26.2 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The president has no authority to decide his own salary

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Dear editor,

Section 68 of the Constitution stipulates that the salary of the President is prescribed by an act of the National Assembly. Therefore only the National Assembly can decide (create, increase, decrease or abolish) the salary of the President.

Section 166 states that the Office of the President is not part of the public service. This means any benefit or incentive for civil servants cannot automatically transfer to OP.

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In light of this there is no constitutional justification for the inclusion of the President’s salary in the current salary increment for civil servants. By doing so means the President is increasing his own salary for which he has no power or authority to do so.

The act of revising the budget is provided for by the Public Finance Act. The inclusion of funds for salary increment in that revised budget is legal but such increment cannot include the salaries that are created by an act of the National Assembly such as the salaries of the President or NAMs or judges etc. Hence the salary of the President cannot be part of the revised budget.

The law gives power to the Executive to increase salaries but these are only salaries for which they have the authority to increase. Our laws provide for other salaries which are created and can be increased or decreased only by the National Assembly. The salary of the President is part of those special salaries.

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Therefore the salary of the President can only be increased through a purposely created bill for the purpose of increasing the President’s salary. So if the Minister wishes to increase the salary of the President he needed to lay a bill with that name and objective before the National Assembly. That’s the only constitutional and legal path to take. Anything else is unconstitutional and illegal.

Madi Jobarteh

Kembujeh

Flood victims wallowing in inundated houses; should the president be blamed alone?

Dear editor,

It’s exactly a week today, since the country experienced devastating flash floods which displaced dozens of families in the Greater Banjul area.

The President and his Vice both visited the victims and assured them of their commitment to tackle flooding in the country.

Most of the disaster victims said their current need is food as most of them lost their entire food and clothing to the flood.

While government is yet to roll out any public food packages as relief to the families as interim measures to stabilize them; the local government authorities are also blamed for being in slumber in their interventions.

Are the Local authorities waiting for the government’s intervention before they can act? Yes, it seems so.

All what we have seen from our councilors is data collection, no relief yet.

The councils should approve an emergency fund to provide interim packages for the victims rather than embarking on photo session tours.

Barrow’s government which is notorious for turning blind eyes to the masses during difficult moments is seemingly not doing enough to put smiles on the faces of these traumatized families.

What we need currently is action; not words but both the local authorities and the government aren’t doing the needful to alleviate the condition of tax payers during this difficult period.

In a statement, the National Disaster Management Agency said their data collection would be completed last Tuesday. After securing the data, what’s the government waiting for to help these victims?

It’s also illogical for councilors to be giving their donations to the disaster agency. They are the elected officers dealing directly with the masses so all relief packages should pass in their hands for onward delivery to the victims.

Ebrima Jarra,

Aljamdou Village.

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