MICAT Refutes “Travel Ban” Reports
The Government of Liberia has refuted reports of a one-month “travel ban” imposed on top members of the cabinet. The Liberia media reported earlier in the week that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had imposed an August travel restrict on all Ministers, their Deputies and Assistants, as well as heads of public corporations and autonomous agencies.
But addressing the press Thursday at a weekly press briefing, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lewis Brown said the August stay-in-country action imposed by President Sirleaf was to aid the budgetary process, not a ban.
Minister Brown said President Sirleaf was in full knowledge of the Constitution and could not violate the rights of any Liberia, least members of the cabinet.
He said the action was that of a travel “austerity” upon which all members of the cabinet had agreed.
He said because it was the first Medium Term Budget covering three months, government had deemed it necessary to allow individual ministries perform specific tasks prior to its passage by the Legislature.
This, he said, will avoid any delay should the budget pass.
“It is not a ban; it is an austerity meant to keep us focus on the budget,” he said.
“President Sirleaf is cognizant of Article 13 of the Constitution and cannot violate it,” he added.
Minister Brown said the restriction was limited to government-funded foreign travels, not personal travels.