Team Gongloe Wants
Pres. Weah Impeached
-For Diverting National Road Fund Monies Unconstitutionally

Team Gongloe Incorporated (TGI) wants the national legislature to impeach President George Weah in violation of the national budget laws for allegedly misapplying US$25 million of the National Road Fund without legislative approval. However, many wonder how possible it is to impeach President Weah under a legislature and a judiciary whose leaderships are either headed by the president’s own political party or close associates.

    TGI, an association made of Liberians both at home and abroad who are driving the presidential ambition of Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) during next year’s general elections, said its call is in consonance with article 43 of the country’s constitution which states: “The power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the senate. When the president, vice president or an associate justice is to be tried, the chief Justice shall preside;  when the Chief Justice or a judge of a  subordinate court of record is to be impeached but by the  concurrence of two-thirds of the total membership of the senate. Judgments in such cases shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold public office in the Republic; but the party may be tried at law for the same offense. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process.”

     According to Team Gongloe’s Vice Chairman for Operations, Major Tamba Samukai, the President should have sought the approval of the National Legislature before diverting the National Road Fund money, but since he failed to follow the constitution, he needs to be impeached.

   Referencing the budget laws, Mr. Samukai believes the Minister of Finance and Development Planning shall develop and recommend to the President for approval regulations, where required in the Act, for the implementation of the provisions of the Act.

    Samukai said the Minister may issue regulations, instructions and guidelines, as the need arises, to further clarify specific responsibilities and tasks related to the implementation of regulations consistent with the administrative procedure act and the executive law.

    He pointed out that regulations issued by the Minister pursuant to this act, shall be subject to endorsement of the President. Copies of all such regulations shall be sent to the Legislature for coordination purposes.

    Contingency appropriation, in the national budget, the Legislature shall approve an amount of public funds not exceeding 5 percent of total annual domestic revenues, as estimated in the proposed budget to be used as contingency fund.

     “The contingency fund may cover urgent and unforeseen expenditures arising from emergency situations for which payments cannot be postponed until the passage of a supplementary budget or the next annual National Budget without seriously affecting the public interest,” Samukai noted.

    Samukai stated among other things that the use of funds out of the contingency fund shall be reported by the Minister in the next quarterly outturn covering the month (s) in which the expenditure occurred.

    He is of the conviction that the General Auditing Commission (GAC) findings on the National Road Fund for two fiscal years July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, which observed that millions of dollars of fuel levies paid by motorists for the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads in Liberia are either not being remitted to the road fund account as required by the act creating the National Road Fund or expended for the intended purpose.

    Samukai said GAC told the National Legislature that recently the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) collected US$53,018,871.54 and deposited the money in the Consolidated Fund Account instead of the National Road Fund Account as required by the Road Fund Act.

     The consolidated fund account is the government general revenue account that is controlled by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).

     Of this amount, according to the report, the MFDP remitted US$28,152,231 to the National Road Fund thereby leaving a difference of US$24,866,637.54 which was not remitted.

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