Editorial: Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are feasting in cash withdrawn from the national coffers and disbursed thru covert accounts, while ordinary citizens continue to die due to lack of drugs in hospitals and basic services across the country.
In a country that lacks running water, effective health services and electricity, it is highly inhumane and selfish that less than 200 legislators would collect US$30,000 each that they had appropriated unto themselves from the national budget for so-called “engagement” with their constituents without accountability.
What is even hurting more is the gameplay that has evolved between the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate over the dishing out of the cash that totals more than US$300 million with one side confirming the disbursement, while the Senate is in complete denial.
This matter would not have gained magnitude if it had not come from ruling Coalition for Democratic Change Lawmaker Moses Acarous Gray, who revealed here that said cash was deposited in a bulk account at an undisclosed commercial bank, from where they have been having access to the money.
Rep. Gray insists that the Senate receives its share of the booty, but the
Liberian Senate says that at no point in time did its members receive US$30,000.00 each for Legislative Engagement in the 2022 National Budget. However, let it be made clear that Rep. Gray did not say the money came thru a budget line item.
The Chair and Co-Chair of the Senate Statutory Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Bomi and Bong County Senators Morris Saytumah and Prince Moye maintain there is a strict mandate from Senate Plenary not to have any budget line for said amount in the current budget.
Members of the ‘House of Wisdom’ seem to be taking the Liberian people for granted because not placing the amount in the current budget does not mean it cannot be covertly sourced and disbursed.
Besides, there is no way that members of the House of Representatives would receive said amount each, and their colleagues in the Senate are left out of the booty. No, absolutely no way! Previous disbursements or records prove the contrary.
So then, if the disbursement did not go across as the Senate wants Liberians to believe, why would Rep. Gray, Chair of the House Committee on Executive delight in falsely indicating his colleagues in the Senate? What does the Montserrado County District#8 Lawmaker seek to benefit from his disclosure?
The Senate’s clarification is faint and desires more to get the ears of citizens. Members of the 54th Liberian Legislature should be told in no uncertain terms that posterity would judge them and their families for constantly dishing out the national cake among themselves, while the people they claim to represent live in abject poverty, darkness, misery and disease.