Liberia: No Money to Fuel House of Representatives’ Staff Buses?
Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has been reliably informed that funds intended to purchase gasoline for buses that are mainly used by staffers of the House of Representatives have been siphoned by some members in the House’s leadership.
Some staff who asked not to be named for fear of being reprimanded by their bosses (lawmakers) told this newspaper that because of the situation the buses have been parked for weeks despite some being parked because of mechanical reasons.
“It’s been two weeks now we have not been able to ride the bus because of ‘no gas.’ Some of the buses have mechanical problems; even the ones that are good are not moving. According to what we are hearing, gas provided for the buses was misused by people in charge,” an ordinary worker at the legislature told this newspaper.
FrontPageAfrica called Representative Marvin Cole of Bong County, who Co-chairs the Rules, Order and Administration Committee to ask why the buses are parked. He responded: “There are many things parked right now in our country; I have no knowledge why the buses are parked.”
Rep. Cole, as Co-Chair on the Rules, Order and Administration Committee, has direct oversight on matters that deal with the day-to-day running of the House of Representatives, administratively.
Even though the amount in question, for the purchase of the gasoline, remains unknown, other sources at the Legislature told FrontPageAfrica that Rep. Cole had taken responsibility for the ‘missing’ gasoline and promised to pay back. However, the Bong County lawmaker categorically denied this report, too.
“It’s been two weeks now we have not been able to ride the bus because of ‘no gas.’ Some of the buses have mechanical problems; even the ones that are good are not moving. According to what we are hearing, gas provided for the buses was misused by people in charge.”A Staff at the House of Representatives
Past Record of Gasoline Missing
In December 2019, Reps Cole and Solomon George, a lawmaker from Montserrado County’s District #7, tussled over gasoline coupons intended for fellow lawmakers and ordinary staffers of the Capitol Building.
It was reported that Rep. Cole had allegedly reduced the quantity of coupons for some lawmakers and diverted same to his personal use.
The allegations came out when Reps. George and Cole got into a serious argument; they rained insults at each other in the public.
The Montserrado County’s lawmaker, widely known as a ‘no nonsense’ man, immediately, forcefully confiscated Cole’s mobile phone, in demand of his remaining coupons. He had threatened his colleague wouldn’t get his phone back.
The melee between the two lawmakers didn’t go on for long before House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and other leaders intervened in releasing Cole’s phone from an angry Solomon George.
This newspaper learned from a source that Rep. Cole was subjected to an internal investigation. However, the Bong County lawmaker admitted though, but said the investigation wasn’t about missing coupon.
According to him, someone in the leadership had attempted taking about US$13,000 intended for coupons for personal use.