Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh has communicated an official complaint to the plenary of the Liberian Senate, regarding recent verbal exchanges between the Senator and authorities at the Ministry of Finance.
Senator Tengbeh at two recent official functions blamed Finance Minister Amara Konneh for being personally responsible for the budget shortfalls the country has experienced over the past two years, and called for his resignation or dismissal.
In the communication to the plenary Thursday, May 1, dated April 30, 2014, Sen. Tengbeh pleaded with his colleagues for contemptuous action against Minister Konneh for a release issued against him on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, “using adjectives on me such as comical, reckless and irresponsible while performing my Legislative duties in fulfillment of Rule 57 Sections 1&2 of the standing rules of the Liberian Senate…”
Senator Tengbeh who Chairs the Senate Committee on Maritime, and co-chairs Rules, Order & Administration, continued in his communication that: “In addition to the adjectives against me, the Minister of Finance’s release further stated that the National Legislature is the one that has failed to utilize the expertise of the Legislative Budget Office (LBO) to give technical advice on issues relating to the budget.”
Senator Tengbeh quoted the Ministry of Finance release against him as saying that Minister Konneh and his team had mobilized close to US$200 million to support small tree crops growers mainly in Lofa County, which he said he knew nothing about as a key stakeholder of the county.
The Lofa County lawmaker said he considers the release by the Ministry of Finance against him as disrespect.
The Senator noted: “In view of the above, distinguished colleagues, it is clear that the Ministry of Finance obstructed or impeded on my Legislative functions…I therefore beg your indulgence to have the Minister of Finance appear before the Plenary on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 to give reasons as to why he cannot be held in contempt and further clarify the US$200 million he claimed to have raised for the support of small tree crops growers in Lofa.”
However, immediately after the reading of Senator Tengbeh’s communication, the plenary went into executive session and no outcome of deliberations was released to the Legislative Press Corps.