The question on the lips of many drivers and transport pundits is when GPF would start issuing drivers’ licenses for 2018. In The Gambia, all drivers’ licenses irrespective of when they have been issued are valid only until the 31st December of each year. Usually, by the first week of every January, GPF begins to issue drivers’ licenses but this year no licenses have yet been issued. POLISO spoke to officials of the Licensing Unit and have learned that the printing and issuance of drivers’ licenses for 2018 would be the sole responsibility of the police.
One may wonder if this hasn’t always been the case as the Police Force is the official body responsible for the issuance of Drivers Licenses. Before 2010, Drivers Licenses were little green books but these were replaced with cards after the Gambia Government went into a five years contract with Pristine Company to print drivers’ licenses and national identification cards. At the end of the five year contract period in 2015, Pristine Company was supposed to handover the printing equipment to GPF but for some reason, this did not happen. Pristine packed taking with it all its equipment forcing GPF to briefly get back to issuing the green license books.
In 2016, Government again went into an agreement with a company called Nderr Shadow which printed licenses for only six months and was replaced by Vision Printing which printed cards until December 2017. GPF cognizant the amount of revenue being lost from outsourcing the printing of licenses and knowing that its IT unit had the human capacity, proposed to be given the necessary equipment and it would do the printing and save more money.
The Officer Commanding GPF IT Unit Chief Superintendent Gibril Lowe told POLISO that Independent Electoral Council (IEC) has donated GPF printers and Ministry of finance has approved funds to purchase the needed materials for police to print and issue driving licenses. He added that the logistics are being put in place and hopefully by mid-February they will begin to print and issue licenses. Quizzed on the advantages in this move, Supt. Lowe responded that it would make more revenue for government because with outsourcing of the printing, a greater percentage of the money paid for licenses went to the contractors. He added that a database for issued licenses would also be available and expressed regret that when Pristine’s contract was over, it went away with its database. He also said that the system has been designed a way that there would be strict adherence to the laws that govern the issuance of driving license. He concluded that once they start printing, applicants can receive their license within 48 hours.
It is important to know that for anyone to own a driving license, they must be 18 years and above. First time applicants are required to begin with a learner’s license which is valid for 3 months and must be renewed twice to give the applicant at least 9 months of learning experience before they can apply for a proper driving license. They would be required to produce the 3 learner’s licenses and be subjected to a driving test and if they pass, they would be issued with a competence certificate with which they can apply. Applicants who have gone to driving Schools and have gotten certificate would also be subjected to driving test to verify their competency before they can be issued licenses.
China to support and strengthen Gambia’s National Security
By Cadet Inspector Alieu Jamanka
Press Assistant, GPF
The Chinese Ambassador to the Gambia has revealed his country’s plans to support the Gambia harness and build the capacity of her national security.
Speaking recently at a the presentation of 20 new motorcycles to the police, the Chinese chief diplomat in the Gambia noted that the two countries stand to mutually benefit each other in so many different ways, especially in the area of security, which he said; China will standby The Gambia by supporting and strengthening it to make the Gambian people safer in the new dispensation.
“I stand here this morning to present to you a donation of 20 motor cycles, given by the People’s Republic of China to the Gambia Police Force in a bid to support the security sector of the new Gambia. These bikes are expected to improve service delivery of the police to ensure security and safety for all and sundry. China will continue to support The Gambia and will also work towards the mutual interests of both countries” said Zhang Jiming. The Chinese Ambassador finally assured China’s unwavering support and solidarity with the Gambia at all times, revealing his country’s interest to invest in agriculture, technology health and education.
In his remarks, the Minister of the Interior, Hon. Ebrima Mballow hailed the Chinese ambassador for the gesture. He assured that the bilateral relationship between China and the Gambia will continue to be cherished and that the donated motorcycles will go a long way in ameliorating the constraints that the police force is facing. The interior minister also applauded the Chinese for their kind gesture, assuring that the Republic of the Gambia, under the capable hands of President Adama Barrow will continue to cement the relationship and more importantly support the One-China Policy in both countries’ mutual interest.
The Inspector General of Police, Landing Kinteh described the gesture as ‘timely and necessary’. He assured the Chinese Ambassador that the donation has come at a good time, given the security challenges, especially in the area of traffic management and road safety. IGP Kinteh concluded that the bikes will be put into good use and maintenance will be highly prioritized to enable longevity.
The Office of The Inspector General of Police (IGP) wishes to notify the general public that political parties that wish to hold political activities using public address systems are welcome to send in their requests.
All political parties are also requested to beware that hitherto granted permits are nullified by virtue of elapsed dates.
The Office of the IGP further reassures the general public of its commitment to ensure that political activities are conducted in a safe and secure atmosphere.
The Gambia Police Force will embark on a recruitment of personnel to serve under its Police Intervention Unit (PIU). The qualification requirements for interested applicants are that they must be Gambian and be between the ages of 18 to 35. Applicants are required to have a minimum of Grade 12 certificate with at least four passes including English Language. Candidates are required to have a height of at least 1.68m for male and 1.65m for female.
Furthermore, applicants are expected to be physically fit and medically healthy. Application forms are available at all regional police headquarters. Interested candidates can pay Two Hundred Dalasi (D200, 00) at Guaranty Trust Bank and will be given a receipt with which they can receive an application form from the police regional offices.
All forms should be filled and with copies of your school certificates, birth certificate or ID Card or Passport and TIN Certificate and submitted at any of the regional police headquarters on or before 15 February, 2018. The recruitment team will be conducting interviews at all regional police headquarters beginning in Kerewan (NBR) on 15 February, Jangjangbureh (CRR) on the 16th, Basse (URR) on the 17th, Mansa Konko (LRR) on the 19th, Banjulinding (WCR) on the 20th, Kariaba Station (KMC) on the 21st, and Police Lines in Banjul on the 22nd.
It is important to note that the PIU is the armed wing of the Gambia Police Force with functions ranging from State Guard Security, crowd control, VIP protection, security of government installation, night patrols, border patrols, tourist security and so on.