Senate Throws Out “Improperly” Attired Public Works Minister

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A scheduled meeting between the Minister of Public Works Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan and plenary of the Senate was on Thursday, June 13, 2019, canceled, and rescheduled for next Tuesday, June 18, 2019 due to the minister’s “improper dress code,” which the lawmakers considered an affront to them.

Minister Nyenpan, formerly served at the 53rd Legislature as a senator for Sinoe County. He had entered the newly constructed Senate Annex, attired in a faded pair of blue jeans trousers, a fitted long sleeve plaid shirt, partly covered by a faded sleeveless jeans jacket, which caused immediate murmuring among the lawmakers.

“How can a former Senator, who knows our standing rules, behave in such a manner, especially when other people, who had behaved in such manner during his term here were thrown out? We will walk out if we allow Minister Nyenpan to stay,” the senators of Grand Cape Mount and Margibi counties, H. Varney Sherman and Oscar Cooper, respectively, vehemently protested.

While at the senate, Nyenpan chaired the Senate committee on Public Works. He was cited last week to appear before Senate plenary, after Sinoe County Senator Augustine Chea, had written to complain about the “very poor road condition,” which he said is threatening southeastern counties of the country.

A few senators attempted, but failed, to prevail upon their colleagues to soften their resolve in calling for Minister’s Nyenpan to be thrown out and, instead, be allowed to use a coat to cover his top attire.

It can be recalled that similar treatment was meted out to former Public Works Minister Gyude Moore, during the administration of then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

In a brief chat with the media, Nyenpan said that he had gone to inspect works done on the Timbo River Bridge and the temporary bridge projects.

The Senate plenary decision to bring the Public Works official to the Capitol Building, followed a communication from Sinoe County Senator Augustine Chea, in which he alerted his colleagues that the Buchanan-Greenville highway may become impassable during this rainy season, if a fast track remedy is not found to recondition the road.

In his June 4, 2019 communication, Senator Chea warned that the corridor, “which is part of the government’s proposed coastal highway, is always deplorable during the rainy season, thus making travel difficult and risky.”

Sen. Chea said that the road condition is exacerbated recently when authorities at the Ministry of Public Works dismantled the Timo River Bridge or its contractor, due to faulty condition.

“The bridge is said to have outlived its lifespan, because of this situation, Sinoeans and other users of the road are compelled to use a detour route with travel time of about six to 10 hours to get back to the main road.

“As the line ministry responsible for roads and bridges, the Works Minister should be invited to shed light on the new Timbo River Bridge, and the temporary bridge projects.

“Minister Nyepan should also tell us what intervention his ministry plans to make on the Buchanan-Greenville highway to make it passable this rainy season,” Sen. Chea said.

24 COMMENTS

  1. The minister is now at the receiving end of his former actions. What a disgrace! No means for an extra suit neatly package in his million dollars car?

  2. This is very funny! But what was Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan thinking! Did you think your PUNK HIPPIE dress or atire would have given your former colleagues the impression that you are really working hard as Minister of Public Works? You are very very funny Joe Blow!

    And who were those “senators attempting, but failed, to prevail upon their colleagues to soften their resolve in calling for Minister’s Nyenpan to be thrown out and, instead, be allowed to use a coat to cover his top attire”? Such Senators should have been thrown out along with that punk-hippie!

    • Gbada Flomo, who told you that Engineers are not supposed to dress up? Though the Minister is an Engineer, he was not in the field working. He was invited to the Legislature and being a former Legislator, he should have known how to dress up.

      I work in government as well brother. We always have our suits in our offices just in case we are called by the Premier, Minister, Deputy Minister, Assistant Minister or if we are to meet up with a stakeholder for briefing on major files. So to answer your question, an Engineer should be dressed appropriately at all times for the occasion, especially if that Engineer is a Minister of the government.

  3. During the reainy season, roads get bad every where in Liberia except in Monrovia and its greater areas. So, the Minister of Public Works, Mr. Nyepan, was invited by a few members of the senate in order to answer questions as to why roads are not being properly worked on in the Southeastern region of Liberia where Nyepan or his parents were born. Nyepan answered the call to appear before the senate, but when he appeared, some members of the senate became enraged because they felt that Nyepan didn’t wear a two or three-piece suit. At that crucial point, Nyepan was ordered to get out of the well of the senate.

    Problem:
    It continues to rain in the Southeastern tropics of Liberia. Roads are getting messier by the day. Liberia’s Southeastern residents are experiencing all kinds of problems. By sending Nyepan home because of he was deemed to be improperly dressed, nothing is coming forth in terms of help in the Southeast.

    Question:
    Does the Liberian senate care about the problems of the taxpaying residents of Southeastern Liberia?

    • We all know the significance of the situation in the South East when it comes to road conditions during the rainy season. But a Minister should still be properly attired when called in by the Legislature to answer some questions. His hippie dressing was very unprofessional. You cannot go for an interview wearing hippie clothes.

  4. This is the dumb thing about African societies. We always major on the minor! What does it matter what the Minister is wearing. The primary concern should be is he getting the job done? Jefferson Koijee is dressed daily in bow ties while the city remains in dirty and in the worst stench. I would rather he put on some jeans and get in the field to supervise his men than wear bow ties to show that he’s properly attired.

  5. Chris,
    I am aghast at your response. So let me ask this question:
    Do you think that the lives of people who are threatened with a major catastrophe is less important than a dress code of one individual?

    Nyepan has a job. He wasn’t called in for a job interview, but rather to be queried on how the people who live in that region could be helped. As he and the members of the senate go about their respective chores, roads will become messier. Roads that lead to hospitals could be blocked because of mud. Pregnant women could lose their lives because the roads are impassible. And yet we know about roads, but nothing has been done in the past…….nothing is being done now. Senators will get their $10,000 monthly checks. The Senators care more about their checks and dress codes.

    • So are you saying that because of the messier roads in the South East, the Minister should dress like a gangster to go in front of the Legislature to answer questions? Let’s call spade a spade my brother. The minister’s dressing was unprofessional

  6. Do we have Engineers in Liberia; what do they do?
    Are the engineers from world standard schools?
    Why are the roads bad ?

  7. Tokpah,
    There are two of you with the same name: Chris Luke and Chris Tokpah. My retort is for Chris Luke, not you Tokpah.

    Today ain’t my day. I have made a slew of mistakes. But, I will be careful tomorrow.

  8. Mr. Nyenpan erred in going in such an attire. I am sure he knew some time prior that he was going to meet the honorables. There are dress codes for ocassions. having said that, Bro. Hney, we will allow the slew of mistakes, but be mindful of you will have to be fined. Stay safe

  9. Okay Joe. Bring it on. If I do not have enough money, I will solicit help from your uncle Mo or maybe from the Liberian taxpayers.
    Hang in there young guy.

  10. Chris, you’re right. A spade is a spade. But the situation in Liberia is not as genuine as a spade. Neither do I support the hyppie-style manner in which our man Nyepan appeared before the Liberian senate. Of course not. Nyepan was badly rebuked by his former associates. His attire being inappropriate, he was sent back to his office in order to learn a lesson.

    Although Nyepan may have shown disrespect (I am not sure if he did it intentionally), the issue for which he was called (bad roads, bridges, potential health issues, etc) takes precedence over the interest of the Liberian Senate. So far, nothing is being done to take care of the needs of the Southeasterners. Time is of the essence. After Nyepan puts on his three-piece suit, it may be too late for lives to be saved in the Southeast. (Let’s hope he’s got sone three-piece suits left).

    The Liberian Senate is often accused. It’s been said again and again that the Liberian Senate does not have a good reputation. For instance, it’s been said that the CoP bypassed them to do battle with Weah recently because of their ineffectiveness. Not I, but that’s what people say.

    Which is more important? Dress code or the lives of people?

  11. Miss Yankey,
    You have a valid point. I am suggesting maybe a three-piece suit for a gentleman. For women, I don’t know either.

    My point is that irrespective of whether or not Nyepan dressed poorly (I am sure he took care of his armpits), the gentleman should have been allowed to stay. He could have been rebuked after the fact! It didn’t happen.

    The Senate is blameworthy on this particular issue. That’s my take.

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