Special Awards In Pictures

-Human Right Activist Demands Fund Restitution

The construction of a legislative clinic project in Parluken in Forpoh District in Grand Kru County has come to a standstill, a human right activist demanding restitution of the fund has said.

Mr. Doe, who walked into the offices of this paper over the weekend, claimed that since Hamilton Construction Company won the bid in 2015 to construct the community clinic upon reaching roof level, the building has been completely abandoned and as the rainwater washes off the walls and timber on the rooftop, there is a need for the situation to be addressed, else the taxpayers` money will go down the drain.
LACE is a government agency established to improve the living standards of poor communities by providing and strengthening basic social services and to promote a community-based approach to selecting and implementing social programs.
Of recent LACE has always been at the forefront constructing legislative projects including schools, bridges, town halls, market buildings and clinics among others across the country. These projects are pre-financed in three stages from foundation, elevation and completion levels and ten percent of the total cost is held back as security in case of default and substandard work.
According to Hanson T. Doe, the US$68,000 six-room community clinic, with roofing complete is being constructed by Hamilton Construction Company under the supervision of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) program and the county legislative caucus.
Though he did not name anyone involved, Hanson accused some lawmakers of receiving kickbacks, a situation that apparently forced Hamilton to fail on the project.
“Since LACE put up the bid and Hamilton Construction Company won it has failed to complete the project to the dismay of the locals who are direct beneficiaries of the project,” Hanson said.
He further claimed that he has written LACE on two separate occasions to do whatever it takes to complete the project but the executive director has been silent on the matter.
“The rainfall for the second time now continues to damage the walls and roof of the clinic under construction,” Hanson lamented.
Hanson added that after his investigation, he discovered that there is only US$6,000 left in LACE`s account for Hamilton to complete the project, but the construction company said the amount cannot complete the remaining work on the clinic.
He alleged that the original plan for the clinic was significantly reduced for unexplained reason but the cost still remained the same.
“The amount of US6,000 that is left in LACE`s coffers right now cannot complete the project,” he further lamented.
“My son I am not the one, it is Clinton, it is the engineer that I hired who sold all the building materials for the clinic,” Hanson quoted the executive director of Hamilton Construction Company in the area.
On one occasion, Hanson added, “a community watch leader visiting his wife fell off and was rushed to a faraway clinic and he was pronounced dead upon arrival.”
“The corpse of the community watch leader was tied on a motorcycle and was held upright and propped up by another family member between him and the bike rider and brought back to Parluken for burial. The people do not want to see a repeat of such occurrence,” he narrated.
The human right activist used the occasion to call on the government and the county officials to investigate the matter in order to bring those involved not only brought to book, but to restitute the fund to complete the already overdue clinic project.
When contacted to comment on the issue raised by the right activist, after several attempts LACE executive director Sele`s phone number placed on the institution`s official website rang endlessly unanswered.
When contacted also, a female only identified as Martha, who is believed to be responsible for outstation at LACE, said she was not the rightful person to comment on the issue but referred our reporter to the public relations manager; Richard Manubah whom she indicated is clothed with the responsibility to do so.

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