Unmasking Mary Taryonnoh Broh


Broh ( in yellow) and some of her victims Photo: Frontpage Africa

Broh ( in yellow) and some of her victims
Photo: Frontpage Africa

A bolt from the blue: This best depicts Mary Taryonnoh Broh’s re-emergence into the national scene after she was named to head the so-called Presidential Task Force with a mandate to clean up the city of Monrovia. The name of Mary Broh is nothing new to the Liberian public, especially since that name is associated with lawlessness, physical and mental abuses, as well as threats and intimidations; Seltue Karweaye writes.

It has long been known in Liberia that Mary Broh is venal and vicious. Now, it has become clear that the malignancy of Broh’s behavior actually exceeded that of her reputation. Her unflinching loyalty to President Sirleaf and ruthlessness proved, Broh would move on to other assignments. She was appointed to head the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) as Acting Mayor in 2009.
Mary Taryonnoh Broh is a good example of the famous dictum of Lord Acton “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Broh regularly expresses her authority through physical, mental abuses, threats or intimidations. Ordinary Liberians who have gotten close to the subject of Mary Broh brutalities are usually arrested and thrown in jail or beaten publicly all in the name of keeping Monrovia clean. Mary Taryonnoh Broh is referred to as Hurricane and/or General, a brutal person, an inveterate meddler in the affairs of ordinary Liberians right and a colossal ego. Mary Taryonnoh Broh style simply put is bold, lawless and vainglorious. 
In 2012, then Acting City Mayor, Broh was accused of abusing her power by slapping and ordering the handcuffing and subsequent arrest and jailing of a woman named Nancy Gaye, but after hearing that she was a staff of the Liberian Senate, Broh instructed the police to release her.  The following year, the House of Representatives requested, then-Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpan imprisoned for her inability to pay a fine, to restore the chairman of the project management committee of Montserrado County, and was also ordered to put into county account development funds appropriated for her county.  Kpan’s inability to agree to the instruction from the House of Representative drove that body to order her imprisonment at the Monrovia Central Prison.  As Kpan was being directed to the correction facility by law enforcement officers, Mary Taryonnoh Broh with no respect for the law and drunk with power led a group of women and attacked and assaulted police officers escorting Kpan to the prison.
At the end of the day, Kpan was never imprisoned; and was taken away from the scene by Broh and her group.  Soon after that, Broh’s lawless and erratic behavior and a public outcry led her best friend, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to suspend her as acting city mayor, however, as soon as the public outcry subsided, the president reappointed Madam Broh to head the Projects Implementation Unit of the so-called Omega Village Project. President Sirleaf later appointed her to the position of Director-General of the General Services Agency in September 2013. 
Sometime ago, the House of Senate declared a vote of no confidence against Broh after she clashed with them. Broh was quoted by FrontPage Africa as saying, “Let them write the President; fire this, fire that; let them show power; the evil that men do lives after them.”

So the question comes to mind, why is Broh heading the so-called Presidential task force? During her tenure as acting mayor for the city of Monrovia, MCC was a very ill-managed apparatus of government. May Broh didn’t know how to manage, all she did was wielding arbitrary power without being able to deliver basic cleanliness to even make Monrovia, the capital, seems a normal city. Under Broh leadership, MCC failed to pick up garbage, failed to name all streets and failed to number houses. During Broh tenure, the MCC was reported as paying its executives hundreds of thousands of dollars, when they couldn’t even use part of the taxes they collected daily to provide simple public toilets for the city. The woman couldn’t enforce simple laws of decency requiring decent sanitary toilets by banks and businesses doing business with the city.
FrontPage Africa recently reported that Broh, with no regard to the law of Liberia, paraded Liberian teen girls in the public sphere and physically abused them all in the need of preventing teen prostitution.
Lawless Broh actions are in violation of the Liberian constitution as well as Article 2, section 2 of the United Nations Conventions of The Rights of a Child which states: “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.”
The brutality of Broh led Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee to condem her actions. Gbowee wrote “this is no longer a Mary Broh issue: it is the issue of women building back the confidence of women in our ability to speak out, even in situations where we are not affected directly. It is my hope that women leaders in our beloved country will see this and every other act of violence against women as an act of violence on the personhood of all of us.”   Gbowee must be commended for speaking out against Broh’s brutalities.
Mary Taryonnoh Broh is not necessarily a one-dimensional or evil figure for everyone in Liberia. To some Liberians, she looks like the villain while others argue she is misunderstood. There is this generally held open discernment among some Liberians that she is a  straightforward open hireling, and the go-to individual who can take care of business when the job truly needs to be completed, even the President of Liberia, Madam Sirleaf believes such nonsense as evidence in Broh numerous appointments.  They argue that she’s forceful and resistant, undiplomatic and proud, grating and exceptionally hostile; and along the way can get emotions hurt and spirits pulverized to take care of business.
As indicated by her supporters, a frosty and severe notoriety of that kind is expected to stir a sluggish and willful populace that keeps on staying dormant through a time of renewal in a post-war society.
Then again, in a damaged post-war society, for example, Liberia with an extensive populace of poor and uneducated individuals, casualties as yet harming, and some thinking that it’s hard to recuperate from that 14-years civil war, a hostile and grating individual, for example, Mary Broh is not the solution, but rather some portion of the problem.

It is amazingly troublesome grasping the notoriety of Broh. Is it accurate to say that she is popular on the grounds that she takes cover behind her exceedingly hostile and oppressive conduct to take care of business? It is safe to say that we as a group of people who appreciates being manhandled by our tormentor; and in the wake of that injurious relationship kept on justifying so as to continue clutching our abuser  and declining to get away? Is it fair to say that in post conflict Liberia brutality automatically engenders popularity
Never in my life living in the U. S., alternately Europe have I ever heard or seen the Chief Purchaser of government  leave his or her office to annoy, scare, disparage, physically attack subjects, and annihilate slows and poor family homes  and business in the name  of cleaning my city.  Isn’t the reason for ordinance– sets of laws and regulations that shield a city from the overabundances of its residents? 
Additionally, there is an authoritative structure, with the mayor, deputy mayor, division heads, city administrators, and sanitation teams enabled to complete the different capacities in city government. Why not set up the same office structure at the MCC? In the event that the structure is present, why not execute and uphold it?
Furthermore, if the city official in charge of his or her segment neglected to do their official obligations, the individual should be terminated, period. Do we need a presidential task team to do MCC work? Why put such a great amount of power in the hands of one individual, in this situation, Mary Taryonnoh Broh, who has conveyed her tyrannical demonstration to ordinary Liberians?  she’s heading the so-called presidential task force team, what is the fate of the General Service Agency? 
Had there been set up by the Monrovia City government an enforceable statute, zoning laws and code authorization arrangements, Broh would not have taken the law into her hands by being so discourteous and draconian.  That is the reason city ordinances are essential with the goal that people won’t take the law into their hands.
Government authorities are additionally anticipated that would give law requirement (without obstruction) the force, bolster and instruments to authorize the laws of the area equitably, and without bias.
As the leader of the presidential task force, some Liberians are at the end of the day acclaiming Ms. Broh’s forceful strategies of parading and beating youngsters, breaking destitute individuals’ houses and businesses. The question now is, what is the Liberian government policy regarding strengthening the Monrovia City Corporation so it can carry out its mandate? Is there any hierarchical structure at MCC? Any acting city mayor – the individual capable running the city along with the city council? Why not permit the person to do his or her occupation, and let Broh carry out her employment as the authoritative political leader of the GSA? 

The Liberian society can’t develop and thrive while existing laws and approaches are not viably executed and upheld, and are left to the extravagance of a person to actualize arrangements the way they so crave. ( Pretty much as it is on the national level with an unaccountable and all powerful presidency, the ministries and different government agencies head by the all-powerful presidency).
As a presidential companion, Mary Broh is untouchable, like previous regime officials like Joe Tate, Benjamin Yeaten, Harrison Pelham, Charles Julu, etc. This is awful for the democratization process unfolding in post conflict Liberia.