Deadly clashes are ongoing on social media between former Finance Minister Amara Konneh and outgoing Finance Chief Samuel Tweah over the understanding and lawful application of the country’s concession and public finance management laws and unexplained wealth.
The former accuses the current Finance Minister of illicit acceptance of $37 million from American mining firm High Power Exploration for use by the Liberian government with little or no known accountability.
Konneh suggested there’s something suspicious about the transaction.
“The House of Representatives rejected ArcelorMittal Liberia’s amended agreement that was under consideration. The timing between the payment of the 30 million and the rejection raises fundamental questions that use be answered,” he said in a face book post.
Tweah in response said Amara lack of understanding on financial matters will preclude him from knowing the facts about the transaction.
“For those asking for accountability on $37 million, this money plus all other government monies are discussed in government of Liberia expenditure reports. No separate account can be given for a single revenue source,” he said.
See exchanges below:
No amount of diversions from core bad fiscal and economic governance issues during your service will free you from the HPX mess.
Keep peddling lies on your Facebook page like the desperado you are who deceived his boss to his defeat that made him a one-term President in Africa in modern history.
Welcome to Fiscal Governance 101.
Only a ratified concession agreement is considered valid under Liberian laws. Ratification alone should trigger a concessionaire’s payment to GOL for the exercise of the rights the agreement grants.
Framework agreements carry no such legal weight or financial authority under the Public Procurement and Concessions Act or the Public Financial Management Act.
A framework agreement is simply a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) spelling out the government and a second party’s commitment to negotiate for a concession and the timeline for that process, which should lead to ratification.
Its signing does not trigger GOL’s receipt of funds from the other party.
I have a copy of the GOL’s Framework Agreement with HPX, shared below, and it is no different. It gives the company no rights to any government assets but sets out a roadmap to ratification. Without a disbursement of funds, it would not be legally binding.
But then you took $37 million from HPX and made it so. And now, HPX has cause to believe it has a right to the agreement’s swift ratification, failing which they can potentially sue.
Liberia did not need the added reputational harm that you have caused here. This is at least the third time you have admitted to taking illegal measures to cover holes in the payroll because of your bogus “harmonization” policy that made the nearly 70,000 civil servants to vote against your boss.
Now, instead of taking responsibility, you are accusing HPX of masterminding your sanction. Such a statement is defamatory, and could lead to further litigation, in addition to all the other ways you may have incriminated yourself, during that long press conference last Thursday.
It’s also interesting how you say HPX may face congressional hearings, clearly referring to the American legislature, when I have called for Liberian legislative hearings into the matter. It shows a lack of respect for the Liberian system. But that doesn’t matter. You are stuck here with us and will feel the weight of both houses.
Finally, I expect you to publish transaction records for the $7 million and the $30 million. I demand to see the origin and destination account numbers for each, with the appropriate stamped LRA Revenue Receipts.
I have published the entire Framework Agreement you concealed from the public to borrow money for fiscal operations against a future concession without due process. I dare you to do the same with the fiscal receipts for the funds transfer. Give the public all the facts!
You posted a FRAMEWORK DOCUMENT you do not understand. And knowing you I don’t expect you to understand. Let me summarize for you what that document says in simple english. I have already explained this in an earlier post but will be simpler here.
- First the argument that the GOL can only receive money after ratification is just plain ignorance of finance. In 2013 you issued LRD $6 billion Treasury bills to Commercial banks. At today’s exchange rate this is about US$ 32 million that came into Government treasury. Show me the ratification by national legislature? There was NONE.
What this means is that all receipts into central Government do not have to be ratified. Financial instrument that bring in monies for treasury or monetary purposes are not. The Legislature merely approves a debt limit under the budget to get this done.
This same legislature approved the US $30 million in the budget based on the Framework agreement, which is a short term instrument for a specific purpose.
Like a 3 month T bill, the Framework you posted says HPX will advance some money to the Government UPFRONT and will pay other monies AFTER ACESS CONCESSION IS RATIFIED.
If The RATIFICATION DOES NOT HAPPEN HPX CAN REQUEST REPAYMENT. This is perfectly LEGAL or ELSE HPX AN EXPERIENCED GLOBAL COMPANY would NOT BE WRITING SUCH AN AGREEMENT.
2 The second major point about your claim on lawsuit is idiotic! The AGREEMENT SAYS IF THE GOL does not give concession, HPX will request ‘LIQUIDATED DAMAGES’ from GOL. An Amara Konneh hearing ‘damages’ thinks this is ‘ damages’ to be awarded by a judge. You see how u lack understanding! GOL and HPX agree to something called ‘ LIQUIDATED DAMAGES.’
This is the amount paid plus some interest and other charges as DEFINED in the FRAMEWORK DOCUMENT. So GOL RISKS NO DAMAGES IT IS NOT ALREADY AWARE OF. The Attorney General signed these DOCUMENTS!
3 The other important related point is that HPX has written that it does NOT WANT PAYMENT YET. Ok let’s make it simple for Amara. I owe Amara 10k.
It was due yesterday. Amara writes that I don’t want you TWEAH to pay me because you may not have to once we reach some other agreement, so let’s keep pushing the due date.
Then how would Amara go to court to sue Tweah for 10k? Hell No. Tweah will simply show the judge Amara ‘s LETTER SAYING ‘TWEAH SHOULD NOT PAY YET.’ So all talk about DAMAGES to be paid to HPX are foolishly ignorant and hogwash!
4 IN SHORT, HPX has made no request yet for payment and has written GOL to postpone application of the clause in the framework surrounding repayment.
How then can they sue GOL? . HPX announced it was meeting President- Elect JNB in Washington. This meeting is to understand how the new administration plans to engage on this issue.
- The other ludicrous thing I read from you is your asking for specific spending reports on the $ 7 million and $30 million. How could you ask this as a former finance minister? This shows you knew nothing about the running of that ministry.
All revenues to the GOL: money from