As Deputy Information Minister - designate
President George Manneh Weah has nominated Mr. Jarlawah Tonpo as Deputy Minister for Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).
Mr. Tonpo, named early Thursday, 24 June 2021, replaces former Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon who was dismissed from the position on Wednesday night, 23 June. The Executive Mansion says the nomination is subject to confirmation by the Liberian Senate.
Up to the time of his appointment by President George Manneh Weah, Mr. Tonpon was still serving as Director of Press and Public Affairs at the Liberian Senate. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and he is a Master's candidate in International Relations and a Master's candidate in Public Administration, all at the University of Liberia.
Earlier on Wednesday, President Weah with immediate effect dismissed Deputy Information Minister for Press and Public Affairs Eugene Fahngon from his post as a result of spreading false information regarding the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country.
Mr. Weah then warned that he will not hesitate to take similar action against any other official of the government engaged in activities that undermine established government policy.
Mr. Fahngon has been a very controversial public official, and his recent utterances against the administration have been alarming. His early days in the Weah administration were marred by crisis, as the former Deputy Information Minister was condemned to prison in 2018 by the House of Representatives.
What was unclear was whether Mr. Fahngon was ever transferred from the Liberia National Police (LNP) headquarters to maximum prison to complete his prison term as ordered by the House.
He was however disgraced by the lawmakers, handcuffed, and ordered jailed following his failure to speak to matters involving him and then Bomi County Representative, now Bomi County Senator, Edwin Melvin Snowe during a contempt hearing before the House of Representatives. The contempt hearing resulted from Fahngon's insults and loose accusations against Snowe during a street encounter in which he was seen in a video, pointing his finger at the lawmaker's face.