The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, remains defiant over the reinstatement of the President and Secretary General of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NHWAL).
Mr. Joseph Tamba is the President of NHWAL, while Mr. George Williams is the Secretary General. The pair was among 22 persons dismissed by Min. Gwenigale for their role in a major nationwide strike action by health workers in 2013.
Health workers were protesting across the country for better wages, incentives and improved working conditions, among others. About 20 others have been reinstated except the two executives of the Association.
But on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, the plenary of the House of Representatives reinforced the previous decision reached in the Chambers of the Liberian Senate by mandating its leadership to intervene to ensure that both the President and Chief Scribe of the NHWAL are reinstated.
Minister Gwanigale, for the second time, successfully snubbed members of the Liberian Senate- this time with the acquiescence both the President of the Senate and Vice President of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph Boakai and Senate Secretary Nanbolorh Singbeh.
When the Secretary of the Senate announced the appearance of the minister, presiding officer and Vice President Boakai told the senators that Minister Gwanigale sent in an excuse, but that the letter was in the possession of the Secretary of the Senate. Information gathered by this paper indicates that the minister made no excuse for his failure to appear to before the plenary of the senate.
Members of the Liberian Senate had summoned Dr. Gwenigale to give reason why he should not be held in contempt. The senate had earlier instructed him to reinstate the two former officials of the health workers association dismissed upon the minister’s order.
Senate summoned Dr. Gwanigale early this month, but he demanded a legal representation– demand the senate then accepted, ordering his reappearance last week. He failed to show up on grounds that his pressure was high.