By Ramatoulie Jawo
Nominated Member of the National Assembly, Hon. Fatoumatta K Jawara, on Monday, while debating on the merits and principles of the Local Government Amendment Bill 2022 said Area Councils and Municipal Councils should be financially Independent.
“Council should be financially independent. But being financially autonomous or independent also doesn’t mean that they should embezzle public funds and walk scot-free. I am supporting this because Whether we change it or not the court has already made a ruling on it. So there is no need for it to be there,” she said.
The local government amendment Bill 2022 was moved by Hon. Alhagie S. Darboe, the National Assembly Member for Brikama North, to amend some of the sections of the Local Government Act.
Hon. Jawara commended the mover of the motion, Hon. Darboe, stating that “No stone will remain unturned if any council or chairman is found wanting of embezzlement of funds when they become financially independent.
“Hon. Speaker it is good that when you make history, you be part of the good history. During the 5th legislature, when we were the minority in this parliament. We have been called names when we wanted to amend the private member’s Bill tabled by the then National Assembly Member Lower Badibou Hon. Alhagie Jawara. Those who are championing the core of this bill today believed that we were amending that bill for Sheriffo Sonko (Chairman of Brikama Area Council) and other councilors which I believed is not the case,” she stated.
Hon. Jawara said she believes that laws are made to serve based on equity but not to target certain individuals and that was the reason she supported the other amendment Bill during the 5th legislature.
“This National Assembly amended section 9011D for us to be safe from losing our seats even if we are expelled from our parties. The 5th legislature also amended a section to qualify somebody to be a Vice President which is the upper age limit. Hon. Speaker this is why I say laws should be served based on equity and not to target certain individuals” she argued.
Hon. Jawara further expressed her happiness about the bill saying she can stand and said she supported the amendment of section 19G when they were in the minority.
She stated that as they are the majority, she is supporting another amendment to “save somebody.”