Saturday, 30 April 2011

“White Envelope, Not Bribery”

Deputy Information Minister Tweh Says ‘No Violation of Liberian Laws….’ 

The envelope presented to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in NewCess, Grand Bassa County continues to raise serious arguments among politicians and pressure groups.  But the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT), Norris Tweh has termed it as an envelope that has nothing to do with the violation of Liberian laws.
Addressing the Ministry’s regular press briefing on Thursday, Minister Tweh said the envelope presented by Peter Bayliss, General Manager of Equatorial Oil Palm- LIBINICO was not an act of bribery under the laws of the Republic, because it was done in a public gathering.
Minister Tweh contended that Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, political leader of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) only fears that the President have already penetrated his (Brumskine) stronghold of Zondo Town, Grand Bassa County.
The Deputy Minister noted that there is no big deal for a sitting president to receive a white envelope, which, according to him is a normal practice all over the world, but was quick to question the motive of Peter Bayliss.
Deputy Minister Tweh acknowledged this was the second envelope given to the Presidency by Peter Bayliss, General Manger of LINIBICO. Tweh recalls that in January of this year, similar offer of US$10, 000 was given to Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, as a donation to his (Boakai’s) Agricultural Scholarship Fund Drive (ASFD).
“This can never be a bribe. At no time our president will receive bribe. To suggest that our president received bribe is a violation. It’s not a violation because our president took an oath and she can never be bribed. You know this is a political season, so anybody say anything about the president,” Minister Tweh said. 
Simeon Freeman’s March, a Political Showmanship
While addressing the bribery allegation against President Johnson-Sirleaf, Minister Tweh quickly shifted his attention to the leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Simeon Freeman.
He indicated that Mr. Freeman’s statement in the print and electronic media alleging that the Police does not want to corporate with him on the proposed march, which was slated for Saturday April 30, 2011, is nothing but a political showmanship, because Liberia is a free Country.
Tweh denied claims by the MPC leader that the President has allegedly conspired with people with the intention of destroying vehicles in-order to have him (Freeman) held liable.
Minister Tweh observed that during the 1980’s, Liberia witnessed demonstrations for change and the real change has finally arrived.
Isaac Jackson, Deputy Minister for Technical Services at MICAT condemned Simeon Freeman; stating that Freeman is politically bankrupt and does not have the moral rectitude to stage a protest march.
According to Min. Jackson, if the protest march was staged, its participants would have been Mr. Freeman and members of his family, as he commands no large following in the Political landscape of Monrovia, least to say Liberia as a country.