MONROVIA – Outgoing Liberian President George Weah recently made headlines when he fired two officials from the Ministry of Commerce, George Wolo and Peter Somah. The reason behind their dismissal revolved around their apparent refusal to comply with improper practices within the ministry.
According to sources, Commerce Minister Mawine G. Diggs had reportedly taken over the responsibilities of Wolo and Somah and began implementing questionable decisions. One such decision involved hiring an individual who had allegedly been fired from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) for unethical behavior. This new individual was then assigned tasks that fell under the purview of the Bureau of Commerce and Trade, a move that raised eyebrows among the ministry’s officials.
Furthermore, it was reported that the officials’ official stamp, which was used to validate trade and commerce documents was taken away from them and given to individuals allegedly loyal to the Commerce Minister.
In an attempt to maintain order and proper protocol, Wolo had asked one of the individuals designated to use the official stamp outside of the official office, requesting the return of the stamp to the office to keep officials’ records.
This action, however, may have infuriated the designated individuals, one of whom then reported the incident to Minister Diggs. The Minister, who is traveling with President Weah to the Climate Change Conference allegedly informed President Weah about the perceived “disrespect” shown to Mr. Wolo and Somah, ultimately leading to their dismissal from their positions.
The abrupt firing of the two officials has raised concerns among the public, as it suggests a lack of transparency and integrity within the Ministry of Commerce. Many are questioning whether these actions were a result of personal or political differences, or a desire to cover up potential wrongdoings within the ministry.
As officials prepare their turnover notes, the dismissal of Wolo and Somah highlights the challenges surrounding ethical practices within Liberia’s governmental institutions. It remains to be seen whether any further investigations or actions will be taken to address these concerns and restore public trust in the Commerce Ministry.
Other say President Weah decision against Wolo and Somah is “Firing the Good Guys and Pampering the Bad Guys” at Commerce Ministry.
Communication seen by this medium showed how former deputy Minister George Wolo had intervened to return an official stamp of the ministry which has been unrestrictively used outside of the ministry without the knowledge of the two men who are head and assistant head of the bureau of trade and commerce.
The two officials had seen their statutory responsibility usurped by Commerce Minister Mawine Diggs ever since she took over the helm of the ministry.
Diggs could not be reached for comment as she is said to be on an official trip out of the country. Weah himself is attending the Climate Change Conference in the Middle East.
Minister Diggs is one of the outgoing officials who are earmarked to be investigated for alleged misuse of public monies which should have been used for loans intended to move Liberians out of poverty.
Former Auditor General John Morlu, who is charged with the responsibility by the incoming Boakai team to retrieve stolen funds has already issued notice on Minister Diggs and others to restitute monies allegedly taken in the name of loans.
Diggs is also one of those linked to US$11 Million rice subsidy scandal. The funds which were intended to subsidize the importation of rice, were allegedly misapplied. John Morlu wants Mawine Diggs to repay the Weah Pro-poor Small Business Development Funds which was allegedly managed by her. Morlu did not give any details.
Liberians are calling on the Boakai government to arrest and prosecute anyone linked to the alleged fraud.