I read Minister Lewis Brown's response to the Press Statement by the former Justice Minister, and wondered what manner of people are Liberia's leaders who are incapable of introspection. Mr. Brown, as usual, was in full uninformed attack mode. Rather than focus on the substance of the Madam Tah's statement, which has resonated across the globe as a scathing indictment of the President and the Government, Mr. Brown chose to be, well...Mr. Brown (see Mr. Brown from the TV Show).
One would think, any response coming from an official government source, would be based on deep introspection, reason, and judgment. It is clear neither the government nor Min. Brown seem capable of that.
In his very first paragraph Mr. Brown deliberately misrepresents that Madam Tah "finally mustered the courage to exercise her prerogative to resign." Did Mr. Brown's boss, President Sirleaf, not inform him of the Minister's resignation of March 31, 2014? Mr. Brown the Minister resigned on March 31, while still under suspension. Your boss has that resignation letter. It would be in the best interest of full disclosure that she release to the Liberian public a full copy of the original letter of resignation.
I, for one, am curious, as to why the President refused to accept the original letter of resignation?
As several legal scholars have already written, the President did not give any substantial weight to the precedent set under her by allowing the Court to remove a member of the Cabinet from his / duties. I continue to believe, the President colluded with the Court to orchestrate the suspension, because she wanted to accomplish other nefarious goals which Minister Tah would not allow.
If one must listen to people opine about actions of the Judiciary, one should listen to legal scholars who understand legal doctrine. As is usually the problem in Liberia, people do not know how to "stay in their lane." In the case of Minister Brown, he should pull off the road entirely.
Was Minister Brown aware, that Madam Tah returned to Liberia even as the Ebola epidemic was growing, and the president already had her resignation letter in hand? And he wants to talk about mustering courage? What exactly did she have to gain? She could have demanded then that the President accept her resignation.
Now, it is not clear to anyone why Minister Brown thinks that Minister Tah will be angry when she has been magnanimous to return to work and help this Government that is now spiraling into an abyss, without complaining, after her rights were abused by the Judiciary with the complicity and endorsement of President Sirleaf. It is, rather, the Government that is angry and embarrassed by the forthrightness of the former Minister, which it is incapable of responding to.
Please tell us "what bigger interest" of the Liberian people is served, when the Minister of Justice, cannot investigate allegations of fraud against other government agencies? Or is it just the National Security Agency, which happens to be headed by her son? You have the audacity to talk about "teaching by good examples?"
Minister Brown, please tell us what "bigger interest" of the Liberian people was served, when the President decided that the Security services under the State of Emergency would be under the control of the Minister of Defense, as opposed to the Minister of Justice where it belonged?
Do you understand this directly contributed to the death of a Liberian citizen, Shaki Kamara. Apparently, it has not occurred to you and your boss, that her decision to place command where it should not be placed, had consequences for the Liberian people. I do not need to remind you of the public beat down by the American ambassador regarding the misuse of the Army.
How does it serve the Liberian people's "bigger interest" when a president, in office is so consumed by petty parochial interests that her decisions lead to the death of a Liberian citizen, and international rebuke?
I also find especially troubling, the misogyny and sexism you demonstrate when you state "the former Minister may be deeply beholden to the human emotions of bitterness and anger." What is it about crude men like you that you would seek to dismiss the statement from a Minister of Justice as “emotional?”
Minister Brown, let me suggest, that you resist the urge for your natural tendency to be a fanatic, confer with the President and cabinet, and decide what the government's official response is to the indictment made by the former Minister of Justice.
You seem eager to tell us of your meeting on October 4, where the President expressed concerns about corruption investigations, where she stated there were no sacred cows. Perhaps then her son, the Director of the NSA is a sacred sheep or goat. Because when it was necessary to investigate charges of fraud in his agency, the investigation was promptly sent to a private party outside of the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Minster please consult with the Minister of Finance, and provide the Liberian people HOW MUCH money has been made available to the Ministry of Justice for investigators and prosecutors? Please ask the Minister of Finance to provide to the Liberian people the budgetary allotment for LAWYERS, in other government agencies. How does that compare with what is provided for the Ministry of Justice?
Will those figures reflect a commitment to investigating and fighting corruption?
For a government, which has completely lost the trust of its citizens, it should be evident that whoever speaks on behalf of the government, at this time, should be a person of substantial credibility. The President seems to prefer the face of her government to be a man singled out, by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for economic crimes.(TRC Final Report, page 295), and one forbidden to enter the United States.
Isn’t this the very Lewis Brown who accused the President of desecrating the office of the Presidency, only a few years ago?
As for Deputy Minister of Information, Isaac Jackson, I will not dignify his comments, as it is evident he lacks the aptitude and the intellectual heft to understand the contents of Minister Tah’s statement.
This President seems to have a penchant for losing women of great credibility, Antoinette Sayeh, Olubanke King, and now Madam Tah. At some point, you must look in the mirror, instead of looking in the echo chamber, comprised of the likes of Lewis Brown, and ask yourself: what am I doing wrong.
Finally, with regards to corruption cases, we have seen the President’s attitude towards her cronies, like for example, resubmitting names to the Senate, in the face of brewing scandals. It does not take a rocket scientist to conclude the Justice Ministry would have been pressured by the President to forego prosecution of her cronies.
We are all waiting to see the government’s performance on corruption going forward…we will be watching.