By Kruah Thompson
Liberia’s former Finance Minister Amara Konneh says if the current regime had a very good Foreign Minister, the sanctions imposed on three top Liberian officials would not have been imposed by the U.S. Government.
During a discourse at the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions (CEIO) in central Monrovia Monday, 5 September 2022, Mr. Konneh blamed the sanctions on a ‘weak Foreign Ministry’ that has allegedly failed to build foreign relationships.
“These sanctions that just happened, I don’t like [them] for those who have been affected. Nobody should pray for bad things to happen to their fellow human beings,” said Mr. Konneh.
“I feel sorry for them, but if they [had] a very good Foreign Minister it wouldn’t have happened,” said Mr. Konneh, a former Finance Minister in the regime of ex-President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf.
Three of President George Manneh Weah’s top officials including Nathaniel McGill, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus and Mr. Bill Twehway were sanctioned last month by the U.S. Government for corruption.
President Weah in return suspended the three officials indefinitely to enable them to exonerate themselves of a wide range of allegations brought against them by the U.S. authorities.
McGill is Weah’s suspended Chief of Office Staff or Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, while Cephus is Liberia’s suspended Solicitor General. Mr. Twehway on the other hand is the suspended Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA).
Mr. Konneh suggested that President Weah’s Foreign Minister Amb. Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, Sr. should not be [sitting] in the country.
He argued that Minister Kemayah has been in Liberia for quite a long time, accusing the top diplomat of allegedly creating reputation damage for the government.
Konneh however failed to state what specifically is the reputation damage Mr. Kemayah has created for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) regime.
Konneh criticizes the regime for the country’s economic hardship, saying he has returned to Liberia to help everyone because he knows how to fix it.
He clarified that he is not here to run for the presidency, but the Liberian Senate, though he remains indecisive yet on whether to run in Montserrado County or Gbarpolu County.
“I will go in the Senate and I’ll be an independent Senator,” he said, vowing that he will make legislation that will promote the growth of the economy.
Konneh narrated that during his time in office as Finance Minister, he raised money to bring electricity from Ivory Coast to the entire southeastern part of Liberia.
The former Finance Minister said from 2008 to 2012, he raised ten million dollars for the NPA to dredge it because there were more ships coming into the country at that time.
But he said since then the Port has not been dredged.
Konneh said it was his hard work, loyalty and commitment to the country that got him as Finance Minister.
“I’ve worked with the opposition to show we get peace in this country, that doesn’t make anybody corrupt,” he argued.