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Thursday, June 20, 2024

SENATORS DILLON AND KONNEH CLASH OVER TRANSPARENCY IN PROCUREMENT

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Two staunch supporters of President Joseph Boakai, who played pivotal roles during the 2023 presidential election that led to Boakai’s victory, find themselves on different sides of the aisle regarding the Executive’s procurement plans. Montserrado County Senator Dillon has embraced the Executive’s announcement of procuring 285 earth-moving equipment, while Gbarpolu County Senator Amara Konneh has criticized the deal due to lack of accountability and transparency.

At the recently concluded three-day Cabinet Retreat at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Monrovia, the Minister of State Without Portfolio, Madam Mamaka Bility, announced on Friday, May 24, that the government of Liberia has procured 285 earth-moving equipment specifically for infrastructure development.

Following the announcement, Senator Dillon expressed support for the Executive’s authority in negotiating and securing concession deals, financing, loan agreements, and other agreements on behalf of Liberia. He highlighted the need for legislative ratification for such deals to bind the country, emphasizing the role of the Legislature in providing a check and balance. Dillon stated that the Legislature should act in the interest of transparency and accountability but only after the Executive has concluded all necessary processes.

On the other hand, Senator Konneh emphasized the importance of demanding accountability, calling it a legislative oversight and constitutional duty. He criticized lawmakers who, after condemning the CDC regime for lack of transparency in the past, are now labeling those who require transparency in similar efforts as “showboating and grandstanding.” Konneh urged for consistency in advocating for good governance, whether in opposition or in a ruling position.

The disagreement between the two senators reflects broader debates within Liberian politics about the balance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches. Senator Dillon’s position aligns with a more deferential approach to the Executive’s decision-making authority, while Senator Konneh’s stance emphasizes the Legislature’s role in oversight and accountability.

This difference in perspective also underscores the challenges facing President Boakai’s administration as it navigates complex issues such as infrastructure development and economic growth. While Senator Dillon’s support for the procurement plans signals confidence in the Executive’s ability to drive progress, Senator Konneh’s criticism highlights the need for caution and transparency in such endeavors.

As the Executive moves forward with its procurement plans, the contrasting views of Senators Dillon and Konneh serve as a reminder of the importance of robust debate and oversight in a democratic system. Their exchange also underscores the need for transparency and accountability in government decision-making, particularly in matters that could have significant implications for Liberia’s future development.

In the coming weeks, both senators are likely to continue advocating for their respective positions, further shaping the discourse around governance and accountability in Liberia. As they do so, their engagement will serve as a barometer of the country’s commitment to democratic principles and good governance.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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