The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Minister Tweah Clarifies Judicial Workers Money Issue …As Protest Turns Sour

By Grace Q. Bryant
Some aggrieved staffers of the Temple of Justice yesterday staged a peaceful protest in demand of their 12 months’ salary reportedly owed them by the Judicial Branch of Government.
This paper’s reporter who provided media coverage said the peaceful protest later turned chaotic when Police officers were seen dragging the aggrieved spokesperson, Archie Ponpon and others off the fence.
The spokesperson and his deputy went off in the hands of the police when an ambulance came to the rescue of Mr. Ponpon and his deputy for immediate medical attention.
According to our reporter, officers of the Liberia National Police were seen brutalizing the staffers of the Judiciary with two staffers severely wounded due to police brutality.
Responding to the aggrieved staffers in his charge issued at the Supreme Court opening yesterday, Chief Justice Korkpor said that under the application of the Act, the salaries of all government employees in all sectors, including judicial employees, Justices and Judges were reduced.
”When the workers first raised the issue with me about a month ago, I acknowledged the concerns of the employees considering that a reduction in one’s income leaves a financial gap therefore set upon a committee to meet with the employees , discuss and recommend the way forward,” Justice Korkpor explained.
He stressed that some employees of the Judiciary continue to stage sporadic protest actions, particularly targeting him and disrupting court proceedings and added that they are under the illusion that the deductions made in their salaries are being deposited in his account and his Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.
”As the Judiciary remains engaged with the Ministry of Finance & Planning in finding a lasting solution which will ensure their benefits and we are calling on the employees to refrain from further protest action,” Chief Justice stressed.
For his part, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah assured the aggrieved workers that they will be paid in October, while dispelling reports that Chief Justice Kpokpor owes the employees.
“The information about the Chief Justice that he has taken your money is misleading and wrong and I have been watching people pelting insults at the Honorable Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia.
He added that the harmonization was a complex process; there was a formula set to the judicial workers and other workers around the branches of Government who will receive salaries beginning October.
“The harmonization ended all Liberian dollars salary all across the government. There are no Liberian dollars salary and United Dollars salary under the harmonization process, so you don’t have the right to say you should be getting the Liberian dollars while the people are not getting it,” he said.
He said that his team will invite the leadership of the aggrieved staffers at the Temple of Justice today, Tuesday, to discuss about the presentation.

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