By Tabora Bojang
The National Assembly Member for Illiassa, Dembo Camara has said he regrets voting for the women enterprise fund bill, as he accuses the government of politicising the funds meant to empower Gambian women regardless of their political leanings.
The Women Enterprise Fund bill amounting to D10 million was tabled in parliament by the Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare Fatou Kinteh “to uplift the socio-economic condition” of women, following its approval by lawmakers last year.
But speaking during the National Assembly adjournment debate, NAM Camara said he was utterly dismayed and disappointed in Minister Kinteh for using the funds outside its model for political purposes.
The minister presented several cheques worth over a million dalasi to several women groups in Banjul, the West Coast Region, and other parts of the country during President Adama Barrow’s meet the people tour last year.
“I was very disappointed in the Minister [Fatou Kinteh] when I saw her presenting cheques at a political rally. I said no to this because this money does not belong to any political party. It was given to her to empower all the women in this country that is why when she tabled it [bill] we all supported her agenda,” Camara queried.
“If I knew the money [women empowerment fund] is going to be used as a campaign tool, I will not support it,” he added.
Mrs. Kinteh, a gender activist and social worker, was appointed minister of women’s affairs in March 2019 following the creation of the new ministry.