The ruling Unity Party (UP) received US$200,000 from Sable Mining Africa Limited as contribution to the party’s 2010 National Convention which brought Cllr. Varney Sherman to the helm of the ruling establishment, according to Global Witness “Deceiver 1” report released on May 11, 2016.
This eye-opener has struck Bong County District #3 Representative George Mulbah on his cheek so hard that he is calling on the Presidential Taskforce to include the Unity Party on its list of suspects because it is one of the institutions that benefited from the mining company’s largesse. According to the Bong County strongman, the money allegedly given to the ruling party is in contravention of Article 82 (b) of the Liberian Constitution which considers as “illegal for any political party or independent candidate to retain any funds or assets remitted or sent from outside Liberia unless remitted or sent by Liberians residing abroad.” In a conversation with the Capitol Times, Representative Mulbah who is also Vice Chairman for Mobilization of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) added that the alleged act also contravenes section 7.1 of the Elections Law of 2011. The law states “as herein after provided, any citizen(s), political party, association or organization, being of Liberian nationality or origin, shall have the right to contribute to the funds and election expenses of any political party or candidate; such contribution shall be accompanied by filing with the Commission such information as the source; the date of the remittance; the amount of such contribution and such other information necessary or required by the Commission. No corporate or business organization and labour union may contribute to the funds or the election expenses of any political party or any independent candidate, and any Contribution made in violation of this provision shall, by the Commission, be declared forfeited.” The tough-talking lawmaker pointed out that given the gravity of the allegation contained in the UK based transparency watchdog report, it is important that the ruling party be subjected to probe and if found liable, the law should be applied appropriately. The Global Witness report says on “22 April 2010, Sable Mining gave US$200,000 for the convention of the ruling Unity Party, paid out to Sable’s lawyer Varney Sherman. Sherman was elected chairman of the party at the convention unopposed after his opponents “were persuaded to back off.” Representative Mulbah believes that such clandestine act poses serious threat to the country nascent democracy and a clear manifestation of how the ruling party used its privileges unfairly against the opposition. Political pundits have expressed disappointment in the Unity Party for being silent since the UK watchdog group released the report.