Money Exchangers Demand Repayment of US$10,000 in Debt From Margibi

KAKATA, Margibi – During the most recent National County Sports Meet, Margibi authorities borrowed money from local money exchangers in Harbel to cover the cost of supporting the county’s teams. Now, the money exchangers are demanding to be paid back the US$10,000 they say they are owed.

The money exchangers, under the banner of the Harbel Supermarket Money Exchangers, recently held a peaceful protest at the office of Margibi’s Superintendent Jerry Varnie, where they said the failure of the county to pay their debt was negatively affecting their livelihoods.

The county borrowed US$8,000 on April 15, 2018, and promised to pay the money back with a 25 percent interest rate on May 15, 2018. The loan agreement was signed by the acting chair of the Margibi Sports Association, Charles Dolley. Rep. Clarence Gahr of Margibi’s fifth district acted as guarantor on behalf of the county’s legislative caucus.

The money exchangers said the failure of the county to fulfill its obligation was putting their businesses on the verge of collapse.

“I am very much frustrated with the kind of arrangement with our lawmakers in Margibi County,” said one protesting money exchanger who did not give his name.

Many of the individuals protesting were concerned that they would not be able to put their children in school as school fees would be due soon.

When contacted, Rep. Gahr confirmed serving as guarantor to L$1.2 million that was borrowed on behalf of the county from the local businessmen. He expressed regret in the payment being delayed and noted that the debt is a liability of the county.

“It’s the county that owes them, not an individual. We signed a resolution in April authorizing the superintendent to pay the money from the county’s coffers from the Ministry of Finance,” Gahr said.

Meanwhile, Varnie, the superintendent, has pleaded with the aggrieved money exchangers for an additional one-month grace period to settle the debt.

Featured photo by Emmanuel Degleh

Emmanuel Degleh

Emmanuel has over a decade of experience working as a community radio broadcaster. He is the Margibi correspondent for the Liberia Broadcasting System and the Manager for Classic FM 93.9 MHz, one of Liberia’s leading community radio stations. Emmanuel is also a member of the Press Union of Liberia and a 2016 Internews Health Journalism Fellow.

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