By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
Serious disorder erupted yesterday at the compound of the National Legislature when members of the House of Representatives invited the Superintendent of Nimba County and his deputy for questioning in its plenary.
The group like all other unauthorized persons had to wait outside the building because of the new measures put in place at the Legislature, a political theatre, which is, one must have a pass before entering which seems a very new procedure to witnessing the day-to-day deliberations.
Already the group was divided with some residents against while others were infavor of the decision of the lawmakers and just as they were preparing for plenary, Montserrado County Representative, Solomon George, walked from his vehicle and upon seeing the crowd infront of the entrance, spilled one of his usual languages that begin the day’s discussion.
Representative George walking past the crowd used profanity that did not pass the ears of one of the by-standers who inquired by saying, “Why are you insulting our County Superintendent”?and before the crowd could notice, Rep. George shouted, “who said it, who said it,”? He then walked right up to the guy and placed double slaps in his face.
Before anyone would get involved, the police at the entrance of the building whisked the lawmaker inside the building thereby preventing the crowd or the victim from laying hands on him but that prompted a loud noise with eyewitnesses expressing their disenchantment over the behavior of the lawmaker.
The loud noise and threats from the angry crowd prompted the lawmakers to invite a huge presence of police officers within the premises of the Capitol Building without coming out to inquire what had caused the crowd to be so furious.
Residents of Nimba County gathered outside the main entrance of the Capitol Building in groups comprising of those in favor and those against the plenary’s decision to invite Superintendent Fong Zwagele for questioning while the other group is calling on the President to dismiss the County Superintendent for his inability to lead the residents of Nimba.
The issue of the Superintendent was discussed in plenary where members of the House of Representatives asked him how the US$ 100,000 approved by that body for the use of the County Health team was disbursed.
The lawmakers also raised concerns about the unilateral suspension of the County’s Project Management Committee Chairperson by the Superintendent. Information available to them is that Superintendent Zwagele misdirected the funds approved to be used in the fight against the Ebola virus.
Admitting to the suspension of the PMC chairperson, the Nimba County Superintendent told the body that it was due to administrative fraud but the august body disagreed with the decision terming it as a violation of the resolution that gives authority to the PMC to operate in the county.
The lawmakers also told the Superintendent that his decision to suspend was also a violation of the budget law because the PMC should be the section responsible to disburse funds approved for use by the county.
The chairperson of the PMC is elected through a resolution for three years and besides that same resolution, nobody has the sole right to dismiss or suspend him/her for any reason; the plenary informed the Superintendent.
On the issue of the misdirection of the approved funds for the County Health team, members of the House of Representatives adjudged the Superintendent of not having the authority to divide it to chiefs, commissioners or city mayor even if it was for the fight against the Ebola virus.
The Nimba Caucus informed the plenary that the money was intended for the County Health team instead bulk of it cannot be accounted for. Meanwhile, one group of Nimba residents are advocating that due to the suffering already meted upon them, the Superintendent should be dismissed while the other group is advocating that the Superintendent be left untouched because he is helpful in the county especially in the fight against the spread of the virus terming the Caucus as being greedy.
The according to information from the House’s all day closed door plenary has however decided to cast a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Superintendent Zwaigele and Mr. Yolor and also information gathered states that it will communicate its decision to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as of today but Superintendent Zwaigele said he has no regrets