Senate Pro Tempore Armah Zolu Jallah says the Legislature, through the Executive branch of government, should order an audit of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) before considering its request to print new local bank notes.
“I think that we should commission an audit that gives an opportunity to understand what may have gone wrong to give us an opportunity to be able to correct where we have gone wrong so we will not have a repeat of what is happening now. My position is that we order an audit before we can give approval for printing,” Senator Jallah said.
At a press conference in Monrovia on Tuesday, Senator Jallah, speaking on several important issues, drew attention to the UNMIL drawdown and its effect on the country. Jallah announced that he was joining those who are calling for UNMIL to stay.
“We have said it before and want to reecho it. I want to join President Alassane Ouattara who has written the Security Council for an extension of the mandate of UNMIL. We encourage the UN to approve the request by our heads of state,” he said.
He maintained that there still exist problems within the security sector and therefore it is in the interest of Liberia, Mano River Union, and ECOWAS for UNMIL to remain on the ground.
“Security is not just the presence of troops that carry arms, but the comfort people feel by the way they live,” he stated.
Senator Jallah refuted reports that contempt charges against embattled Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh has been dropped by the Senate during an executive session after imposing L$5,000 fine.
He said the motion for reconsideration filed by Grand Gedeh County Senator G. Alphonso Gaye has not been tried. “Our last position during the scheduled date for hearing was that we could not dispose of the issue in the absence of the witness who requested a delay due to his engagement at an international financial conference where he is representing the country. So when he returns, he will come back to the Senate where the issue will be disposed of.”
On the recent tension among politicians, the Executive and civil society, Pro Temp called for calm and urged that where there is concern about the breach of rights the matter should be taken to the court of law.
“I am urging all Liberians that in the absence of peace, we will not be able to build the kind of country we envisage for our people; so we have to maintain the peace, especially in the face of UNMIL drawdown; we have to make efforts to demonstrate to the outside world that in the absence of UNMIL, we can provide security for ourselves. But that can only happen when we respect the rights of each other, and where there is conflict in that right we take it to the appropriate forum to be resolved.”
Referring to the Senate, Pro Temp admitted to a lot of challenges, saying the central administration of the Senate needs to be strengthened, especially in the areas of filthy bathrooms, and inadequate support to the secretariat. “The central administration needs to be clean, and that is why I am urging a retreat of the Senate so that we will be able to understand the issues to take definite positions to strengthen the secretariat, and by extension the various departments we have established to help us strengthen the work at the Senate, hoping that we will be able to do this as soon as we can return from the Easter break.”