3 August 2012

Liberia: Amara Konneh Declared Impersonator

The Liberian Senate has made it clear that the position of 'Minister of Finance and Planning' does not exist within the Executive Branch of Government.

The Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Economic Affairs described such reference by Mr. Konneh as not only deceptive, but an impersonation.

The Committee, in a communication to the general membership of the Liberian senate during Thursday's Session on Capitol Hill, cited the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) 2012 report on children and women, titled: the Situation of Children and Women in Liberia 2012; wherein Amara Konneh signed the forward statement as Minister of Finance and Planning.

It noted that Konneh's service in such dual capacity amounts to usurpation of functions not legally ascribed to him as Minister of Finance. The communication, read in Plenary on Thursday, quoted the Senators as expressing dismay over the continuous reference to himself as minister of Finance and Planning.

The committee also complained that the appointment of a Minister of Planning and Economics Affairs was not at the discretion of the President of Liberia, but a statutory responsibility which the president must execute, having taken an oath to defend the laws of Liberia.

"We therefore call on the Senate to use every mechanism at its disposal to encourage Madam President to do the right thing by appointing a Minister of Planning and Economics Affairs and to also stop Mr. Konneh from masquerading as Minister of Finance and Planning," the letter maintained.

Further discussing the communication, Grand Kru County Senator, Cletus Wotorson referred to the action of the Executive Branch of Government as administrative miscue that the President, in the spirit of good governance, should ratify speedily.

Other senators viewed the action of President Sirleaf as indicative of the level of favoritism toward the Amara Konneh, while at the same time, there are many qualified Liberians who can ably fill the position. Earlier, Minister Konneh admitted to this paper that he's currently serving in dual capacity.

"I was asked by the President to act as Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs until the two ministries can merge into one," he claimed. When asked about his income, he said: "I am not being pay as minister of Planning and Economic Affairs; instead only Finance Ministry," he noted.

"I did not go to school for pro-bono business; I work for pay. I got students' loan scholarship to earn my education though; what I am making now is small taking into account my level of education, but I accept it," he concluded.

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