The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) says it wonders why President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf continues to hold sacred, officials of her government who have been rejected by their constituencies at the 10 October polls by allegedly returning them to appointed posts they allegedly resigned to contest public offices.
“But several questions also linger: Are these individuals being reappointed to make up for their financial losses during their failed election bids? How sure are we that those in question were not remotely running their offices and taking their salaries and benefits while away? Does this act not undermine the potency of the Code of Conduct?” CENTAL Executive Director Anderson D. Miamen asked during a press conference Tuesday, 24 October at the group’s office in Sinkor.
When contacted by this paper on Tuesday surrounding the matter, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah confirmed that President Sirleaf has named four persons to act in a number of places.
Mr. Piah says President Silreaf has named defeated Bong County representative candidate Selena Polson Mappy as acting Bong County Superintendent; defeated Grand Bassa County representative candidate Julia Duncan – Cassell as acting Gender Minister; defeated Bomi County representative candidate Varney Sirleaf as acting Deputy Internal Affairs Minister and defeated Montserrado County representative candidate Augustus Zayzay, as acting Deputy Minister [at Finance Ministry].
But Mr. Piah says he does not know about “election, don’t lost election,” basing his argument around Article 56 (a) of the Constitution that he says empowers the president to make appointment in government.
Earlier speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, CENTAL Executive Director Miamen urged President Sirleaf to refrain from creating the wrong impression that certain Liberians are entitled to government positions and can leave and return at will, even if there are others more qualified and competent to replace them.
CENTAL wants the Internal Audit Agency and the General Auditing Commission to investigate and establish whether or not these officials who reportedly resigned their positions were not remotely running their offices and receiving their salaries and benefits while away.
“If established, it will demonstrate abuse of public trust and resources and serve as an ample basis for prosecution,” CENTAL says. The group contends that with very high levels of unemployment in the country, Liberians cannot afford to entrench a select few in power when there are several others, perhaps more qualified and competent to equally serve in those positions.
By Winston W. Parley