Another act of mob violence – or vigilante justice, some call it – is compelling the Liberia National Police to take yet another drastic action against commercial motorcyclists as the fear of ‘ritualistic activity’ instigated the burning of a car that the LNP has said was innocent of the allegation. The incident took place last Friday in Barnesville when angry commercial motorcyclists claimed a woman had been kidnapped by a man in the community and as a result they attempted to lynch him. When they failed, they moved on his vehicle and set it ablaze. Now the LNP has announced temporary suspension of all motorcycles plying the routes between Barnesville Estate and Barnesville Junction, and has warned of drastic action against any violators. The Liberia National Police in a release yesterday said the decision is due to the continuous unruly and violent behavior of motorcyclists generally and particularly the incident on Friday, November 21 that resulted in the burning of the official vehicle of the Sinoe County Representative, Jeremiah McCauley. The motorcyclists chased and burned the vehicle on allegation that the operator was a “heartman” following a reported fuss between the operator and his fiancée, the LNP investigation said. The LNP said preliminary investigation has established that the vehicle was operated by the son of Representative McCauley and his fiancée when they were rescued by police assigned at the Johnsonville Police Depot. The motorcyclists threw stones at the depot and demanded officers on shift to turn the vehicle operator over to them before setting Representative McCauley’s vehicle ablaze. The police have arrested six persons in connection with the Friday night violence in Johnsonville. Police Inspector General, Col. C. Clarence Massaquoi, said the ban on the movement of the motorcyclists in the affected areas will remain in place until a comprehensive investigation is conducted. The LNP has meanwhile erected three checkpoints on the main road linking Barnesville Estate to Barnesville Junction to enforce this restriction. The brutal murder of a commercial motorcyclist recently in Ganta, Nimba County, caused violent response by motorcyclists that destroyed properties with a local businessman’s house and hotel being set ablaze. The riot caused the Liberian government to issue a ban on commercial motorcyclists who later issued an apology with promises that they would abide by the law, and avoid violence action in the future. With 2017 presidential elections looming and the number of deaths, particularly among civilians increased, officials have predicted violent responses whenever any death happens in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Revised steel taxesThe Finance Ministry, under the hand of Finance Minister Winston Jordan, over the weekend attempted to rubbish an article, which pointed to an increase in the import taxes to be paid for the importation of steel, saying the decision was not initiated by himself, but rather the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) – the Government’s tax collection agency under his Ministry.Finance Minister Winston JordanJordan on Saturday – three days after Guyana Times carried a report – issued a public statement which said the Finance Ministry noted with absolute disgust a report in Guyana Times titled, “Govt hikes taxes on steel imports”, August 11, 2016.According to the article, as published by this newspaper, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Irfaan Ali said, “Finance Minister Winston Jordan circulated on Wednesday a correspondence with [sic] brokers and other relevant stakeholders, indicating that the tariff (taxes) charged for the importation of steel into Guyana would be doubled, since it has been increased from five per cent to 10 per cent.”Jordan has since said the Finance Ministry “categorically rejects this accusation and wishes to make clear that the Minister of Finance, [Winston] Jordan, has not circulated any correspondence indicating any increase in tariffs for the importation of steel.”The Ministry said too it, “wishes to make clear that there has been no increase in the tariffs associated with the importation of steel.”In seeking to offer clarification, the Ministry has since indicated that it is the Quality Review Section of the GRA, responsible for examining customs declarations for valuation, classification and volume discrepancies, which identified anomalies in relation to the importation of alloy steel by several businesses in Guyana.According to the Finance Ministry, “After a review of the evidence presented, together with the Chapter Notes of the Common External Tariff (CET) and Explanatory Notes, it was determined that most of the Tariff Headings applicable to the type of steel commonly imported would attract a rate of import duty of 10 per cent, instead of five per cent.”Minister Jordan still contends however that, it is mindboggling that Ali could engage in such dishonesty which can only be interpreted as an attempt to create unfounded hysteria within the business community to score cheap political points and impugn the integrity of the Finance Minister.In his attempt to offer clarification, the Minister said he neither circulated nor initiated any correction to the applicable rate of import duty; rather it was the agency responsible for the collection of the country’s taxes – the GRA.He said “importers who wish to contest the alloy content of the imported steel and the duties applied by the Customs Department could use the usual channels, including appeals to the Commissioner General, GRA and the Customs Tribunal.”
The new Harare library boasts featuressuch as a gaming room, study hall andearly childhood development centre. Children up to six years of age are givena bright and cheerful environment inwhich to learn.(Image: Central Library, Cape Town) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nazeem Hardy Library and Information Services +27 21 400 3933 or +27 84 888 8408 RELATED ARTICLES • Soweto’s state-of-the-art library • Rhodes opens R75m library • SA peresent at Timbuktu unveiling • Poor schools score textbooks • BMX glory for Khayelitsha teenMark ReidThe cutting-edge Harare Library, which serves the Cape Town community of Khayelitsha, opened to the public in June. Response to the new facility, said the City of Cape Town’s Library and Information Services Department, has been enthusiastic and positive.Harare Library is just one component in the city management’s Violence Protection through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) plan, which is targeted at making Khayelitsha, one of Cape Town’s most poverty stricken areas, and a notorious crime hotspot, into a safe place for its residents.Currently budgeted at R120-million (US$18-million), the VPUU is funded by the City of Cape Town, in partnership with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and Development, and the German Development Bank.The programme is expected to take five years to complete, and will address issues such as lack of access to basic services, adequate schooling and economic opportunities, which are just a few of the factors that contribute to the instability of the area.The VPUU, which was implemented in 2005, aims to tackle crime and violence by providing better social and commercial services, strengthening community structures, and getting residents more involved in their suburb.The opening of the new library, which is designed to be eco-friendly with natural ventilation and efficient use of daylight, follows the creation of other public VPUU facilities in the suburb. These include two community buildings, a new park, and a school sports complex.A Carnegie Foundation grant made it possible to stock Harare Library with quality content, in both print and digital formats.Other exciting features of the library include a teen area with a giant chess board, a gaming room, free internet, and Wii consoles on which educational and fun activities can be enjoyed.In just four days, said a City statement, more than 2 400 people had passed through the doors of the Harare Library.Serving residents of all agesAt 1 800 square metres, Cape Town’s newest library is part of a multi-purpose centre that includes not only the library but also offices for community groups such as NGOs.The modern facility provides normal services such as access to books, magazines, DVDs and videos, but is unique among libraries in the city in that it also has a specialised early childhood development centre, a computer centre with more public access computers than anywhere else in Cape Town, a study hall and a number of meeting rooms.The early childhood development centre is known as Funda Udlale and caters for children up to the age of six. Toddlers are given access to books, soft toys, game facilities and educational computers, which allows them to learn specific skills and take part in role-playing.The facilities are also available to crèches and day care centres in the area, who are encouraged to bring their children into a bright and stimulating environment. Also on offer for the tots are an artificial grass playing area and a blackboard that covers an entire wall.