Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee appeared in the senate Chambers Tuesday with a bottle of liquor – Breezer, an imported beer.Members of the Liberian Senate had just returned from the Temple Justice, where they had gone for hearings in the impeachment proceedings against embattled Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.
Apparently fatigued by sun beat in central Monrovia, the Nimba County Senator could not hold back his thirst, but quickly rain in the cafeteria of the Senate and grabbed a bottle of Breezer (Strawberry flavor) and comfortably took his official seat in the chambers of the senate.
This is the first time ever for anyone, including a senator to walk in the chambers of with alcohol. The Standing Rules of the Senate strongly prohibits senators, staffers and visitors from eating or drinking alcoholic beverages in the chambers of the senate and the William Richard Tolbert Joint Chambers.
But Grupee fragrantly violated the golden rule, which many consider as sacred in the chambers.
Senator Grupee, who took his seat in relieve of tension possibly from the legal debate at the Temple of Justice, was immediately signaled by Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, to approach the presiding chair.
After a brief chat, Senator Grupee, who chairs the Committee on Internal Affairs, took the Breezer bottle from his desk and hid it under his chair, while he continue with the consumption in the public glare.The Code of Conduct Law, which Senator Grupee voted, prohibits officials of government from drinking alcoholic beverages in public.
When Senator Grupee was contacted via mobile text about his action in plenary, he denies doing any wrong. He counters in a written response (unedited): “I was not drinking alcohol; I was offered a bottle of Breezer by friend from the Senate’s cafeteria and brought it with me to the chamber at which time session has not started; I left it on my desk and went to the President Pro temp’s desk to chat with him, upon my returned, a colleague of mine told me that Breezer contains a little alcohol, I immediately took it back to the cafeteria and disposed of it.” Bacardi Breezer or Breezer for short is a fruit-based alcopop with 4.4% alcohol in Australia, 4.5% in Canada and 4.8% in India.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne