Liberia: Senate Confirms Kemayah

29 September 2020

In spite of facing sexual harassment allegations levied by his staff, Mr. Dee Maxwell Kemayah has been confirmed Liberia's Minister of Foreign Affairs by majority members of the Liberian Senate, a sign of defeat for those suggesting that the allegation could dim Liberia's diplomatic image if not judicially cleared before his confirmation.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has recommended to the Plenary of the Liberian senate that Mr. Dee-Maxwell Kemayah be confirmed as Foreign Minister and the lady who has accused the nominee should take the matter to court.

Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon confirmed Tuesday, 29 September that the majority of the senators voted that the nominee be confirmed. Mr. Dillon, an opposition senator laments that the Liberian Senate has blundered again because due diligence wasn't given in the confirmation hearing.

According to Dillon, this is the same wrong proceeding that makes Nigerian - born Cllr. A NudubusiNwabudike to be the head of a credible institution like the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission when he has credibility issues.

According to him, Kemayah has all of the academic credentials to serve the position, but when there is an issue of concern, it is fair to give the complaint a listening ear. Dillon claims that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proceeded wrongly from the outset of the Kemayah hearing.

"This lady could be lying or saying the truth against Mr. Kemayah, but let's hear from the accuser. Kemayah could be innocent but failing to do due diligence will cause a problem further," Dillon argues.

Meanwhile, the Senate committee's report says that there is a thin line between the Legislature and the Judiciary branch of government. It says in as much as it takes sexual harassment, it requires a full and detailed investigation, suggesting that the committee does not have the tools of police and investigative agencies to establish a legal merit and demerit of the case.

The report also says that the committee is doing what the Constitution provides for the Legislature by doing administrative hearing, noting that the administrative hearing finds the nominee fit and suitable in all aspects required. However the committee urges any of the parties that is not pleased to go to court to get appropriate remedy and justice.

The report also says that after legal consultations, it was advised not to do any hearing via zoom because the investigation was not a teleconference type.

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