June 14-2019-Appearance: It was a scene of confusion when Senators debated the reappearance of Public Works Minister Mabutu Nyepan due to what other senators termed as ‘reckless’ dressing before the Senate’s Plenary.
Plenary had earlier last week invited Min. Nyepan and his technical team to appear before the Senate’s plenary which would be conducted as a committee of a whole to give details on the current status of the Timbo River Bridge connecting other southeastern counties and the mechanism to help the Greenville-Buchannan corridor.
Min. Nyepan appeared before plenary Thursday afternoon wearing a Jeans Trousers and Jacket with long sleeves shirt and a pair of shoes, that according to Margibi County Senator Oscar was indecent and does not indicate a respect for the Senate’s chambers.
“This place is not a night club or bar for someone to come and dress like this, we are about to discuss serious issues that border on the wellbeing of our people then one minister come dress like he’s going to the bar,” Sen. Cooper noted.
There were mixed reactions by Senators in the chamber as on the Minister remaining and making the required presentation as dress code did not matter with the issue at bed.
For Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, Min. Nyepan had come in the capacity as an engineer who is focused more on field work and as demand, it carries such dress code
“ All the rules we have here bordered on us and not on strangers or guest whom we invite to give us information and moreover we should expect that the minister will come in here like an engineer and not in coat suit”, Sen. Grupee pointed out.
Efforts for Min. Nyepan to make his presentation on the Senate’s invitation did not yield results as he was seen rushing out of the chambers after failed attempts to have him covered his jeans jacket with a coat.
Plenary voted unanimously to throw the improperly dressed Minister outside and he is made to reappear on next Tuesday in order to provide full detail on issues indicated in the invitation.
Speaking to journalists after the Senate’s decision, Public Works Minister Mabutu Nyepan indicated that he made a short trip to the Timbo River bridge and other areas of concern by the Senate to ensure proper information on works in those areas are delivered.
He mentioned that his dress code is no way defiant to the Senate’s rule but noted that the fieldwork constrained him further.
“I respect the Senate’s decision today but I am just from those project sites mentioned in the letter so as to present a picture on the information needed”, Min. Nyepan said.
He promised to uphold the Senate’s standing order in next Tuesday and future appearances to ensure a stronger collaboration and dissemination of information.
It can be recalled that the Plenary of the Senate has thrown several senior and junior ministers of government outside the chambers due to improper dressing and other issues that may arise on the floor during session. Former Public Works Minister Gyude Moore was amongst several others trapped by the Liberian Senate.
Pundits believe that Minister Nyepan action before the Senate’s Plenary on Thursday was deliberate owing to his friendship with some senators and the current Protemp Albert Chie as a member of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)