Security guards of Speaker Bhofal Chambers, including private security at the 54th Legislature Tuesday beat up a contractor who had gone at the Capitol to protest in demand of US$25,000 that body owes him for a painting contract executed since January.
Mr. Guss A. Winn narrated that he entered into an agreement with Speaker Chambers and members of the House of Representatives about four months ago to paint the Capitol in preparation for President George MannehWeah’s Annual Message, but since that agreement was sealed and the job executed, authorities of the House have reneged in making payment despite repeated engagements and promises.
Mr. Winn explained that he took loan from a commercial bank and pre-financed the work, but has forfeited in liquidating the loan and the bank is now after him, forcing him to abscond his home.
Out of apparent frustrations, he went at the Capitol Tuesday, 28 April with two cooking pots, banging them together in the premises, protesting for his payment. He also sat in front of the Speaker’s car, demanding his money but security forces flogged and dragged him away.
According to him, he prefers to be sent to jail by Speaker Chambers than the bank taking him to prison for a debt payment that has gone beyond his control.
He told reporters that on many occasions, Speaker Chambers has asked him out of his office, while demanding for his payment, and threatened with imprisonment by Bong County Representative Marvin Cole, who co-chairs the Committee on Rules, Order, and Administration at the House.
Speaking to Prime FM subsequently, the Speaker confirmed the House of representatives owes Mr. Gus A. Winn the amount in question for a painting contract he executed at the Capitol this year, promising that the money would be paid as soon as funds are available.
According to Speaker Chamber, there is every desire to pay the amount but since the contract was executed, the House hand been faced with financial challenge.
He said Mr. Winn had informed him that he took loan from a commercial bank to do the job, which he needs to pay back and he (Speaker Chambers) told him that if he has problem with the bank he should let authorities of the House know so they can send a delegation to the bank.
He promised that if any fund comes to the House of Representatives, Mr. Winn will get first preference for payment.
Meanwhile, speaking to OK FM Wednesday, 29 April Representative Marvin Cole said he would never be a part of any action to inflict wound a fellow Liberian, similarly assuring that everything is being done to pay the money owed Mr. Winn.
By Bridgett Milton–Editing by Jonathan Browne