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“I Took Away Items I Bought Personally” -Kolleh Disclaims Looting MICAT

By Laurina B. Lormia (Intern)

Assistant Minister for Technical Services at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MICAT), David B. Kolleh clarified that when they took over in 2018, the office of the Assistant Minister for Technical Services was not a conducive working environment.

According to Minister Kolleh, the office was dirty and very uncomfortable to work in. There were spoiled desks, broken chairs, and no air conditioner, broken doors and so on.

“The Director of Procurement, Darlington Cheeks; Atty Daniel C. Gayedyu Jr., the Minister of Information, and then Chief, Eugene Lenn Nagbe, will bear witness to the fact that I personally bought everything I had in my office from my pocket. From rug, new desk, office cabinet, coffee table, ice box, air conditioner, printer, television, guest chair, and I even bought chairs and desks for the New Liberia Newspaper for staff to work, as they had nothing to begin work with, he stated.

I even bought a four-door Sedan for my New Liberia Staff to work with, because staff were working odd hours. Due to poor maintenance, the car got damaged. Few months ago, I changed my air conditioner to a new unit, as the old one was malfunctioning continuously.

The Minister of Information, Ledgerhood Julius Rennie, and the entire administration, are in full knowledge of these facts! No one gave me a refund for the items I procured; therefore, it was just fair to take my items home,” Kolleh explained.

“Additional facts: I had no assigned government vehicle. Every vehicle I used came from my savings. If anyone thinks I’m supposed to keep my properties there for them to work, that person must be dreaming,” he added.

Kolleh further revealed that security approved his list of items when his staff went to get his stuff, adding that all GoL assets are registered in the fixed assets registry and updated yearly, so everyone is free to go and check.

It was reported, Monday morning, that Kolleh visited the office overnight and looted the entire office containing 1 desk, 1 flag, some chairs, 1 round table, 4 living room chairs, 1 cover, 4 executive chairs, 12 picture frames, 4 curtains, 1 clock, 1 flower pot, and the rug on the office floor.

One of the employees, identified as Emmanuel Mayon explained that early that morning, when they got to the office, they noticed that Kolleh’s office was empty; so they asked the securities, and the securities told them that the Minister on the previous night took everything away from the office.

“Even if he had personal properties there, he should have come in the day, reached out to the HR to open the office, and take whatever belonged to him, but rather, he went there while people were asleep and stripped the entire office. The office was well equipped with everything that should be in an Assistant Minister’s office, so this is a criminal act,” Mayon said.

“The HR needs to go to the Ministry of Finance, to hold on to his salary for the next two months, until he returns those properties. The office looks like we just came from war; we give him 72 hours to return the things, or else we will move to his house and order citizen’s arrest for him,” he added.

“We’re just from elections and another minister will soon be taking office. He came to this office and met everything here, so, he had no right to loot the office in the event that he was leaving, seeing as he was not the one who furnished it,” Mayon stressed.

Joseph Kennedy, president of the workers’ union, said he was feeling very bad, seeing that their ministry is being looted by the Assistant Minister, adding, “So far, this is the only office that has been looted, we are going to make sure we check every office.”

According to Kennedy, they will make sure that no minister or worker takes anything from any office anymore; “Those things belong to the Liberian people, and we will be our own securities from today because the securities were on duty when the people looted the office. We don’t have a problem if he’s taking his own things in the day; it happened here when Eugene Fahngon was fired; he came here in the day and took his things, we never had a problem with that.”

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