By: R. Joyclyn [email protected]
Claim: On November 9, 2022, Drunk-news posted that Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said he signed President George Weah’s cheque to travel, but he didn’t see the amount.
Verdict: True; Minister Samuel Tweah said he did not see the amount he approved for President Weah’s recent trips.
Full text: When Finance Minister Samuel Tweah appeared on Spoon FM, a widely monitored online TV and radio talk show, he told the hosts that he signed President George Weah’s cheque to travel but did not see how much was on it.
How much is the President’s seven weeks’ budget out of the country? Tweah says he signed the cheque but didn’t see the amount.
When Minister Tweah appeared on Spoon FM, the public had no idea of an extension of the President’s trip until a communication was sent to the Legislature requesting an additional 25 days.
The post by Drunk-news attracted over 1.5k likes, 1.2k comments, and 81 shares.
Verification: Smith Toby is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary. He says the President’s official delegation is 17 on both trips to Egypt (eight persons) and Qatar (nine persons).
He says this excludes the advance team, which constitutes the President’s security and representatives from line ministries and agencies of government.
TSM has listened to the live interview on spoon FM in which the Minister admitted to not seeing the amount on the cheque for the President’s trips even though he approved it.
“I was out of the country and I did not see anything. My office staff sees the amount and does all of the paperwork, my job is to ensure where the President has to go, he goes,”
Tweah continues, “There is a lot of paperwork, a lot of things and I am not going to be looking at all of that. The President has several lances on the trip.”
“The President’s allowances are calculated in several different budgets to be sent at different times, and different levels of approval, because it has different lances, and I will have to do that math and see, so I wouldn’t be able to say the amount.”
During the interview, Tweah further disclosed that President George Weah is “entitled” to a $2,000 (£1,700) daily allowance for his trip, which includes a stop in Qatar for nine days to watch the FIFA World Cup.
Tweah cited the Liberia Foreign Travel Policy Manual No. 14: “The President as head of the delegation shall be given in addition to the entitled accommodation and per diem an Incidental Allowance of US$2,000.00 for each day of stay abroad for any extra accommodation charges and other incidental expense irrespective of the country he/she is traveling to. This amount shall be accounted for, including submission of the relevant hotel and other receipts on return.”
The Stage media also spoke with Eddie Jarwolo, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development Executive Director, who said the Minister’s action shows many hidden agendas.
He requests the ministry to publicize the President’s numerous trips, specifically budgetary allocations to those trips.
Conclusion: Research into the claim, based on the live interview with Spoon Fm and questions posed to Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Toby, The Stage Media concludes that Finance Minister Tweah did not give a projected amount of the President’s trip and at the same time, he said he did not see the amount in the cheque but approved it.