Following serious consultations and thorough evaluations of the impact of the Emergency Powers Regulations on the life and livelihood of citizens and its overall effects on businesses especially, those deemed nonessential, The Gambia Government has amended sections of the Regulations to ease the burden on citizens as well as accommodate all stakeholders.
Therefore, acting on the powers vested in him, His Excellency President Adama Barrow has today, amended the State of Emergency Powers Regulations governing open markets and shopping areas as well as the transportation of goods and essential commodities.
Effective immediately, all persons trading in food products in any market in The Gambia shall open for business between 6.00am and 1.00pm each day. Similarly, persons trading in non-food products in any market shall now open between the hours of 2.00pm and 6pm daily.
However, a trader or business owner who is convicted for a second time for non compliance with the stipulated market schedules shall have his or her goods forfeited to the State. Goods forfeited to the State shall be surrendered to the Trade Minister and become the property of The Gambia Government and there are no exceptions to this Regulation.
Commercial vehicles carrying goods or petroleum products from the Greater Banjul Area destined for other parts of The Gambia shall not depart after 3.00pm daily. Before departure, drivers or operators of commercial vehicles transporting goods shall obtain a Clearance Certificate from the Police indicating their respective points of departure and destination. The Gambia Government has placed a price ceiling on various essential commodities listed in the accompanying schedule.
If a vendor or business owner selling essential commodities breaches the price ceiling, the violator may have his or her trade license suspended. Upon arrest and conviction by the Courts, the violator’s license shall be revoked. The Inspector General of Police may utilize any premises or warehouses in The Gambia for storing any goods seized pending trial of the owner or carriers of the goods.
Meanwhile, ever since the Presidential Proclamation, The Gambia Government has learnt with concern that motorcyclists have been in constant violation of the Presidential Proclamation by serving as conduits for smugglers and violators of the border closure. In the Greater Banjul Area, motorcyclists are in open violation of the one-person-rule by sometimes carrying up to three people on a motorcycle.
Without ambiguity, The Gambia Government wishes to categorically state, that it is a violation of the law to have more than one person on a motorcycle except where that motorcycle is designed to perform medical emergencies. The police are urged to be equally vigilant to arrest these noncompliant motorcyclists across the country.
In a separate development, it has come to the attention of The Gambia Government that a false story on procurement of condoms is trending on social media for all the wrong reasons. The story is fatally false and simply calculated by detractors to sway attention from Government’s genuine efforts to tackle the Covid:19 Viral Pandemic.
President Adama Barrow therefore, urges all Gambians to respect these Regulations, set aside our political differences and work together to effectively fight this global menace.
Ebrima G Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson