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Not Reshuffling but Fresh Legs, Madam President

For almost two years now since she came to power, it seems that president Sirleaf is far removed from reality. She has not come to realize that she is heading a government of a country that has just been gang raped by a bunch of hooligans and thieves and as such running it as a “normal day” government styled after Western values and practices is just out of illusion. As long as the Harvard trained president refuses to acknowledge this hard truth, she will continue to reshuffle cabinet ministers and other government officials just as a Kru woman parches farina for a market day sale. The “winners take all attitude” as practiced predominantly in the West when a party wins the presidency does not work well in our collective culture. For Africa, especially Liberia where government is the sole and biggest employer, governments should be inclusive of every qualified person irrespective of party, tribal or any other affiliations. Liberia, just emerging from a war that polarized the people so extensively makes even a stronger case for a government that cuts across party and tribal lines. President Sirleaf has fallen short of appointing qualified Liberians who did not endorse or ride with her during the second round of the 2005 presidential elections. Instead, she continues to shuffle and re-shuffle the same individuals who for almost two years now have not made significant strides in putting Liberia on the road to recovery. “Da ma choice” isn’t good enough reason to keep rotating government officials from this ministry to that ministry until it finally clicks. It is time President Sirleaf changed course and bring in fresh legs from the other sides because if players are rustic, run out of gas, or just can’t score, changing wings, uniforms or boots doesn’t do much. They need to be replaced: time out, period.
The process of reuniting the country and reconciling its people must be reflected in the way presidential appointments are made. Qualified Liberians from the PRC regime which ousted the government Mrs. Sirleaf was part of and others who perhaps ill-treated her during the time she fought to bring down the Doe’s regime must be extended a hand of friendship. President Sirleaf must do all she can to dismiss any thought that there is some degree of revenge in her for the 1980 take over – the reason she hired the services of fugitive Charles M. Taylor to do the damage that had sunk the country. Indeed, Liberia is a small country with the entire population so inter-related. The president must lay the ground works for the healing of the nation. Appointing only people of her kind (Unity Party member, Congo, or female) to key posts because of “da ma choice” is arrogant and is widening the gaps created by the 150 year-Congo domination and the 14-year brutal war.

Madam president needs to pull the rug from under those who are performing poorly and bring in fresh legs from amongst other political parties and groupings including her critics. Shuffling and reshufflling in circles has a high likelihood of placing square pegs in round holes and needs to stop.

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