MRU-YP Speaker Denies Involvement in Financial Malpractice

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MRUYP-LC Speaker James M. Kolleh

By Franklin N. Kwenah

The Mano River Union Youth Parliament -Liberia Chapter (MRUYP-LC) has been hit with accusations of its Speaker James M. Kolleh allegedly involved in financial malpractice, which he has denied.

MRUYP-LC Speaker Kolleh has said that he remains the legitimate speaker of the Parliament, although his colleagues have asked him to step down in accordance with Rule 23.1 & 2 of the organization’s code and statute.

Kolleh is accused of allegedly withdrawing US$20,000 from the Parliament’s account.

The chairman on Information, Culture, and Tourism Stephen N. Karly in a press conference told reporters that the decision to impeach the speaker was reached in  plenary after a resolution was submitted by G. Mackie Cole, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, from River Cess County.

Mr. Karly said the resolution carried nine counts ranging from embezzlement, bribery, ineptitude, and gross violation of the statute which governs the institution.

He also claimed that the 3rd MRU Youth Parliament has not been represented at any regional or international functions since its sitting, because the speaker is not competent.

“The speaker’s inability to properly and adequately communicate, consult, and call regular leadership meetings, collaborate with the deputy speakers, and acting unilaterally further justified Kolleh’s impeachment,” Karly alleged.

But Speaker Kolleh has distanced himself from the allegation, stating that he knows nothing about the disappearance of the said amount from the account of the Parliament. He added that the decision taken by some of his colleagues to have him removed from the speaker-ship will not succeed.

The Mano River Union Parliament has thirty representatives from Liberia’s fifteen counties who are strongly supporting the removal of Speaker Kolleh.

If Mr. Kolleh is to be removed, more than fifteen members need to sign his removal or vote upon it, which makes two-thirds of the majority, according to the rules of the parliament.

The embattled MRU Speaker said he received a letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports about the misappropriation of monies that were allotted for activities of the Parliament and said he has not received funds from any institution.

“I do not know anything about receiving money from any institution; what people are saying is just meant to spoil my character,” he said, calling on members of the Parliament and the youthful populace to ignore those he described as detractors.

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