‘News of My Resignation Fake’: Liberia’s Finance Minister Samuel Tweah Debunks Report
Monrovia – Liberia’s Finance and Economic Planning Minister Mr. Samuel Tweah has debunked reports that he has been asked to resign by President George Manneh Weah.
Responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry Sunday, the minister said he still enjoys the confidence of the President and has not tendered in his resignation neither has he been asked to step down from his post. “The news is fake, I am still in charge of the economic management team”, Minister Tweah said Sunday.
News of Minister Tweah’s dismissal or resignation has been in the air and amplified since last week when two leaked communications suggested that the Coalition for Democratic Change-led government has been dipping into donor funds at the Central Bank of Liberia.
“The news is fake, I am still in charge of the economic management team”.
Finance and Economic Planning Minister Mr. Samuel D. Tweah
The first letter which leaked last Wednesday, May 8, 2019, signed by the ambassadors of United States, Sweden, France, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Japan, and European Union, sent a clear caveat to President Weah cautioning serious repercussions of “greater scale of irregular withdrawals” that will have “potential negative impact” on the country. The diplomats went on to stress that they are apprehensive about the potential negative impact that such conduct may have on assistance level to Liberia overall. “We regret to bring to your attention our receipt of a copy of the attached letter, which was sent by members of your government to the Central Bank of Liberia designating funding to be removed temporarily from a variety of accounts associated with donor programs.”
The letter added: “In light of this finding, the donor partners are obligated to consider the integrity of the funding that our governments have allocated for Liberian assistance programs and ways to protect it going forward. The so-called ‘borrowing initiative’ damages donor confidence in your government’s use of donor resources and in its ability to serve as an effective partner on development programs. We are apprehensive about the potential negative impact that such conduct may have on assistance levels to Liberia overall.”
The partners stressed that they were open to discussing the issue with the President but then demand “prompt action to ensure that any funding that has been removed from donor accounts for expenditures outside of agreed uses is restored without delay and such unacceptable practices cease immediately”.
The second letter leaked last Thursday, May 9, 2019, on Facebook says:
“This is to request to request you to refund to the World Bank
the amounts totaling USD$3.285,750 for the reported ineligible expenditure s by
making a payment back to the
World Bank through details that are provided in the invoices attached to this letter and confirm the refund before March 31, 2019. We look forward to receiving the refund within the specified time frame to avoid the World Bank invoking the remedies stipulated in the Applicable Financing Agreements of each project.”
Reports of the minister’s resignation and denial comes as organizers of the June 7, Save the State Protest intensify their campaign ahead of the mass assembly aimed at sending President Weah a message about the dismal state of the economy.
The President last Friday communicated with the protest’s organizers dubbed, Council of State about dialoguing with them on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Organizers are yet to publicly respond to the President’s request and not details of the proposed meeting has been finalized.