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Thursday, April 18, 2024

CABINET RETREAT OR CABINET SAFARI-CRITICS ON PRES. WEAH’S SHUTDOWN OF GOVERNMENT UNDER THE GUISE OF HOLDING RETREAT

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Main photo: President Weah

LIBERIA – Opposition politician Robert Moncio Kpadeh says he’s not amused about the holding of a cabinet retreat in which President George Weah assembled all officials of the government in the Northern City of Ganta in Nimba County. The retreat starts today Monday and ends on Thursday, July 14.

The antennary of the retreat is mostly about festivity and jolly-jolly as it is called in Liberia; leaving more questions as to the real reasons for the retreat. A cabinet retreat is meant for the President and top brass of his government to go into a sober recline and deeply reflect on the state of governance in the country.

It ought to be a sober moment for the President and his cabinet to take a deep stock of governance under their leadership by critically reviewing the gains, failures, and drawbacks.

The cabinet retreat is also meant for a comprehensive policy evaluation, to establish whether the various policies of the government have made any meaningful impact on the socio-economic lives of the citizenry as well as spur economic and infrastructure development in the country.

This moment of cabinet retreat should also set the basis for genuine, bold, responsible, sound, and honest deliberations on the government’s agenda as it nears the end of its first term, to establish whether the government made meaningful gains on its agenda and fulfilled its pledge to its people over the years.

In this particular case, Mr. Kpadeh notes that President Weah and his officials instead of drinking and dining should be evaluating their Pro-Poor Agenda and their pledge to provide jobs for millions of Liberians within three to six years. He indicates that a cabinet retreat is meant for the president to review the performance of each of his officials to inform his decision on whether to maintain or remove them.

In some countries, where Governance is highly prioritized and the social transformation of the state and dignity of the people is the national purpose of the ruling establishment, Kpadeh said after a major cabinet retreat, a cabinet shakeup comes into effect, that would see poorly performing officials dismissed and new faces with fresh ideas are brought on board to help the government meets its target goals and achieve the overarching vision.

Interestingly, according to opposition politicians, President Weah and his “ineffectual cabinet” have different perspectives about the Cabinet retreat. For them, Kpadah indicated that it is about going to merry make at the expense of state coffers. “Thousands of United States dollars and millions of Liberian dollars of needed public funds will be spent on the Cabinet Retreat for Weah and his officials to parade Nimba in glitz and glam.”

He wondered whether after playing several soccer and basketball games in Ganta, Pres. Weah will never have any time to assemble the cabinet to deliberate on the state of governance in Liberia.

Mr. Kpadeh notes that “We all know that this government has extremely poor work discipline and regiment. After five years, there hasn’t been a cabinet reshuffle amid the glaring dismal performance of various ministries and agencies across the government. It should indicate to each of us what manner of President is Mr. George Weah. I need not say more.  Apart from eating and drinking lustily, nothing meaningful and rewarding is expected to emanate from the ‘Cabinet Safari’ in Ganta, Nimba.”

A memo sent to public officials; a copy seen by Smart News says Cabinet ministers, their deputies, assistants, heads of autonomous agencies, and public corporations, and all their deputies are supposed to be in attendance.

That presupposes that the entire CDC Government will be shut down for one week because the retreat runs from 11-14 July; meaning from Monday to Thursday.  And because of the proximity of the retreat area, officials will begin returning to Monrovia between Friday and Sunday 15-17 of July.

All of those who are supposed to sign government papers and steer the affairs of government agencies will be out on the retreat, it automatically shuts the entire government for a week at the detriment of taxpayers and the general masses.

Since last Thursday, public offices were practically empty; because some employees say their bosses were preparing for retreat.

Aaron Parley, a resident of Logan Town Broad Street says he experts nothing positive from the retreat. Retreat after retreat has profited Liberians nothing he told Smart News in a random interview regarding what Liberians think of the big Ganta retreat.

Saywon Wleh who spoke with Smart News on Gurley Street in central Monrovia noted that it’s a festival to drink and dine, period.

Mulbah Togba of Crown Hills in Monrovia calls the retreat “A honeymoon trip.”

What are they going to discuss in Ganta? While Sekou Abe Toure called the retreat a “waste of taxpayers’ funds.”

Theresa Doe for her part welcomed the retreat, calling it, “A time for sober reflection.” Her assertion was supported by Alex Jorpleh, a civil servant; who indicated that the elections are next year and that the president needs to use the retreat to make sound decisions.

But almost all of the interviewees had one disagreement in common-locking down the entire government for a whole week just to host a retreat.

They noted that President Weah should have asked only senior cabinet officials and heads of the public corporations and autonomous agencies to attend the retreat, while their deputies and assistants stay at the base to run the affairs of government.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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