Dismissed Deputy Foreign Minister Fahnbulleh Respond To President Weah Decision To Relieve Him Of His Position
On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, president of Liberia, exercised his authority under Article 56 (a) of the 1986 Constitution to relieve me of my position as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. On behalf of my family, and in my own name, I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to President Weah for the opportunity accorded me to serve in his government from June 2019 to November 8, 2023. It was indeed a wonderful experience!
In times like these, fellow compatriots will crave that I explain the “WHY”. Out of deference for the institution of the presidency, I will refrain from going in-depth; notwithstanding, it is important that I provide some peripheral information.
On Monday, November 6, 2023, I intervened in the saga at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations in a live video recording, involving Ms. Wynee Cummings, a local staff member and some New York City cops. Foreign Minister Kemayah had ordered that cops(police) be called In to prevent Ms. Cummings from entering the office. I did speak directly to the cops and introduced myself as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose key duties include the supervision of ALL foreign missions. It is noteworthy that Ms. Cummings has accused Minister Kemayah of sexual harassment while he was serving as our permanent representative at the United Nations. Said complaint was formally lodged to me in September 2020, as then Acting Minister, following the resignation of then Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar M. Findley in July 2020. In the exercise of my fiduciary responsibility, I also spoke to the cops on the subject matter as well.
On Tuesday , November 7, 2023, I started to receive many calls from some senior functionaries of government with close ties to the presidency, whose names I will not mention here, that my statement to the cops validated Ms. Cummings’ allegation against Minister Kemayah and that I should retract because it “embarrassed” the government. Some of the calls went up to midnight on Tuesday. I was in no mood to oblige to such request because that was a statement of fact.
So, it did not come much as a surprise to me for President Weah to have wielded his constitutional powers to relieve me of my duties as the Principal Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. What baffled me, though, was the speed by which such action was taken, when the simplest action to constitute an Independent committee to probe into the myriad of similar allegations, which some of our development partners have found credible and had taken actions, has been largely ignored. I believe that every man or woman must own up to his or her actions. This is called accountability!
I want to thank all those I interacted with during the course of my service. I will cherish the fond memories we had. And to my dedicated staff, you all were excellent, and I wish the best of luck. The wellness calls and text messages were just overwhelming, and I salute you all.
Finally, they say that if you don’t want to be FIRED, don’t be HIRED. With this, I once again extend my thanks to His Excellency President Weah for the privilege to serve in his government, and I wish him all the best.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Hon. Henry B. Fahnbulleh
Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Liberia