By: Foday Manneh
TAT on Thursday reported that the Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA) has successfully mediated and resolved the dispute between the BSAC and the regional Governor’s office, regarding the allocation of the new Basse Market canteens.
Now, the Vice Chairman of the BSAC (Basse Area Council), Yuba Jawara, says accepting the GALGA deal to allow the Governor to spearhead the allocation of canteens at the market “is a betrayal of the integrity of the BSAC”.
Speaking to TAT Friday, Jawara said the Governor was unlawfully given that assignment by the President, further stating that GALGA’s proposal was imposed on them.
‘’It was called a mediation, but in my view, it was not. They came to impose on us to accept the unacceptable. What was proposed by GALGA and the reality on the ground cannot be a mediation?
‘’Their objective was for the council to compromise and ensure the canteens are allocated, whether it is in line with the law or not, and whether it is setting bad precedence no one cares.
“All they want is to see that the canteens are given out. The council has a challenge, and that is the unlawful interference of the Executive (central government) in its matters, including the Governor’s office.
‘’They are trying to micromanage the Council. As councilors, we took the oath to protect and defend the integrity of our institution according to the law, not based on Executive orders; and we betrayed that”, he added.
‘’My decision on anything brought to the council is that it has to be scrutinized in the interest of the institution and the people, which is in line with the law, and not based on emotions.
“Their proposal was such that they cannot dissolve any of the committees, but they are now asking the general council to join the unlawfully formed committee of the Governor, which I cannot do.
‘’Our concern as a Council was to consider the victims of the inferno, notwithstanding Gambians shall be allocated 75% of the shops.
“Looking at the victims of the market fire, 80% of them are non Gambians, and most of them have now started up their businesses in strategic places around the town, unlike the citizens.’’
Asked why he voted against the mediation and GALGA’s proposal, Jawara said: “I voted against the deal because I want to see a fair distribution of the canteens without any act of corruption.
“I know this Governor-led committee is corrupted because they are identifying victims who have never applied and handpicked their close associates for the stalls”, he continued.
“Some members of the committee are themselves applying. Moreover, it is an unlawful setup and I cannot be part of a committee designed against the laws of the land. So I voted against it.’’