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Friday, April 19, 2024
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40 BANNED OFFICIALS TO BE REMOVED FROM GOV’T

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By Tabora Bojang

The government plans to start implementation of TRRC recommendation for the removal from public office of persons responsible for rights violations under the former regime.

In January, President Adama Barrow gave his assent to the Ban from Public Office Act 2023, after it was cleared by the National Assembly.

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The act is set to enforce the commission’s recommendations for the banning of some officials mainly from the security sector from holding public office for varying periods of time.

Ida Persson, special adviser on transitional justice at the AG’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice, told The Standard that prior to the enactment of the Ban from Public Office Act, the ministry had written to all institutions concerned to send persons recommended for ban on administrative leave.

“Since January the (ban from public office) law has come into force. And the Ministry of Public Service is the ministry responsible for the implementation. So, the Ministry of Justice is going to be advising that ministry to find a way to enforce the law. I believe all it would take is essentially writing to these people (recommended for ban) to explain that the law has come into effect and therefore they are now relieved of their services.”

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She however outlined that relieving them would come in different forms including forced retirements, dismissals or other forms to be determined by the Ministry of Public Service.

According to the special adviser, 40 officials have been recommended and accepted by the government to be banned from holding public office.

There are about 18 from the Gambia Armed Forces, about 5 from the Gambia Police Force and 9 from the NIA now SIS, one from the Ministry of Justice and one from Ministry for the Interior who is now deceased.

Others are from the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President and a private citizen who has been recommended to never hold any government position.

Asked how soon the implementation would start, Ms Persson, a legal and transitional justice expert, said: “This is not a difficult process. It can be done within six months. The ministry just have to figure out how they are going to meet them, inform them and ensure whatever payments are owed to them for their services are given to them. So before the end of the year we should have this people out of the service and banned for the duration of the terms,” she said.

Responding to concerns of amnesty for persons recommended, she added there are no provisions for such in the act.

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