By Alagie Manneh
Lands minister Abba Sanyang said his ministry fired Cherno Siranding Sabally as alkalo of Kassa Kunda because of his inefficiency to discharge his duties.
Replaced by a close relative, Cherno was dismissed in August to the anger of many villagers. The aggrieved villagers of Kassa Kunda then wrote a petition against the appointment of Ebrima Sheriffo Sabally as the successor of the former village chief, which fell on deaf ears.
But giving reasons that led to the dismissal of Cherno before lawmakers at the National Assembly in Banjul last Wednesday, the lands minister posited: “The reason for Cherno Siranding Sabally’s dismissal was as a result of his inability to perform the duties of an alkali. Given the critical role that an alkali plays in land, documentation, processes, coupled with the magnitude of his functions, my ministry received complaints from the community about his improper execution of documents and also the execution for the land related matters, which has ripple effects on both the community and the ministry at large.”
Although he did not expound on the former alkalo’s “lack of ability”, Minister Sanyang said leaving him in charge of the village may lead to “unimaginable errors”.
“Based on the reasons stated above, Honorable Speaker, my ministry considered it prudent and proper to relieve him of his duty to avoid any further ripple effect on the impropriety that may arise from his performance,” he explained.
In the wake of his dismissal, hundreds of Kassa Kunda residents mobilised themselves to show solidarity with the dismissed village alkalo, who insisted that there was no justification for his dismissal. “I’m mentally capable to discharge my duties,” he said at a press conference.
The minister said he is aware that “some members of Kassa Kunda petitioned the appointment” of the new alkalo. “Since then, the ministry is working very hard to ensure that the matter is dealt with to avoid any conflict of power struggle among the members of the family. I wish to assure the honorable members that the matter in question is a priority to my ministry given the sensitive nature of the complaint.”