STAND calls on Boakai-led government to halt the layoffs of 40,000 civil servants

Apr 4, 2024 - 19:43
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STAND calls on Boakai-led government to halt the layoffs of 40,000 civil servants

By: Blamo N. Toe/Contributing Writer

The Movement Solidarity and Trust for a New Day (STAND), has called on the Unity Party Government through the Civil Service Agency to immediately halt the layoffs of over 40,000 civil servants.

Recently, the Director General of the CSA, Josiah Joekai disclosed that during the entity’s cleaning and scrutinizing process, about 40,000 civil servants incorporated into various spending entities of government from 2019 to 2023, are yet to be regularized.

He added that the proper processing of Personnel Action Notice has not been considered as required, stressing that failure on the part of the Personnel Director to do the needful, the CSA will determine the fate of those affected as dangling.

 But in a press statement issued Wednesday, April 4, 2024 in Monrovia, the National Chair of STAND, Mulbah K. Morlu called on President Joseph Boakai to call for a review of this exercise to eliminate the perception of witch-hunt as it is widely perceived in the general public. 

He said the institution is deeply troubled by a circular issued by the Civil Service Agency (CSA).

He added that such a matter which was disclosed on April 1, 2024 by the CSA appears to cast uncertainty over the employment status of over 40,000 employees under the guise of "Employment status regularization". 

“Of greater concern is the announcement that this exercise will specifically target 40,000 Liberian citizens employed between 2019 and 2023, raising fears of a witch-hunt against individuals who secured employment during the period of CDC governance,” Morlu noted.

Given recent mass dismissals at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs and other government agencies, specifically targeting those employed between 2018 and 2023, the Chair stressed that STAND is burdened by the potential backlash that could destabilize governance.

Morlu, who is the immediate resigned National Chair of the now opposition Coalition for Democratic Change believes these actions are not only ill-timed but also detrimental to Liberia's peace, stability, and national security interests.

“Guided by our dedication to champion the rights of all Liberians, irrespective of political allegiance, and our patriotic obligation to contribute to the success of the current government, STAND calls upon the Boakai-led Administration to abstain from politically motivated witch-hunts that could plunge the nation into chaos,” the politician turned civil rights activist emphasized.

According to him, STAND acknowledges the potential effectiveness of a smaller government in fostering growth, the movement also emphasizes that such a model can only flourish alongside a vibrant private sector.

While urging the government to halt this crisis-driven policy of mass layoffs, STAND emphasizes the importance of addressing policy gaps in the private sector, noting that this includes creating an environment that promotes economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.

The suggestion to eliminate thousands of Liberian jobs under the guise of "employment status regularization", Mulbah Morlu stressed is not only insensitive but also unprecedented.

He pointed out that it particularly singles out the governing period of a specific political party, despite the fact that the perceived issue existed long before the period from 2019 to 2023 that the exercise is addressing.

Mr. Morlu stressed that irrespective of their political leanings, these civil servants are solely working to support their families, and it would be unfair for them to suffer due to political disagreements.

“Speculation is already rampant before any action is taken, suggesting that this could be interpreted as a witch-hunt or politically motivated move against opposition members, particularly those affiliated with the Coalition for Democratic Change,” STAND boss intoned.

At the same time, STAND is encouraging the Liberian Leader and his government to redirect their government efforts toward expanding the economy and fostering private sector growth through innovative means.

Mulbah K. Morlu further urged the 55th National Legislature to closely monitor this situation and take immediate action to prevent a potential national disaster that would happen if these plans are implemented.

Meanwhile, STAND through its arrowhead has reassured the over 40,000 affected Liberian civil servants of its steadfast dedication to employing all necessary civil and legal measures, as stipulated in the Liberian Constitution, to prevent the proposed layoffs orchestrated by the CSA from coming to fruition.

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William K Howard William K Howard Jr is a young Liberian Journalist who is focused on investigative and human-interest reporting. He comes with about 10 years of experience in mainstream journalism. William K Howard is currently the Deputy Director of News at Liberia Limited, Kool 91.9FM/TV. His hard work has also earned him several professional certificates in journalism including Journalist of the year 2022/2023 in Liberia's biggest city, Paynesville.