The History of the modern “grassroot political movement”: to the best of my recollection

It was on a Sunday, in May 2004 when Samuel D. Tweah (Dtweah) came to visit me at my home in Crystal, Minnesota (6500 34th Ave N) that we started a conversation about the “humanitarian and political future of Amb. George Manneh Weah” and then it was on Thursday, February 16, 2006 that I officially resigned from the CDC. In between those dates, a lot of things happened.

As I embark on another journey with the CLP, I am compelled to look deep into the files to review notes of our actions and inactions that led us to where we are and why I think we need to give the grassroot progressive revolution another shot.

It is no secret that in 2004 I was at the foundation of the Liberia National Congress (LNC) which later became the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) but also operated in the US as Liberians Aspiring Communal Esteem (LACE) due to NEC’s regulation that political parties cannot conduct political activities outside of Liberia.

Usually when folks ask me if I am a founding member of the CDC, I am quick to correct them by saying that I am not a “founding member”, I am a “founding ideologue” of the CDC. I say “a” because my colleague, Samuel D. Tweah (DTweah), is another “founding ideologue” of the movement.

So in order that my politics is clearly understood and that the purpose of the CLP’s formation is properly situated within the political history of Liberia, I have decided that I will narrate my involvement with the CDC “to the best of my recollection” by reviewing my notes on file.

My accounts can be corroborated and/or corrected by comrades DTweah, Alex Kerkula, Piso Saydee-Tarr, St. Tomalin George, and few others.

DTweah and I had not seen each other for several years before our meeting in May 2004. It is important to note that DTweah and I were team mates on the Tubman High Meet-the-Challenge team that won the championship in 1992 and we had remained very close ever since that time; always comparing notes on issues of mutual interests. I remember on the night I was preparing for my debate before my elections as student council president at Zion Community College in 1994, Dtweah visited with me on camp and again we compared notes. Our political and ideological relationship date several years before our May 2004 meeting and then the journey that began thereafter and continues to this date.

In the next few weeks, I will spend some time giving the full details of how we started; the mistakes we made; the challenges that confronted us; opportunities we missed; and the things we wish we could do over.

Author: JAMES F. KOLLIE

I am a Liberian professional with passion for pro poor economic development and grassroot political organizing. I have read public policy, corporate finance and accounting at various levels. I have worked in government, private sector and non-profit sector.

14 thoughts on “The History of the modern “grassroot political movement”: to the best of my recollection”

  1. Jame Kollie,
    I strongly believe that you are now looking to re-invent yourself now that you will soon be out of the spotlight.

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    1. Joseph…that’s exactly what is going on….

      It is interesting that the history of “modern grass root” basically means the average Joe verses the so-called elites…sounds very much like the same song we heard 1980 and the years after. So, Dr. K, you come from humble beginnings and have done very well for your self financially through public service (first at LRDC and the Deputy Min for Revenue, where in both places nepotism reign supreme). So, do you still consider yourself a “grass rooter”; or are you conveniently claiming and holding on same because it is advantageous to you or may I say expedient for now. Look, let’s cut through the chase, you like (Rudolf Robert- Tepoteh, Walter Trumb (Walter Gonagwalie), Joseph Chesson Jr (Chea Cheepo) and the likes of the progressives, or as you now coin it “neo-progressives”, are all sadly opportunistic, parasites feeding on the very emotions of people and yet enrich yourselves. For example, back in the day, the progressives spoke about how life could be better (however, the underlying voice was, “life could be better for me”), same is true about you today James. Why are all of those voices quiet today, Amos Sawyer, Fahnbulleh and the likes, because they have made, “life better for themselves”. We are poorer today than any time in our history…still none of them are talking, but why should they, they have reached. We are seeing this again, now it is James and his so-called love for country, disguised as “love for myself”.

      If you want me to elaborate; we are experiencing one of the most difficult economic crisis in Liberia and you had an opportunity to help revive the Liberian economy but you rather destroyed it with family and friends affecting revenue collection and still claiming poor economic performance even when our economy outperformed other West African nations (you know, if you want to I can provide all that data on this blog). Simply put James, you abused the system and made well…let’s look at your structure as deputy for revenue (I rather not place their names to the positions):
      Dep. Min for Revenue….James Kollie
      Custom Commissioner–DS–a brother-in-law
      Deputy to the Commissioner (for external border taxes)— SJ..another brother-in-law
      LRDC Head— TA..another brother-in-law
      Corporate Tax— JK..close friend
      Large Tax–OY..very close friend
      I can go on….. and the private sector funds—$75K of that went to xxx and xxx and you who they are, one was your brother-in-law; and 150K for a water sachet plant in Cape Mount, remember that Dr, of course you do, it was given to your “Mistress'” sister. Wasn’t there a audit done by GAC on this fund that you managed, I heard it was not pretty…maybe we need to post it on this blog too.

      Oh, and when Elfreda Tamba took over at LRA (a post that you wanted), she had a surplus during the Ebola period (30M) remember; then Mr. Chief Grass rooter, decided to squeeze LRA financially so they will not reach their goal of $1B revenue collection. You know James, see outrun for LRA; you ensured that they did not get the monies that were needed to fully operate so we could get out of the slumber of the Dr. Kollie’s budget norm, “revenue shortfall”… So again, you manipulated the system (by not giving LRA it’s monies) because guess what, you were going to look bad if we had a surplus. So, who suffers, not you because you saved your image, but Ma Musu, Papi, Flomo and the likes suffered or the “grass rooters”–the same people that you supposedly are fighting for….

      So the progressive (remodeled, Neo-progressives) hidden in there are those who call themselves “grass rooters” like you my friend, don’t care about the people…so STOP masquerading as though you care for the people….you don’t. Show the people who you truly are a chameleon…or a blood thirsty vampire that will suck the blood out of the very lives of those you pretend to fight for….

      Again, Dr. Kollie, you will destroy anything to protect yourself–even destroying the very nation and people that you say you love….stop it already! Over the years, we have followed you in the papers and on radio…I will give you credit, you do have many faces… as we say, “green snake and green grass”

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  2. I hope that the piece will include your sincere regrets about some of the policy decisions made by you and your bosses that p lunged Liberia into this economic debacle…

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