By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
Considering the huge benefits and salaries members of the Senate are receiving monthly since the commencement of this Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, it was shocking and amusing to many legislative reporters and other civil society groups yesterday when the Secretary of the Senate announced that his office could not produce an agenda of the session due to the lack of photocopier machine.
At yesterday’s sitting, several Senators were seen reluctantly approaching their various seats in chambers after the information had spread around in the corridors of the Senate that there was no agenda to guide their debate in session.
Margibi County Senator, Claric Jah who chairs the Committee on Executive was the presiding officer for the day in the absence of Senate Pro-tempore, Gbehzohngar M. Findley who is currently out of the country.
When Senator Jah decided to call session to order, with its usual devotion conducted by prelate; the secretary Nagbolor Singbeh immediately informed that august body that the regular session of the day does not have an agenda.
The pronouncement was marred by ‘earth-shattering’ disruption and laughter among Senators, journalists, civil society groups and other Liberians who had gone to witness the session.
But surprisingly after the declaration, Senator Jah openly appealed to her colleagues that they should use their salary for the month of May 2014, to buy a photocopier for the Senate.
The Margibi Senator also acknowledged that it was shameful to know that the Liberian Senate does not have a photocopier machine to carry out its function as a first branch of government.
Regardless of this, the Senate proceeded to conduct business without an agenda and quorum, which is in violation of their own standing rules.
Inside sources at the Capitol Building told the INQUIRER that the situation has been an old age problem that did not need to come to the public but the leadership of the Senate has refused to adhere to Mr. Nagbolor Singbeh’s request.