"Good Journalism Makes Democracy Works"

HPX Steps Up Its Smear Campaign Against GoL Negotiated Deal With ArcelorMittal – Tells Lies That Rail & Port Rights Were Exclusively Given To AML

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By Julius T. Jaesen II
It has been drawn to the notice of the public through a news article published in the Liberian Daily Observer that High Power Exploration (HPX), a Guinean concessionary, has once again, with the aid of some hired news outlets, stepped up its deadly smear campaign against the passage of the third amendment of the Mineral Development Agreement negotiated and signed between the Government of Liberia and ArcelorMittal Liberia.

According to their publication in the Daily Observer, the original agreement presented to the Legislature by the Executive gave AML the monopolistic control over Liberia’s infrastructure assets – the port and rail, with the power to use its exclusive rights to block other users’ access.
Haven perused the 106 page MDA, I want to categorically state that this information is unfounded, maliciously conjectured, baseless and a misrepresentation of the truth – as it only exposes the latitude and length to which HPX with the aid of a hired news agents, is desperately bent on a smear propaganda to forestall the passage of the Government of Liberia negotiated Agreement that is in the national interest of our country, particularly the unemployed youth.

Contrary to their deliberate attempt to twist the fact, Article 3 of the Government of Liberia submitted Agreement before the Legislature asserts, “Subject to the rights of the Concessionaire and provided in the Agreement, the Government may, at any time during the Term and Extended Term of this Agreement, authorize the Concessionaire and one or more Users to further expand the Railroad capacity for their own respective needs, subject to subparagraph below and in accordance with the Railroad System Operating Principles; it is being understood that all users, including the Concessionaire in its capacity as user, will be responsible for providing and driving their respective trains for haulage of products, which trains will transit on the Railroad under the control and supervision of the Railroad Operation, in accordance with the Railroad System Operating Principles and the relevant provisions of the MDA when it becomes effective.

Ordinarily, I would not like to respond to every diatribe and declaration coming from fraudster companies like High Power Exploration (HPX), but I am compelled to do a befitting response simply because HPX has no good intention for our unemployed youth but rather bent on interfering in the Government of Liberia’s internal capital gain investment with the so motive of undermining US$800 Million Dollars opportunity revenue for national development and jobs for our idled youths. The sadest of the heckers’ efforts is the fact that a revered news outlets would elect to join a blackmailer of a company in fragrant disregard to the journalistic code of ethics by choosing to publish mistruths without verifying what the truths are against the outrageous lies dumped in their newsroom as a statement of fact about the extended Mineral Development Agreement – which when ratified, would create additional 2,000 to 3000 new jobs for our youth in buttress to the over 2,500 jobs ArcelorMittal Liberia has provided.

I am strongly urging the press in Liberia to serve as the carriers and pathfinders of truths, or else, our society risks moral decline and permanently staying captive to the poverty trap.

Lifting the weary voice of Africans fighting for the continent’s collective unity, Patrick Lock Otieno Lumumba, indisputably Africa’s foremost Pan-Africanist, made this point more eloquent than I when he opined: “When the press is not the carrier of truth the society becomes doom”. While this statement does not cover the entire body in Liberia, yet it remains of concerns by the virtue of fact that we have to be addressing an issue of such.

The media should not allow themselves to be hired by fraudster companies to spew out slanderous statements that have the proclivity of undermining an investment that benefits our country. The smear campaign propagated in the media in the last few months against GOL and AML deal is nothing done in good fate but with the willful intent to undermine socioeconomic development in Liberia and to deny thousands of our young people the opportunity to change their life stations.

Going forward, we would like to admonish media outlets in this country to abide by the canon of journalism and its attending ethics by cross-checking and not falling to the caprices of propaganda. They should disallow themselves from being used as hired mouths to undermine what serves the national interest of our country. We believe that good journalism should be at the service of country and people and not to the propagation of a rouge company desperate to tarnish the reputation of an investment that came to our country when many were not looking our way.

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