Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly
Senate Holds Minister Dukuly In Contempt Charges
Winnie Dixon & Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, June 24 (LINA) - The Liberian Senate has written Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly to appear before it and provide clarity on his alleged unilateral placement of a moratorium on the County Development Fund (CDF).
The Upper House also wants Minister Dukuly to speak on his alleged deletion of the names of some chiefs from Government payroll.
The Senate reached the decision on Tuesday, June 24, after the reading of a communication from Minister Dukuly, who asked for a postponement of his appearance from the 24th of June to Thursday, June 26, 2014.
In a communication dated June 24 to the Liberian Senate, the Minister appealed for the deferment of his appearance, on grounds that he was attending a cabinet meeting and that his immediate deputy for administration was out of the country.
Following the reading, several senators expressed frustration and dismay over the manner in which Government Ministers have been handling appearance issues before the body.
Among them was Senator Frederick Cherue, who noted that the Liberian Senate is not a court house, but rather plays a role in finding out what has happened in their counties and create stability in arising issues.
“We were elected by our people, and we are here to seek their interest; why must they always send excuses, we are not a court house,” the Liberia News Agency quotes Senator Cherue as saying.
It can be recalled that the Senate committee on Internal Affairs was mandated by Plenary to investigate concerns raised by their colleagues on the reported deletion of chiefs’ names from Government payroll and the unilateral decision to place a moratorium on the CDF.
The committee, among other things, recommended that as a result of the hold placed on the CDF by the Minister without prior notice to the legislature, he be mandated to pay $4, 999.99 into the coffers of the Government of Liberia.
The committee also recommended the Minister to pay all arrears owed by the County Education Committee within 15 days of the Internal Affairs committee’s decision that the re-documentation of local county officials be halted until chieftaincy elections are held.
They advised that those affected should be immediately reinstated.
The Armah Jallah-chaired committee further recommended that copies of the result of the internal audit that was conducted by the Internal Affairs over the management of SDF and CDF over five months be immediately sent to the Internal Affairs’ committee for review.
But following the reading of those recommendations, some legal minded senators took exception to the committee’s report and motioned for the minister to appear before the plenary in order to further afford him the due process of law.