Health Minister Walter Gwenigale
Senate Holds Health Minister In Contempt
By Winnie Dixon
MONROVIA, October 17 (LINA) - The Liberian Senate has invited Health Minister Walter Gwenigale to appear before it on, Tuesday, October 21, to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for statements made against the body.
The Senate had cited Dr. Gwenigale on Thursday, October 16, to provide clarity on allegations he levied against the body that “they are supportive of the ongoing strikes in the health sector.”
The body could not reach a decision on Thursday’s discussions because Gwenigale pleaded to appear with his lawyer on grounds that issues surrounding his appearance were contemptuous in nature.
The decision to re-invite Minister Gwenigale was based on a report from the Senate Committee on Health dated October 16, 2014 and also his plea to appear with his legal counsel.
In the report, the committee pointed out that the minister displayed “a high level of disrespect” to the committee, claiming that “he was at liberty not to appear because of an earlier communication to them dated June 7, 2014.”
The committee also indicated in its report that the minister’s unwillingness to reinstate dismissed health workers’ officials Joseph Tamba and George P. Williams, undermines the intervention of the body and the coordination that should exist between the branches of government.
It can be recalled that before the eruption of the Ebola crisis, health workers in the country went on strike in demand of benefits, prompting the dismissal of Tamba and Williams.