Monrovia — The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee has recommended to plenary of the Senate to vote in favor of its report calling for the confirmation of Mr. Dee-Maxwell Kemayah as Minister of Foreign Affairs the republic of Liberia.
His confirmation comes in the wake of allegation of sexual harassment against him that is yet to be substantiated by the accuser who is an employee of the Liberian Mission at the United Nations.
Amb. Kemayah served as Liberia's Permanent Representative to the UN.
The allegation against him came up immediately after he was nominated to be Foreign Minister, though the act was allegedly committed nine months ago, according to his accuser.
His first confirmation hearing was called off by the committee pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegation
However, on his second appearance last Friday, Amb. Kemayah told the Committee that the allegation was a mere "takedown campaign" instigated against him for political reasons.
"The committee, after administrative probe, has realized that there are limitations to the extent to which this probe can continue. The Committee recognizes that there is a thin line between the Legislature and the judicial branch of government. That in as much as sexual harassment is grave, it requires full and detailed investigation," the Committee noted.
The Committee, chaired by Senator Dan Morais of Maryland County, also claimed not to have the tools of police and investigative agencies to establish a legal merit and or demerit of this case and chose to do what the Constitution provides of the Legislature to do in such a case, which is to do an administrative hearing.
"Further to the above, an administrative hearing has been conducted, and finds the nominee fit and suitable in all other aspects that require our consent except for the allegation of sexual harassment which has been assessed but not conclusive. the committee as such, understanding its limitation in adjudicating a judicial matter of the parties to take this matter to court, that will give them the appropriate remedy or justice," Sen. Morais added.
The Foreign Affairs Committee also said after legal consultation, they were advised not to conduct any hearing by zoom or by way of the internet because the investigation was not a teleconference type and to put one party under oath with the risk of perjury would be a crime under the Legislature, and to let the accused under this matter without bringing the accuser under the jurisdiction of the Committee with a sworn oath would render the investigation prejudicial to the accused.
"In view of the findings stated above, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs recommends to the plenary of the Liberian Senate to confirm Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah Sr. as Minister of foreign Affairs."
A takedown campaign
Mr. Dee Maxwell Kemayah, Liberia's Foreign Minister-designate, faced the Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee for the second time last Friday for confirmation in the wake of allegation of sexual harassment against him by an employee of Liberia's Mission to the United Nations.
Amb. Kemayah who served as Liberia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations was accused of sexual harassment by a Liberian staff of the mission in New York immediately after his nomination for the new post was announced.
During his second appearance before the Senate Committee, Mr. Kemayah termed the allegation of sexual harassment against him as a "takedown campaign" that was planned against him even before his nomination as Minister of Foreign Affairs designate.
Kemayah: "I don't fear that my integrity is being questioned. What I fear is that, it is a sad day for our country. This is a takedown campaign. We are aware that globally there are false allegations that has come against world leaders. This is a smear campaign before even my nomination when it was speculated that I would be preferred for the position of foreign minister.
"It is not about my integrity. My integrity remains respected even at the UN. We are one of the champions on women's issue at the UN. There is awareness at the UN that these things occurred for political reasons."
When Amb. Kemayah first faced the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Senator Dan Morais, (Maryland County-IND) chairman of Committee called off confirmation proceeding for until the allegation of sexual harassment against him is looked into.