The Paradox of Gbarpolu County Development Superintendent “Hon. Yassah Karmo-Fallah”
By: J. Patrick Kollie
The pen spoke well for her when she sat in the neutral seat and observe with what she referred to as “objective and good faith”. In her opinion, she saw everything objectively in the interest of Gbarpolu County for development and accountability. On that basis, she spoke out loudly against the ills of Gbarpolu politics. Little did Yassah know that sometimes quiet diplomacy is more effective than public rebuke. As the old saying goes, “what goes around comes around”.
On January 19, 2009, Yassah penned a detailed letter to Gbarpolu County Project procurement Committee outlining various public procurement procedures that were violated by the Procurement committee. In her letter, Yassah observed at the time that the public procurement procedure was meant to ensure that public funds are used in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
Two years after Yassah’s objective letter, she found herself in the driver’s seat as Gbarpolu County Development Superintendent. In that seat, she has the responsibility to manage and ensure that the letter she wrote when she was not there is enforced or achieved objectively. Disappointingly, all objectivity is gone through the political window as the reality finally sets in.
In politics, the traits that make successful political hustlers are not always attractive; in fact, there’s a dark trail of backstabbing types of work disappointingly visible in the politics of Hon. Yassah Karmo Fallah. A Psychopaths’ politicians, who have no conscience, Machiavels, to whom others are but pieces on a backstabbing board; a narcist, bursting with malignant self love regardless of what it takes or cost. In many Gbarpolu political observers’ opinions, Hon. Yassah Karmo-Fallah is a mixture of all three characters thus making her politically dangerous in Gbarpolu politics and a tragic political character to be associated with.
The once vocal Gbarpolu Citizen has turned blind eyes to the same ills she strongly criticized when she was not in Government. Now that she has the opportunity to make the very changes she advocated for, she has joined the political hustlers to defraud the County she once claimed she “love”. The unanswered million dollars question now is “what’s going on under the nose of Yassah Karmo-Fallah?”
On July 2nd of this year, a team of expert released their opinion of the complaints, appeals and review panel in the case of Ätty. Harris Tarnue vs Hon. Allen M Gbowee. The panel review team was chaired by Cllr. Beyan D. Howard, Co-Chaired by Mr. Massaquoi M. Kamara, Sr. Other members of the panel review committee includes Cllr. Eric B. Morlu, Mr. David M. Jallah, Commr. Esther Paegar, and Mr. Martin S. Kollie. The committee in its ruling said, after reviewing and analyzing documents submitted by the Complainant Atty. Harris F. Tarnue of Gbarpolu County and respondent Hon. Allen M. Gbowee, Superintendent of Gbarpolu County, along with other accompanying instruments, and referencing the applicable provisions of the PPC act of 2010 and regulation No. 003 on the schedule of thresholds. The panel is of the opinion that the procurement committee of Gbarpolu County Administration headed by Superintendent Allen Gbowee of which Hon. Yassah Karmo-Fallah is part of did not act in consistent with the PPC act of 2010 and regulation No. 003 on the schedule of thresholds during the conduct of the procurement proceedings/tendering process of EOI No. GBARC/NCB/001/12/13. The procurement committee did not also act consistent with PPC act of 2010 and regulation No. 003 when it proceeded to award the contracts for lot 1 (Construction of Bopolu City Streets) to Renewable Liberia Limited and lot 2 (electrification of Bopolu City) to Trans Africa Trading Company.
The panel went on to further state that it is the opinion of the panel that the respondent, Superintendent Allen Gbowee and his procurement committee violated all of the above cited provisions of the PPC act and regulation No. 003 during the conduct of the tendering process of EOI No. GBARC/NCB/001/12/13 and also failed to perform their functions in line with section 27 (c)(d)(f)(k) of the amended and restated Public Procurement & Concessions act of 2010 in the conduct of the proceedings describe above and the award of works procurement contracts to renewable Liberia Limited and Trans Africa Trading Company.
The Panel stated, in view of the above, the panel hereby upholds the contentions of the complainant that the procurement committee of Gbarpolu County Administration headed by Superintendent Allen M. Gbowee and Yassah Karmo-Fallah grossly violated the PPC provisions in favor of Renewable Liberia Limited, Trans-Africa Company and other contracts that should have met the threshold guidelines. The Panel, base on its findings during their investigation invalidated and reversed the decision of Superintendent Gbowee and his development superintendent Yassah Karmo-Fallah. The panel ordered Superintendent Gbowee and development Superintendent Karmo-Fallah to re run the procurement process with provision that those companies that participated in the July 2012 procurement proceedings do not pay any additional fees for re participation. To date, the panel’s decision is yet to be honored by Superintendent Gbowee and his Deputy for Development, Yassah Karmo-Fallah.
Many Gbarpolu citizens thought the first task of Hon. Yassah Karmo-Fallah’s administration was to ensure equal and unhindered access to all information concerning the various projects in the County, which as the infant County history has shown have been one of the most contentious issues in the county’s political life that to a large extend fueled the political tension in the county. Development Superintendent Yassah either lacked a vision or the will to enforce whatsoever vision she had for the development of Gbarpolu County when she was not there. The budget law which provides the framework for governance was disregarded and treated with discontent by this very vocal political activist Yassah Karmo-Fallah and the County project management committee (PMC) that should have upheld it. Yassah and her remote control PMC have become more talkative than doers. They have demoted themselves from discussing issues to attacking personalities who speak out on their failed activities in Gbarpolu County.
Disappointment about the Bopolu City layout and electrification projects can be seen in the eyes of Gbarpolu citizens ranging from infants to elders in all six administrative districts of the County. Most people are calling for the immediate dismissal of Superintendent Allen Gbowee and Development superintendent Yassah Karmo-Fallah to avoid further chopping by the two failed individuals. It can be recalled that Yassah Karmo-Fallah escaped several consultative meetings meant to provide clarity on most of the now failed projects in the County prior to the just ended 166 independent day celebration which was co hosted by Bomi, Gbarpolu & Grand Cape mount Counties.
Immediately after the independent day celebration in the western region, an audit was ordered on several counties. Gbarpolu County is said to be one of the priorities on the list of the audit because of the level of gross violation of the PPCC procedures that appear to be influenced by conflict of interest by Superintendent Gbowee and his Development Superintendent Yassah Karmo-Fallah.
The biggest project in the history of Gbarpolu County since its creation under the regime of now imprison former Liberian president Charles Taylor is the construction of Bopolu Streets/ City layout. The awarding of this contract is now under investigation by citizens themselves. According to the PPCC procedure that was published as a guideline for the expression of interest (EOI) to bidders indicated the submission/qualification requirements as follow:
Current business registration certificate, current valid tax clearance certificate, Ministry of public works certificate, instant financial statement, proof of ability to pre finance per stage/phase, and past performance records/reports. It has been established that Renewable Liberia Limited, the company undertaking the biggest project in Gbarpolu County (lot 1, Bopolu City layout) did not meet the requirement of the bid but was still declared winner of the bid. The company is believed to be owned by controversial former Gbarpolu County junior Senator Daniel Naatehn. Superintendent Allen Gbowee resided in Daniel Naatehn’s house in Bopolu when he (Gbowee) presided over the bidding process. Did Superintendent Gbowee’s present in Naatehn’s house influence his decision to fraudulently award the bid to Renewable Liberia Limited?. It can also be recalled that Superintendent Gbowee and his Development superintendent Yassah Karmo-Fallah attempted to terminate the contract of Universal construction services headed by Mr. Jallah K. Mendscole. Their attempt brought more exposure as Mr. Mends-cole went gutter with them by explaining how the Superintendent and the Development superintendent took $10,000.00 (ten thousand United States dollars) from him as a kick back while the PMC treasure “Johnson Gotoe” demanded and received $1000.00 (one thousand united states dollars) as his share of the chopping spree.
To date, the actions of Yassah remains ironically inconsistent as more unanswered questions linger the minds of thousands of Gbarpolu County residents.