Health Workers Still On Minister Coleman's Back

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted December 6, 2003

Contrary to claims by some officials of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia that Dr. Peter Coleman as Health Minister did not enter into any agreement with the Monrovia Developer and Management Corporation (MDMC) for the printing of Birth and Death certificates, documentary evidence, copies of which are in the possession of this paper, has proved otherwise.

According to the documentary evidence, on January 22,1999, Dr. Coleman certified the MDMC as the printer of birth and death certificates in the country for a two-year period, thereby ensuring the supply of these to include other necessary components.

The agreement shows that the former GOL through the Ministry of Health opened a joint special trust account at the Liberia United Bank Incorporated(LUBI) to receive payments per unit of US$25.00 for either new or replacement of birth and death certificates.

Accordingly, the document revealed that the US$25.00 charged covers finance charges, cost of production for both inland, ocean or air freights of supplies and equipment, insurance, international travel, staff and other expenses borne by the MDMC.

However, apart from the opening of the special trust account, separate accounts were established for the MDMC, GOL and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Our investigation also indicates that the agreement called for the transferring of shares of US$7.00 into the MOH account, US$10.00 to the account of MDMC and US$8.00 to the account of LUBI for each certificate sold throughout the life of said agreement.

The investigation disclosed that all actions outlined in the contract memorandum of understanding, especially those regarding the collection and disbursement of funds are the final and require no further action by the former GOL or the MDMC for LUBI to carry out it duties.

The investigation confirmed that prior to the signing of the agreement, Dr. Peter Coleman had earlier written the former Deputy Finance Minister for Revenue, Madam Juanita Neal explaining that the birth and death certificate project was primarily intended not only to minimize fraud and create efficiency in the production of these certificates but was to increase government revenue.

In a related development, Mr. Isaac Williams also of the National Health Workers Union has termed as baseless, misleading, unfounded and completely erroneous allegation made against him by some officials of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia accusing him of misappropriating over L$200,000.00 while serving as audit officer at the Slipway Clinic.

Mr. Williams said the allegation was intended to tarnish his reputation that he had worked for over the years dismissed claims that he is no longer in the employ of the MOH, something he authenticated with his October salary check stub received under the incumbent government.

Meanwhile, some associates of Dr. Peter Coleman told this paper that he at no time refused to disclose how much was generated from the sale of the birth and death certificates. They noted that Dr. Coleman is not accountable to the MOH employees relative to the sale of birth and death certificates but to the central government.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.