By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare has reacted to the claim by the “Justice for66+ Campaign” published by this medium on Saturday.
The “JusticeFor66+Campaign” on Friday said that the AKI victims have returned the cheques that the government has given them as compensation for the death of their children.
However, the ministry in a release on Sunday said, “only three cheques (given to the victims) and not all cheques were returned”, and that “the cheques are in no way to compensate for their loss, but rather to express condolences to the families, as it is the norm in our culture”.
Below is the release by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare
It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare and the entire Cabinet that an article with the headline “Justice for66+ Campaign Says AKI Victims Returned Gov’t Compensation” was published by a media outlet on Saturday 5th November, 2022.
According to the article, the JusticeFor66+Campaign has said that AKI victims have returned the cheques that the government has given them as compensation for the death of their children.
We wish to inform all media outlets that so far out of the forty-one cheques presented during the meeting to sympathize with the families that lost their loved ones to AKI, only three cheques and not all cheques were returned. The three cheques were returned by the beneficiaries a day after they were received by the families and all three are residences of West Coast Region.
A government delegation headed by the Honourable Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare accompanied by (a) representative from the Supreme Islamic Council, (a) representative from the Christian Council, Directors from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, the Chairperson of the National Women’s Council and its members.
We wish to inform the General Public that the cheques are in no way to compensate for their loss but rather to express condolences to the families, as it is the norm in our culture. No amount of money can replace a loss (sic) life.
The children who were lost to AKI are Gambians who would have contributed in the development of the country and because of that, the government and the whole country join the families in mourning our loved ones.
We therefore hope that this clarifies the information conveyed in the above-mentioned article and continue to sympathise with the bereaved families.
We further urge any media outlet to do the necessary clarifications before publications to avoid misleading information.