President George Manneh Weah has with immediate effect reinstated Eugene Fahngon, the Deputy Minister for Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT). The Executive Mansion posted the announcement on its website in the middle of the afternoon, as the massive “Save The State” protest was in progress at the Capitol.
Deputy Minister Fahngon was suspended by the President on May 6, 2019, after the United States Embassy in Monrovia in a statement called out the Deputy Minister and other government officials for “making derogatory statements that could undermine peace and progress in the country.” The other officials mentioned in the US Embassy statement were legislators, Montserrado County Senator Prince Y. Johnson and Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah.
Fahngon had become known for his video postings on Facebook in defense of the President. However, when the June 7 “Save The State” protest was announced, Fahngon responded by referring to the protest organizers with what was described as divisive speech.
Lifting the suspension, the Liberian Leader warned Minister Fahngon and all Government officials to take their work very seriously and operate within the confines of their respective duties.
In September 2018, Fahngon raised the ire of the House of Representatives following a complaint from Bomi County District #1 Representative, Edwin M. Snowe, that the Deputy Minister insulted him, a sitting lawmaker. Snowe added that such conduct should be considered an act of disrespect to the entire House of Representatives. The House recommended to President George Weah not to allow Fahngon to hold any key government position, because he was “unqualified.”
Besides branding him unfit to serve in government, the lawmakers also ordered Fahngon to serve a three-day imprisonment, which he served beginning September 12, 2018, at the police cell on Capitol Hill, until he was transferred to the Monrovia Central Prison where he spent the remaining two days.
As part of his punishment for being disrespectful to the lawmakers, Fahngon was also fined the amount of 4,999 Liberian cents, which he is to deposit into government coffers for his contempt charge.
The lawmakers’ action resulted from Fahngon’s defiant posture, refusing to make any comment to the lawmakers when he appeared before that august body for the hearing of his contempt charge.