Embattled Kuntaur Area Council Chairman Finally Returns to Gambia after Months in United States 

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Saihou Jawara

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

The embattled Chairman of Kuntaur Area Council, Saihou Jawara, has reportedly arrived in the country after succumbing to pressure to return to the country or lose his seat by Monday, 5th February 2024.

Sources close to him have confirmed to TAT that Chairman Jawara arrived in the country on Friday, barely two days after the General Council of Kuntaur Area Council threatened to declare his seat vacant and call a by-election for overstaying in the USA for four months instead of the fourteen days approved by the Council.

Sources also disclosed that Chairman Jawara has not reported to work and has been staying with family in Kombo since their arrival. They also reveal that Jawara has yet to disclose what projects and investors he has brought or held meetings with during his tenure in the US.

One Council official who confirmed Chairman Jawara’s arrival said mounting pressure exerted on the embattled Chairman left him with no option but to return to the country. The official hinted that the mere overstaying of Jawara in the US for more than four months is enough to bar him from assuming office.

He said Jawara should apologize to the people of CCR-North for the unethical behavior and setting of a bad precedent in the running of critical public offices, such as a Chairman of a region, saying instead of showing remorse, the Chairman is accusing patriotic citizens of CRR-North who stood on their feet to ensure that he returns to fulfill his oath of office.

“I strongly believe it is the pressure exerted on him (Chairman Saihou Jawara) that causes him to choose to come back. Former Chairman Fafa Touray has done the same thing and left scot-free; this is why the entire region rises about the bad precedence Chairman Jawara wants to follow, and he has no choice but to buckle under pressure and come back,” one Council official explained.

The source said: “As per the Local Government Act, Chairman Jawara should not be allowed to assume office, but we are afraid that the Government will eventually treat his case as normal. We strongly believe that Chairman Jawara’s seat should be declared vacant and a by-election should be held in the region as Jawara has defied all existing local government protocols and calls made by the Council to return to work.”

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