Jones K. Garbla

Talk on politics – June 2021

On a common misinterpretation of democracy as a stairway to aristocratic power.

The struggle for power is very high in our society that almost everyone wants to be the head (leader). Country like Liberia, that has less than five million people, we have more than twenty political parties. The intriguing thing is that 85% of those political parties have the same agenda.

If we continue to elect the wrong people to public offices, it will affect us, the future of the youths and our unborn generation.

Elections Campaign, the same story!

After observing what goes on in Liberia when it comes election campaigns, I write!

Over the past years, when it comes to elections, we see Liberians from all walks of life coming to vie for public offices. Some even claim to be liberators or the messiah as theologians will say. Electoral campaign is one of those moments that I love simply because people will start to do things just to be noticed in the name of he/she is a developmental person.

The intriguing thing is that people will live in those places for years and won’t carry on any development or make any impart in the people lives, but six months to elections; that’s the time their developmental character can be activated. Liberians who had lived in the United States all their lives will come and say they are vying for public offices.

Politicians continue to lie to us with their empty promises. This is the same old story that we have heard and we are still hearing: ‘I will build you roads, improve their health sector, and promote education of the youth, so on’.

Politicians come with their political rhetoric and at the end of the day, when they are voted into offices, they forget about the masses they claimed to care for; this has been the routine in Liberia for several decades. Our politicians have failed us and continued to fail us.

The struggle for power is very high in our society that almost everyone wants to be the head (leader). Country like Liberia, that has less than five million people, we have more than twenty political parties. The intriguing thing is that 85% of those political parties have the same agenda.

Many times, I sit and ask myself why these political parties with the same vision can’t come together and form one political party. Of recent, I realized that we have so many political parties in our society because of greed and hatred. Most of these people are criminals who intend to destroy the future of the youths. What saddens me is seeing the youth celebrating these people. As Nobel Prize Winner Professor Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka says ‘’only in Africa will thieves be regrouping to loot again and the youths whose future is been stolen will be celebrating it…’’

The atmosphere of the December 8, 2020 Senatorial and by elections is mounting more and more; supporters of every candidate considers their choice as the best and sees the other candidates as not qualified and unpatriotic. When engaged into arguments, these arguments in most instances; turn into violence. The youths are those involved in that electoral violence and political actors continue to damage the future of youths and ignorantly, we continue to celebrate these people.

The problem with us Liberians is that we think politicians have the solution to our problems; but I tell you that it is not true, rather they are the cause of our problems. As Ben Carson once said ‘’we have been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at some point, maybe we will wake up and realize that it was the politicians who created our problem.’’ If Liberians fail to Meta-contribute to the growth of the minds of the youths, who are future leaders, then these so-called politicians will continue to destroy the future of youths. Education plays an essential role in decision making; as Rene Descartes said ‘’Cogito ego suum,’’ ‘’I think, therefore I am.’’ The mind should be well developed and the conscience should be a rightful conscience in order for a person to make sound decisions. 

Now it is time that we start to think about the future and stop voting people based on ethnicity or from the same political party, or cup of rice, so on. Although, these things continue to surface during campaign periods, but we are to be wise about how we make decisions in electing people to public offices. If we continue to elect the wrong people to public offices, it will affect us, the future of the youths and our unborn generation.

by Johnes K. Garbla

Justice must be served for Rape victim!

The global statistics on sexual assault against women are shocking.

At least one in every five womenexperiences rape during her lifetime. The recently published report from the United Nations PopulationFund on the State of the World Population 2000 is the latest of many official reports that have documented the size of the problem.

Yet despite clear documentation and the fact that much attention has been paid to the issue of sexual violence against women at international level, the problem is gettingworse. The UN report and other data make it clear that the incidence of rape and other forms of sexual violenceis increasing worldwide.

Yet even official figures underestimate the scale of the problem because the proportion of rapes reported to the authorities varies from 16% in the United States to 3% in South Africa (Where even 3% amounted to 49,280 rapes in 1998).

Perhaps it is not surprising that international action to prevent sexual violence has failed when the judicial system is so often stacked against women who complain of sexual violence.

Human Right Watch has identified the hard level issues that need to be addressed to counter these problems. They include repealing laws that discriminate against women, eliminating police bias against female victim of sexual assault, ensuring that justice is been served.

As I sit every morning and turn my radio on, the only news that I hear on a daily basis is the increase of rape cases in my country (Liberia).

Rape violates the female fundamental right to full ownership of their body.

Rape degrades the womanhood of the female!

What is rape?

Rape is any forceful penetration. In other words, Rape is forcing someone to have sexual intercourse against his/her will. Rape is carry out by heartless men, who has no moral conscience.

It is so frustrating that on a daily basis, rape cases are on the increase in my country.

Justice needs to beserved for these rape victims. But the intriguing thing here is that those ruthless guys who carry on this act, after few days you see them walking sky free.

In such a modern society, our mothers and sisters are still victimize without justice been served. The gender of everyone should be respected; a female is to be respected and serve justice like their male counterpart.

It is so sadden that in the past six months, we have more than six hundred rape cases in Liberia.

This is alarming in our society. We all need to stand firm and petition our government for drastic action to be taken against these perpetrators.

It is a matter of must that justice should be served for rape victims, no matter who is involved.

As we all maybe cognizant that it is the government full responsibility to provide security for all its citizens and serve them justice under the rule of law. But the question is, is the government doing these things? I might say ‘yes’ but not to the fullest! Everyone has not been served justice, especially some of our mothers and sisters who got raped by those heartless men! There is a need to serve these people justice. This issue of rape is destroying our sisters who shouldbe future leaders‘ tomorrow.

Rape puts an everlasting trauma in the minds of those mothers and sisters. There is a need for justice. Both local and central government need to step up hard on the issue of rape.

If this is not done, the cases will continue to increase in our society. Recommendations Central Government should revisit the rape law. A community watch team on the issue of rape should be set up by the Association of Females Lawyers of Liberia. Proper investigation should be conducted when a rape case is reported; starting with the community dwellers! If found guilty, life time imprisonment should be the reward for rape perpetrator.

Justice must be served to the fullest, not partial!
Real men don’t rape! Stop sexual harassment! Let’s say no to rape!

Dedicated to all rape victims.

by Jones Garbla 2021

July 2021

an Essay written by Jones K. Garbla

The why and how of Female Genital Mutilation in Africa!

Female Genital Mutilation, for centuries now has been practice by the native of Africa. This has been the routine among the people of Africa; this act is also called ‘Female Circumcision. But before going further, let us know what female genital mutilation is! Female Genital Mutilation is the cutting of the clitoris. According to the native of Africa, when those girls/Women are taken to the Traditional Bush School, this part of their sexual organ is extracted/remove.

As an African and a cultural person, I went back to my village to do an inquiry on this reality; when I asked one of the elders named Garmonyou why this act is been practice? This is what he said to me:  When a girl/woman is taken to the Traditional Bush School (Sande Society in Liberia), that part of their sexual organ is extracted/remove for some traditional and customary reasons and one of those reasons the clitoris or that sexual organ is extracted/remove is to reduce the female sexual urge/desire.

According to elder Garmonyou, traditionally it is wrong for a woman who is marry to have an affair with another man, it’s a taboo. According to him, with the removal of the clitoris it helps the female control her sexual urge/desire. He went further by saying, there is a big difference between those girls/women who went to the traditional bush school and that part of their sexual organ was extracted/remove from those girls/women who never been to said school but live their entire life in the urban places, how they move from one man to the other because their sexual urge/desire is high; even to the point where they are marry.

As an advocate and a feminist, with all his point he gave to justify why they practice female genital mutilation, I think to some extend this act is completely wrong and it should not be encourage in any way; because it violates the female fundamental right to full ownership of her body; that is to decide what to do and not to do with her body. The sad thing about this entire female genital mutilation is that those girls/women are not consulted but tradition demands that, that part of their sexual organ should be extracted/remove and in the process some people can even lost their life.

It is emphatically wrong to violate the rights of female in any form whether tradition or by law of the state. In many cases, the rights of female are violated in Africa and the issue of female genital mutilation is just one of them.

On the general note, female genital mutilation cause more harm than good to the female.

   On my research, lucky I met an old friend of mine who is a victim of this very act of female genital mutilation, according to her when the clitoris is remove practically, that person no longer has feelings for men. According to her, the act itself creates a lifetime psychological trauma; she went further by saying that the object that are used to extract/remove the clitoris is not safe, because if fifty person sexual organ will be extracted/remove that day, those same object will be used on everyone. According to her, when the clitoris is extracted/remove, at times people can die from bleeding. And whenever a person dies in the traditional bush school (Sande Society in Liberia), the parents will be told that they ‘left in the devil stomach’.

As an African, I am fully cognizant that we have good aspect of our culture that we all should promote, but certain aspect of our culture we need to do away with them, especially those ones that do not promote life. I remembered at the age of ten my father sent me to my people in the village to learn the language of my people and know certain thing as a man; it was an awesome experience to live with my people for that one year. I learnt lot of beautiful things that has contributed to my growth as a person; but certain part of our culture needs to be  removed, especially those ones that violates the rights of the human person and those ones that do not promote life.

The aspect of female genital mutilation is one aspect of our culture that we need to speak against, because it strongly violates the fundamental right of the female full ownership of her body; that is what to do and not to do with her body. This act of female genital mutilation is emphatically wrong and should be discourage in the society, because it causes more harm than good to the female.