8 November 2013

Liberia: Quiet Weeks Ponders Over Ellen's Search for Footprint

Though President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently warned Public Works Minister Antoinette Weeks that her footprint remains invisible in government, the country's infrastructure Minister has yet to take any step to respond positively to the president's demand.

Credible sources told this paper that Weeks is currently pondering on what major activity she would immediately tackle to catch the eyes of her employer and win her support.

Despite the complains of many deplorable roads across the city, including the busiest Somalia Drive, the administration of Weeks has made no attempt to render any emergency intervention ahead of the dry season as her predecessors did to alleviate the acute transport situation.

During past rainy seasons, the Ministry transported truck loads of crushed rock at deplorable sites to reduce the damaged road conditions, but this year, none has been done, with citizens, in the absence of equipments, using bare hands to work at these areas.

With nearly four months in office, Weeks has reportedly performed dismally, and President Sirleaf could not hide her disappointment on Tuesday (Oct 28) when she noted that her (Weeks) footprints have not been seen in government.

"Minister [Antoinette] Weeks, I have not seen your footprint," President Sirleaf told the country's first female infrastructure minister in the midst of local and international diplomats, during programs marking the Liberian leader's 75th birthday.

President Sirleaf was hailing newly appointed General Services Director and former Acting Monrovia City Mayor Mary T. Broh's astute services to the country.

President Sirleaf has since charged the Ministry of Public Works to work with Mary Broh in setting the pace for the construction of a modern market on the grounds of the former Omega Tower in Paynesville, where the Redlight Market will be moved.

The reported dormant Ministry, only recently the heartbeat of President Sirleaf's development agenda, is said to have played no role so far, which pushed the President to have made the comment, according to sources close to the presidency.

The President's abrupt comments about Weeks' weak performance in the critical position she holds with a lucrative US$15,000 monthly salary--the highest for that position so far, according to insiders--excluding other mouth-watering benefits, is reportedly out of disappointment and unyielding warning.

"It is a warning to the Minister of Public Works that she needs to wake up from her sleep and work hard like her predecessor Samuel Kofi Woods," one caller said on Fabric Radio Wednesday morning.

"The President has caught her asleep and warned her," said one Koffa Momoh, on another local radio station.

Weeks took over the Ministry in early August. She has reportedly made only two outings, where she is said to have condemned works initiated by the president's former most admired Minister.

She is said to have fallen off with several regional engineers, bellowed at employees and refused to listen to pieces of advice intended to keep the ministry running as in the past.

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