By Bill W. Cooper
Former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Henry Fahnbulleh, has expressed deep concern over President George M. Weah’s ‘hasty’ decision to dismiss him from office.
Fahnbulleh, former Montserrado County District 4 Representative, known for his expertise in foreign service, further stressed that he was baffled by the speed with which such action by the Liberian leader was taken.
Late Wednesday night, Henry Fahnbulleh was dismissed as Deputy Foreign Minister, a day after his alleged intervention into the sexual harassment case involving Foreign Minister, Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, and Wynee Cummings Wilson in Liberia’s Mission in New York.
With just five days to the close of the first term of the Weah-led administration, Fahnbulleh, according to the late Wednesday, November 8, 2023 release from the Executive Mansion, was relieved of his duties by President Weah for what was termed as ‘administrative reasons’.
Dismissed Fahnbulleh, who has also been an instrumental figure in the government’s efforts to improve its foreign policy and served in that position since 2020, had been at loggerheads with Minister Kemayah, and the feud was a no-secret drama witnessed by staffers, as it caused embarrassment to international guests who went visiting.
The dismissed Minister said, “On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, President George M. Weah exercised his authority under Article 56 (a) of the 1986 Constitution to relieve me of my position as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
“And 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,” he said.
According to him, on Monday, November 6, 2023, he did intervene in a saga at the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations, in a live video recording, involving one Wynee Cummings Wilson, a local staff member, and some New York City cops.
This, he explained, “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, and 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,” he intoned.
Fahnbulleh further stressed, “What baffled me, though, was the speed with 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,” he added.
“If You Don’t Want To Be Fired, Don’t Be Hired” -Fahnbulleh Accepts Weah’s Dismissal
By Bill W. Cooper