The Liberian government has slammed a private newspaper over a report which alleged that President George Manneh Weah was involved in corruption.
An official statement issued by the office of the Presidential Press Secretary and posted on the presidency’s Facbeook page accused FrontPage Africa of unethical journalism in the story titled: “Pres. Weah’s Multi-Million Dollars Complex Nearing Completion.”
The story, which was carried on December 31, 2018 alleged that due to external pressure, President Weah was preparing to gift some purportedly ill-gotten property to the state.
“Although FrontPage Africa reported that it had not verified the story, it however reported that the President was contemplating on presenting the structures as a gift to government as some development partners have launched an investigation into Pres. Weah’s acquisition of the property,” the statement read in part.
The statement questioned why the newspaper chose to use hearsay and speculation on a sensitive topic, adding that: “This is not journalism but a mischief intended to incite the public against the President by spreading falsehood.”
FrontPage Africa is known to be critical of the president and his administration. Just months into Weah’s inauguration, the newspapers’ journalists were arrested over a private civil case.
Although President Weah had in April last year promised to deepen media freedom during a meeting with practitioners, his administration has been receiving a fair share of media headaches with widespread allegations that he intends to gag the press.
“I always use you as an example. When I supported human rights in this country, you were against me. But I always remembered you because at that time, what I was doing was to keep the country from being torn apart.
“And I’m glad you’re here today. Now, together we must create this environment, this awareness, so that Liberians can forgive themselves and we can move forward,” Weah had said.