By Julius T. Jaesen, II email@example.com
The controversial Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, who was embattled during his confirmation hearings with serious sexual assault allegation, however, confirmed and commissioned by President Weah a few months ago, is said to be dogged in arrogance, divisiveness, bad leadership style, disrespect and witch-hunting of senior officials and key technicians of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since he took office on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah’s appointments as Liberia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, the heart of global politics, and now as Foreign Minister and Dean of the cabinet, were greeted with shock and a profound wave of public condemnations in many quarters, from Liberians of all walks of life, to include seasoned diplomats some with over three to four decades of experience in foreign service of Liberia. Experts in the field of international relations and experienced diplomats branded Min. Kemayah as a rookie who brings no serious credentials and experience to such huge responsibilities assigned to him.
Most Liberians if not all, would expect the president to appoint both at the United Nations, which is the heart of global politics, and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one who brings to bear outstanding experience, credentials, negotiation skills, understanding of the diplomatic jargons and as well the global appeal to make an eloquent case for Liberia to the outside world that would attract global leaders’ and multilateral corporations’ attention to investing in Liberia in order for the government to achieve on the domestic front, its targeted policies and programs. But sadly, this is not the case with the appointment of Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. No wonder that it didn’t come as a surprise to me and sundry, to see Liberia being relegated beyond imagination and lay bare at the periphery of global politics. This can be evidently proven with the downgrading of Liberia’s membership status with the African Union she conceived and gave birth to in Sanniquelli and other regional and international bodies.
In fact, it is because of the gross incompetence, selfish motive, greed, unpatriotic attitude, and arrogance of people like Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, who are entrusted with responsibilities to help the president deliver on the mandate for which he was elected is undermining, is causing the loss of public confidence in the government. No joke, he is one of those who contributed to the massive defeat of the president and the CDC in the recently concluded midterm senatorial elections across the 15 counties. No president around the world or any human being for that matter carries the All-Knowing attribute of God. However, that is why presidents around the world delegate responsibilities to cabinet officials in their governments with different skills, qualifications and experiences to the right positions to help deliver progress and achieve the mandate for which the people voted said governments to power. If the rightful people are not assigned to the right positions where they are best suited for to make the most profound impacts, it undermines citizens’ trust in the government and erodes the legitimacy of the president and his government. We are convinced that President Weah is a well-intentioned leader, however, the placement of Kemayah and many others is what is hurting our country and destroying the good legacy the president wants to leave when he shall have exited the presidency.
With such massive liability his appointment has on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by extension, the government’s image to the outside world, it was least expected that Min. Kemayah would embrace around him, seasoned and experienced diplomats at the ministry to help him grow faster in the position given to him by the Liberian leader George Weah to which, he is unqualified. But disgustingly ridiculous, he is seen witch-haunting senior officials and technicians at the ministry and as well disrespecting seasoned ambassadors.
It would interest you to note that Minister Kemayah had the temerity to ask a veteran Liberian Ambassador who served this nation for more than 40 years in Egypt, Germany, Libya, Italy and Qatar to stand up as a penalty simply because his phone rang in a senior staff meeting. Sadly astonishing, the veteran Ambassador, who is one of the four senior advisors to Minister Kemayah, stood up in a senior staff meeting for 30 minutes at the behest of the arrogance of Kemayah. It is instructive to note that the Ambassador is old enough to be Kemayah’s father, but Kemayah recognized that not. That singular act, one senior official of the Ministry asserts is was the beginning of the end of Kemayah’s brutal dictatorship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During Minister Kemayah’s commissioning ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he pledged: “I have come to this position to ensure that Liberians get value for money. We come to this job not to go after anyone but the job. You will have a problem with me if you don’t want to get the job done regardless of your position. I don’t have malice against anyone, I want everyone to feel free and let’s work together, support me to support you, stop the fighting because there is no war to be fought,” he added. But shamefully disgusting, Minister Kemayah has been openly divisive, vindictive and witch-hunting people he believes did not attend his confirmation hearing. Possibly and perhaps, Kemayah had expected the entire Ministry staff to attend his confirmation hearing.
Also, during Kemayah’s confirmation, even though without mentioning specific names, he accentuated that people in the Ministry were behind the situation surrounding the allegation of sexual harassment but he has extended hands of compassion to them because, according to him, he has no malice. But the question here is, even if his claim is true, why now is he witch-hunting people he believes opposed his appointment? Why is he threatening some senior staff member’s demotions and dismissals? Why cannot he unify the workforce at the ministry? Why is he now dividing the ministry into two groups, Findley versus Kemayahs’? Is it the vision he promised? But again, incompetent leaders are always threatened by qualified people serving under them. They are most times insecure that the subordinates will take their jobs due to their deep-seated incompetence.
It is saddening to note that Amb. Kemayah has divided the Foreign Ministry into the Findley Group and the Kemayah’s and going after and revolving around every single thing former Minister Findley initiated even if positive.
The Parrot Newspaper and Online Web two months of an investigation conducted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs proved that Minister Kemayah engages himself into the abuse of the labour of his staff at the ministry. During such investigation, it was uncovered that Min. Kemayah keeps his staff in officer up till 2 am before letting them go home without any due regard for their safety going to their homes at such time of the night when they do not have cars and armed security guard he has to be in the streets late hours.
It was also found troubling that Kemayah will call a 3-hour meeting and he alone will speak for the entire 3 hours without inviting the inputs of other senior staff members of the ministry. Sadly, those who sometimes slightly disagree with him, he goes after them – something purveying the attitudes of dictators and authoritarian leaders.
Besides, it has become even more concerning to foreign diplomats seeing Min. Kemayah turning a one on one meeting intended to last for 10 minutes to hours where he will talk on and on and on, without the slightest inclination that diplomacy is talking less and listening more. But again, this only confirms the assertions in my opening sentences about the depth of incompetence of Minister Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr.
When Minister Kemayah was contacted by the Parrot News for his responses to the several claims brought against him, he, however, declined to comment on the matter.
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