By Amadou Jadama
Talib Bensouda, the mayor of Kanifing Municipality has called on Musa ‘Amul’ Nyassi, the chairman of the parliamentary Select Committee on Regional Governments, to retract statements he directed at him and other KMC top staff and apologise.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Bensouda said Honourable Nyassi’s statements reported in this paper Thursday that the mayor and his staff refused to attend the NA committee’s sitting and censuring them was unjustified.
He explained: “First of all, I want to make it clear that I hold the House in very high regard. It is an institution which I respect very much regardless of any parliamentarian’s political affiliation.
“On the committee itself, I want to make it very clear that I see no reason why I should not attend the sittings with them, not only do I support what they are doing, I myself called for the same investigation regarding what had transpired in the past years in KMC, because it is a public institution and we must protect it to ensure that people get what they deserve.
“So I see no reason why I should not attend the meeting because this is an investigation between 2015 and 2016. And I was elected mayor just less than two months. I am the political head of the KMC. I am not the accounting officer for KMC. They are looking into the administration of the KMC and not the political affairs. So there is no reason to avoid the committee. But the fact is that Honourable Nyassi, NAM for Foni Kansala, the committee chair, has gone to all the media outlets sort of painting me in certain pictures that I am avoiding the committee.
“I believe it is politically-motivated. I think if they are not satisfied they should call me to seek clarification. I think the important issue here is the Honourables do not have their house in order. They have sent us the letter on the 20th asking for KMC administration including the board chair, finance director and external auditors to attend the meeting…
“I received a call from two people claiming to be from parliament informing me that the sitting is cancelled until the September session. On 24 July we received a call again from someone from parliament saying that they have now uncancelled it, and they have now decided to sit the next day. I told them that we don’t have a board chair. We only have councillors and I am the chairman of the council, and they asked me to attend as an observetor [sic]. I attended with my CEO and finance director and at the end of the sitting they adjourned it to 26. I told them I would not be able to make it because the president will come to come KMC for a meeting and they accepted my permission.”
Mayor Bensouda said on 30 July they asked him to attend a sitting but he told them he was attending the swearing-in of the women’s councilors with VP Darboe at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
“I therefore send my deputy mayor and the CEO. So if the Honourables were not satisfied, they should have called me to seek clarifications. They tried to tarnish my image which is unacceptable and I am categorically not happy with the statement and I want them to retract and appologise to me.”