The NEWS (Monrovia)

27 February 2013

Liberia: Weed Them Out

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is exasperated with the performances of some of her senior cabinet officials who are not up to task.

The President expressed fury at some of her senior officials for failing on many of the deliverables outlined in the government policy paper.

The Liberian Leader felt letdown by these officials whom she believe would have assisted her to implement the 90 days deliverables that could have direct impact on the lives of the Liberian people.

Speaking At A cabinet retreat on Saturday, President Sirleaf reproved her ministers and went gutter particularly with the Ministers of Gender, Justice and Education. She specifically chides the Minister of Education for poor performance and suggested that the ministry be overhauled completely.

"My Thinking Is Education Ministry is a big mess and needs total overhaul. All those things you have got there that's just talk; so I don't even want to look at those targets...they're meaningless unless there is a complete overhaul of that ministry. The reason you don't have money is because all your money go into ghost teachers that we can't get straighten up," the President said with an apparent inkling of disappointment.

In An Attempt to address the president's concern, Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh gave a fuzzy reply, saying they have been trying to clean up the payroll of ghost teachers.

President Sirleaf Expressed disappointment at the way the education sector is operating, describing it as "a mess that needs a complete overhaul." Madam Sirleaf also characterized the Ministry's deliverables in its 90-day plan as mere talk, expressing doubts over the Ministry's ability to execute the plan.

We Must Commend the president for venting out her anger on her ministers. However, we want to encourage the head of state to go beyond mere rhetoric by replacing officials who are not up to the task. Notwithstanding, we presume that scolding her officials for poor performance is just another smoke screen.

We Are Of the view that the president pretends (sometimes) to mean what she says, but don't usually take action on some serious issues. There are instances in which President Sirleaf should have taken actions but reneged, and because of her approach to these issues, some of her officials are not putting out their best. The recent corruption issue at the RIA, the transaction between NOCAL and a local vender and several others are indications that some things are not just right.

We Commend The president for her meticulous observation at the cabinet retreat regarding education, gender and justice ministries. However, we believe that the president must act because time is not in her favor, considering the reality that next year's mid-term election could distract the focus of some of her officials who might develop interest in the contest.

We Call On the president to eject officials of her administration who are not performing and bring on board qualified folks who are ready to work and implement the deliverables of government. We believe that if under-performed officials are kicked out of public service, it would serve as a deterrent to those who will replace them. A hint to a wise is quite sufficient.

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