Liberia: “Be Accountable, Honest And Transparent” – Ambassador Dee Maxwell Kemayah Challenges Public Officials, Others
Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Dee Maxwell Kemayah has cautioned elected and appointed public officials against serving in their respective positions to amass wealth to the detriment of the Liberian people.
By Obediah Johnson
Ambassador Kemayah is also the Political Leader of the New Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE).
He said the negative perception of some public officials serving in government to accumulate wealth for personal aggrandizement, must be discouraged at all times.
According to him, the opportunity accorded those serving in the public sector is to work in the interest of the nation and its people, and not to acquire ill-gotten wealth.
Ambassador Kemayah made these comments when he served as Motivational Speaker at the first National Retreat of MOVEE held in Paynesville, outside Monrovia recently.
“The essence of public service is for public good. You cannot go into public service with a mind that you want to get rich or eat your own. Public service is to work for the good of the Liberian people,” he stated.
He challenged Liberians, including elected and appointed government officials to cultivate the culture of honesty and accountability if they must serve their people diligently and become productive citizens in the future.
He said with humility, determination, and humbleness, citizens can turn the odds around to succeed.
Narrating his life story, Ambassador Kemayah disclosed that he sold cool aid, dried meat, bitter balls, and palm oil and also served as a car boy (conductor) on a bus that was purchased by his mother during his struggling days.
He said his core values Transparency, Equal opportunity for all, Accountability, Clean responsiveness, and Hard work (TEACH) which was crafted on December 14, 1978 upon his graduation from high school, prepared him to face future challenges and excel in life.
He stressed that despite the circumstances, Liberians should continue to strive, remain courageous and determined in whatever they do.
“It’s good to be transparent even in your own place and don’t take what does not belong to you. Whether you are working in government or not, always be honest and transparent at all times. All of us as Liberians, in our party and country must have equal opportunities.”
Ambassador Kemayah said Liberians should not be eager to accept or take anything that does not belong to them, or reap undeserved favors or gains.
“I want to let you know that it is only yourself that can move you from that place to come and pass the place we are. It takes your determination, courage and resolve; don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Always have at the bottom of your mind that your current situation is not your destiny.”
Ambassador Kemayah maintained that citizens, especially those serving in leadership positions should always be accountable to their people.
“You have to account not just for resources or money, but you have to account for your time. You are selling goods for the people you want to buy. If you do not give them the goods that they want, it will remain in your hands and no one will buy it. And so, you have to be responsive to your clients.”
He said citizens; particularly those engaged into businesses should be driven by the demands of their clients in a bid to maximize fair profits to improve their livelihoods, adding that, “your product should be based on what the public demand.”
He stated that Liberians are both the clients and bosses of current and future governments and as such, those who want to lead them should market good and attractive products to win their minds and hearts ahead of the elections.
Ambassador Kemayah observed that he has been a subject of lies and propagandas due to his unbending quest to uphold his TEACH core values at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.
Add value to yourself
He added that upholding these core values is expensive, but citizens should hold unto them and add values to themselves or whatever they do.
He said elected and appointed government officials are being paid by taxpayers and as such, Liberians must be valued and respected at all times.
Ambassador Kemayah, however, vowed not to abandon his uncompromising ongoing reforms at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He indicated that these reforms are in the best interest of Liberia and its citizens, and as such, he would not bow to deceptions and attacks on his character to surrender to please any individual.
Speaking further, Ambassador Kemayah recounted and appreciated the tremendous efforts being applied by President George Manneh Weah to transform Liberia and improve the living conditions of its citizens.
He said though there are challenges in some areas, the government continues to work overtime to address those difficulties.
He thanked the Liberian leader for affording him the opportunity to serve in his government.
“The President cannot be everywhere at the same time and he alone cannot make the change. And that’s the reason why I want you to be the change not for someone else, but for yourself. You don’t need any other person to make the change; one person can start. Don’t make the change-be the change and let people see the change in you.”
Ambassador Kemayah observed that though those harboring changes at their various places of work would be castigated and crucified for their efforts by crooks benefiting from the spoiled systems they put in place, public officials and others should not relent in taking the bold and necessary steps that will yield benefits to the country, citizens and their respective bosses.
“People resist change because of the benefits they get from current situations. They will call you all sorts of names because of what you stand for. My name is all over the place because of what I am doing along with others at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But no matter what is the cause, I will not walk back. We will continue to push so that my fellow cool aid sellers, dried meat sellers, car boys and the position God used His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah to give us-these my colleagues can benefit from the kind of services we render.”
He, however, commended the delegates for their commitment to MOVEE over the years.
According to him, everyone within the party is equal regardless of status.
Ambassador Kemayah described MOVEE as a “unique party” as evidenced by the unanimous decision taken by the delegates to sign a resolution to endorse President George Manneh Weah second term bid.
The party also resolved to hold discussions on cementing the technical details to form a part of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“This is a party where we have no room for nobody, but we have room for everyone. Everyone is someone in our party because; we were once in a situation when people asked ‘who are you’.”