration, [in] which she serves as assistant superintendent for development, and that report is yet to be made.”

According to him, if the Coalition for Democratic Change government is serious about change, it should not be about retaining “corrupt government officials.”

The chairman of CDC’s River Cess branch, Bismax Kargbia, said Sawmadal’s appointment was influenced by Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf.

“The minister of internal affairs decided to dubiously appoint her,” Kargbia said. “I say the appointment is against the will of the people of River Cess, and as such, that should be withdrawn.”

Sawmadal’s appointment seems to have riled up many citizens of River Cess, who have publicly voiced their disapproval. Several callers on a local radio program on Tuesday called on Pres. George Weah to withdraw the appointment.

Sawmadal worked with the River Cess County Health Team and later served as gender coordinator for the county before she was appointed as assistant superintendent for development in 2004.

Recently, civil society organizations in the county resolved to file a lawsuit against the local administration of the county.

According to the organizations, over the years, the county administration has refused to account for county social development funds and other funds destined for the county.

Eric Peterson, the coordinator of the River Cess County Service Center, said Weah’s appointment of Sawmadal is not proper.

“This is just a setback for the county,” Peterson said. “Today, we should have been rendering services to people at the generating revenue for the government. But everything is at the standstill.”

Sawmadal was contacted by The Bush Chicken for comment but she did not respond before publication.

Featured photo by Eric Opa Doue

Eric Doue

Eric Opa Doue is a co-founder of Echo Radio Station, which does a series of programs in Bassa, Kru, and simple Liberian English. Under his leadership, Echo Radio was selected as one of the Moody Radio global partners for training opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Eric was one of a handful of reporters who received training from Internews in 2015 on humanitarian reporting during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He holds a diploma in Journalism, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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