While the modernization of the Monrovia City Hall by Monrovia’s Acting City Mayor Mary Broh is being lauded, the diplomatic hall seems to gradually be turning into a popular entertainment center, denoting the name “4 for 5”. “4 for 5” refers to the sale of Guinness (stout) at five United States dollars (US$5) per four bottles.
At the Monrovia City Hall, small beer is reportedly being sold also four bottles per US$5. What remains unclear is whether proceeds generated from sales of these alcoholic beverages will go into the coffers of the City Corporation or to the personal pocket of Madam Broh.
Beverages and other alcoholic drinks are said to have become the order of the day in the premises of the City Hall, as atmosphere there appears unlikely different from Exodus on Gurley Street, Samoa Bar in the Airfield Community and Upper Link on Front Street, among other entertainment centers in and around Monrovia.
Critics say Madam Broh who is admired for revamping the Monrovia City Hall is turning to an entertainment center owner selling beverages at lower rates, not only reducing the prestige of the premises, but also depriving surrounding entertainment centers of effective sale opportunity.
As a result of the reported development, entertainment centers around the Monrovia City Hall are complaining of bad business practices being carried out by the City Mayor, lamenting the huge taxes they pay to government for the beverages they sell without receiving the expected customers.
Besides, the aggrieved entertainment centers’ proprietors said they have gathered that the entertainment center opened by Madam Broh has not been registered, in violation of the Liberian Business Law.
“The Monrovia City Corporation, being an entity of government is not paying tax; that is why their drink is being sold at cheaper prices; and most of all, the business is not registered and has no license from the very government, which the city hall is a part,” they indicated. They also noted that government collects taxes from their business centers while Madam Broh runs a business without benefiting the nation.
Meanwhile, authorities at the Liberia Business Registry (LBR) say they are not aware of any business center owned by the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC).
Contacted Wednesday, LBR’s Registrar of Companies, Abu Kamara, termed as illegal and in total violation of the Liberian Business Law, if the MCC was running an entertainment center “because the Registry has no information of MCC’s business registration.”
According to him, all businesses in Liberia are to be registered with names and given licenses by the Liberia Business Registry; something he said the MCC has not done.
Asked as to whether the LBR is aware of any business entity offering entertainment services to the MCC, Mr. Kamara said, “We are not aware of such.”
However, Mr. Kamara told this paper that they were going to make a follow-up, indicating that he does not stop at the City Hall; and as such, has not taken notice of any entertainment center in the premises.
Few months ago, many residents in the vicinity said they thought drinks were being taken there by organizers of occasions and events held at the City Hall, but expressed surprise that it has become a permanent drinking spot, with alcoholically-influenced individuals allegedly clashing before the City Hall.
“During one Sunday night,” a highly placed source at the City Hall hinted, “we did not know where the group of men and women came from, although wearing wedding attires, ended up in a fist fight here.” According to the source, there was a diplomatic meeting in the ball room of the City Hall, and due to fears, the attendants adjoined the meeting prematurely and left the area in rush.