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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Letters: 25 issues of legitimate public concern

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Dear editor,

These are pertinent issues that the National Assembly should have acted on or acted on them differently. Unfortunately that has not been the case hence the proliferation of corruption and abuse of office which are the greatest threats to national unity and peace and security in the country:

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1. The President confirming the unconstitutional receipt and handling of D35M which tantamount to bribery.

2. Numerous cases of bribery or inappropriate financial transactions said to be donations from ‘Anonymous Donors or Philanthropists’ – donation of houses in Senegal, donation of 57 vehicles and donation of 11.2 million dalasi Hajj package, etc.

3. The claim by the President that his Mankamang Kunda mansions were built by friends including Akon and others in total violation of the Constitution.

4. The return of Gorgui Mboob to ACU against official panel decision.

5. Ministry of Regional Governments’ interference with KMC corruption case.

6. The airport terminal leakage just after spending 14 million dollars on renovation.

7. Turning State House into an NPP campaign grounds.

8. The President threatening the constitutional right to political participation by aiming to control social media and stop political activity.

9. The disregard of audit report of 7 SOEs which exposed massive corruption and abuse of office.

10. The uncountable corruption cases surrounding COVID funds as reported by Malagen online newspaper yet no investigations carried out.

11. The approval of unconstitutional SABs by the National Assembly thus further plunging the country in greater debt and plunder of public resources.

12. Disregard of environmental damages by fishmeal factories leading to conflicts in coastal communities.

13. Refusal to implement the recommendations of the Faraba Commission Report leading to eruption of Sanyang riots.

14. Refusal to fully implement the Janneh Commission Report thus entrenching impunity.

15. The general poor delivery of basic social services leading to unnecessary deaths from preventable diseases and uncountable maternal and infant mortalities in the health sector alone.

16. Disregard of corruption cases in the Ministry of Fisheries including the deliberate burning down of its entire office building.

17. The dubious contract of vehicle number plates.

18. The dubious Semlex contract thus exposing national security to foreign interference.

19. The lack of arrest and prosecution of the fertilizer cases thanks to the police for dropping the case.

20. The lack of diligent investigation and prosecution of rape cases and child sexual abuse cases.

21. The poor road constructions taking place in which the old one is better than the newly constructed road!

22. Failure to register the Gambian diaspora for the elections despite the Constitution and the Supreme Court guaranteeing the right to vote for all.

23. Illegal imposition of an illegal airport tax paid to a foreign private company .

24. The unbridled and illegal accumulation of money and landed properties and construction of buildings by public officials led by the President himself and his ministers, coupled with the blatant and indiscriminate sale of reserved lands.

25. The overall lack of transparency and accountability of public institutions and the active cover ups of cases of abuse of office by various public officials.

How could these issues escape the Legislature who are indeed, by law and practice the guardians of the Republic and the public good? All of these issues are already in the public domain. The interviews and statements of the President and the press releases of the Government are there to get the evidence.

The Republic is governed by both the Executive and the Legislature hence both organs take full and equal responsibility for the bad or good governance of the country.

The Constitution has given enough powers and tools to NAMs to perform their oversight functions which includes advice, decisions, and investigations that can lead to prosecution and accountability. Yet the incidences of corruption and abuse of office and poor service delivery are rampant and blatant.

The people who occupy these powerful positions in the Executive and the Legislature are from political parties. Therefore, one may ask what are the political parties doing to ensure that their representatives are fulfilling their constitutionally-given duties and powers.

Ask UDP, PDOIS, NRP, GDC, PPP, APRC and the Independents in the National Assembly.

Madi Jorbateh

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