An assistant overseer attached to the Port Mourant/John’s Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) has accused NDC Chairman Imran Khan of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, threats of dismissal and a ban on speaking to the media.Most of those accusations were admitted by Khan.Assistant Overseer Akeisha Walters, who has been with the NDC since March this year, alleged that Khan’s attacks started last month and intensified as she brought it to the attention of councillors.She said the chairman told her he needed to know all of her whereabouts, including when she goes to the toilet, eats and have sex.Both Walters and Market Clerk Raveena Anadeo met with Regional Representative of the Prime Minister, Gobin Harabjan and Technical Assistant attached to the Office of the President, William Moore to lodge complaints and then met with the media.“He told me that I have to seek his permission to speak with the media so that why I can’t talk with the media, I am sorry,” Anadeo said.Meanwhile, Walters is accusing the NDC chairman of sexual harassment.She said he told her that she must tell him of her every move including sexual activity.In an invited comment, Khan said he was using an analogy when he made the statement but denied that he used the word “sex”.“The way I have been administering and the way I know it, it is quite within my rights and within the legal framework to refer and for emphasis purposes can make analogies. In an effort to let this office understand that her every movement, every action, every decision as regards the council, I want to know,” Khan statedThe NDC chairman previously held the post as Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO) for Region Six but was sacked when the Coalition Government took office last year.According to the NDC chairman, a misconception would have triggered the allegations. He explained that Walters might not have been properly informed as to from whom her directives come and added that the particular officer seldom adheres to directives given by him.“There is a reluctance to take the necessary guidance and directives. I had to be very blunt; eat, p*ss and s**t I have to know because this affects the council but I did not use the word sex,” he explained.Walters is also accusing the chairman of victimisation, alleging that in one day she received three warning letters from Khan.“He give me a warning letter for a chairman stamp, I get a warning letter for not preparing financial statement where I did and he give me a warning letter for the minutes, he say I did not prepare the minutes,” she noted.In response, the chairman said the letters were because of reluctance to adhere to lawful instructions, chief among which was forgery.“Yes, this individual was in fact written to. As a veteran administrator, I am in the habit of writing people but that government officers have to confirm and subscribe to the rules and regulations of not only the Public Service but there are rules which are captured in the by-laws of the NDC that also need adherence and conformity. So having recognised that there were breaches in these regards, as the Chairman of the NDC I have not much of an alternative but to take the appropriate and requisite action,” Khan explained.According to him, as stipulated under the Public Service Act, he addressed the issues verbally with Walters before the letters were issued.Khan added that if the employee continues to violate or flout the rules, then the act stipulates that a second letter is issued and if need be a third letter will be issued which is a dismissal letter.“The dismissal is recommended. We don’t arbitrarily dismiss, we recommend first and I am just following the principals here.”According to the Chairman, both the Assistant Overseer Akeisha Walters and the Market Clerk Raveena Anadeo had been in the habit of leaving the office without giving notice or indicating where they were going and closing the office at odd times.However, in commenting on the statement made by Anadeo, that she was forbidden to speak to the media, Khan said it was only a part of the statement which he made to her. “I said; ‘don’t speak to the media unless you would have gotten the permission to do so. You are an employee’. You cannot be the employee of an organisation and you are speaking on organisational issues that you cannot explain or give a proper account for.”The matter as it relates to sexual harassment has since been reported to the police.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has vowed to personally intervene and ensure that justice is done concerning the rape and subsequent death of 12-year-old Ma Musu Fofana, which occurred on Sunday, January 18. Joined on Friday, January 23 by the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, the President paid a special visit to the family of the girl at their Moulton Corner residence in Brewerville, outside Monrovia, to sympathize with them.“I am shocked that someone could be so wicked and devilish to the extent of raping and killing an innocent child in such brutal manner,” the President told the bereaved family. “I thought it was very important to come here and see the family myself. I am truly sorry and extend sympathy to the bereaved family for this loss.”Justice, in this case, according to the Liberian President, is not only against the perpetrator, but all those who one way or the other contributed to the death of the rape victim. These include various health facilities where she was refused treatment and some LNP officers who denied passage at a check-point of the vehicle that was conveying the victim for treatment.Ma Musu Fofana, the little girl, who many described as resourceful and full of potential, was on Sunday, January 18, brutally raped by 49-year-old Musa Kanneh, a man who many now described as a barbaric and evil minded.President Sirleaf assured the family that her government takes rape seriously and will leave no stone unturned in bringing perpetrators of rape – especially Kanneh – to justice. “I am awaiting the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing. We will allow the police and the Justice Ministry to do their job, but let me assure you that the perpetrator of this wicked act will pay dearly in keeping with law,” she assured the family members.She pointed out that government is concerned about the roles played by different actors following the raping of the child and has requested the Ministry of Justice to probe the situation to facilitate informed actions. “We want to know why she was reportedly rejected by some health centers, and how it got difficult to get her to the John F. Kennedy Hospital in time. We want to know if other factors contributed to her death and who was responsible for those actions,” she indicated.The Liberian President also used the opportunity to sound a strong warning to would-be rapists that government is fed-up with their wicked behavior and would come strongly after rapists who are bent on destroying children young enough to be their own children. She then encouraged all citizens to see the fight against rape as everyone’s business and join in stopping the victimization of the many innocent children who are being abused and harmed.The biological mother, Massa Morris and stepfather, Emmanuel Morris, and several of the victim’s family members were on hand to receive the Liberian leader during the visit.The late Ma Musu’s aunt, Fatu Morris, who the child was staying with prior to her demise, briefed President Sirleaf on the circumstances that led to the raping and subsequent death of little girl and the difficulties encountered in trying to save her life.She informed President Sirleaf that both Redemption Hospital and Faith Clinic turned the patient away when she was taken there for treatment. She also highlighted the difficulty in getting the raped child to the JFK Hospital. “She is gone and we are now looking up to the government to give us justice,” Fatu Morris stressed.Other family members thanked President Sirleaf for her interest and visit and expressed the hope that justice will be done to the one who took the life of their young daughter.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)