By Julius T. Jaesen II
Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah who was widely criticised on his appointments as Liberia’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations and later Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia for bringing no solid diplomatic credentials and experience to such huge responsibilities given him by President George Manneh Weah has now made valid the claims raised by many Liberians to include some seasoned and experienced diplomats that his two appointments by the Liberian leader were misplaced.
Since Min. Kemayah took over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs October 6, 2020, the wave of diplomatic missteps on his part has been highly encyclopedic – evidencing gross administrative ineptitude for the job. But among his several diplomatic blunders at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is his recent decision to approve the letter of credence of the new U.S Ambassador and to allow the new Ambassador to present his letter of credence to President Weah after been advised by the technical people and all his deputies not to do so until there is a reconsideration of the letter of credence of the new Ambassador by the new U.S government.
The New US Ambassador, Michael A. McCarthy, was appointed by former President Donald J. Trump since June 2, 2020, and got confirmed by the U.S Congress November 18, 2020. Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy, since his appointment by former President Trump, arrived in Liberia January 6, 2021, met with Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah and officially presented his Letter of Credence January 22, 2021, just two days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
It will interest you to note that since Ambassador McCarthy was appointed by former President Trump, he deliberately refused to come to Liberia and present his letter of credence but recently chose to present it in the administration of President Biden. In the diplomatic context, when a new Ambassador, as in the case of Amb. Michael A. McCarthy, who got his credence under a former President and decides to present it in the administration of a very new President, he is normally advised to go and get a new letter of credence from the new President for presentation to a host country in order to avoid diplomatic rift and floodgate in a country’s diplomatic space. But sadly, all the pieces of advice given to Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah by his deputies and all the technical people at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were ignored and Amb. McCarthy was allowed by Min. Kemayah to present his letter of credence signed by Trump to President Weah.
It is expected that people who are found in the diplomatic arena will always be cautious before making decisions, especially when it comes to accepting letters of credence. But for Liberia’s Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah, he is being dogged in arrogance and deep-seated ineptitude and cares very little about proceeding with diplomatic caution. While President Weah may care very little or not at all about the failure of Min. Kemayah to properly advise the new U.S Ambassador to go back to the U.S for a reconsideration of his letter of credence by President Biden since indeed his credence was signed by former President Donald Trump, but in the diplomatic community, this is a huge and serious diplomatic blunder on the part of our government.
Most Liberians if not all, expected President Weah who doesn’t command any serious international gravitas amongst his regional counterparts, least to mention globally admired leaders, would appoint seasoned and competent people in his cabinet, especially the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to help him lift Liberia’s image and achieve his domestic policy agenda. But sadly, this is not the case with the government of foot-balling President George Manneh Weah. 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.
Since Liberia’s historic existence, no President had ever lowered the bar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and by extension, public service, the way President George Weah did by appointing a man like Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah who sits at the heart of deep-seated incompetence.