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Madi Jobarteh: To Invade KMC By Force Is An Act Of Abuse Of Power By The Executive

PIU Officers at KMC Premises

The deployment of armed police to the KMC to forcefully install the CEO who has been put under suspension by the General Council for alleged corruption is a clear indication of abuse of power and dictatorship by the Executive. The Executive cannot dictate to the local governments how they should govern themselves especially when an area council is acting within its lawful powers.

All residents of KM, all citizens of the Gambia, CSOs, political parties and businesses should condemn this act of dictatorship by the Executive without delay. The National Assembly should summon the Minister of Lands and Regional Governments to tell him that he is overstepping his bounds.

The Executive should be told to uphold democracy and good governance principles by resorting to the Courts to address differences. But by sending the armed police to impose their will means the Executive has taken the law into its own hands in total disregard of the due process. This tantamount to dictatorship, abuse of power and interfering with local governments.

The KMC General Council has taken a decision which they think is lawful according to the Local Government Act. If the Executive thinks their action is unlawful according to the same law, the only place for the Executive to establish who is right or wrong is the Courts. But the Executive cannot determine on its own that it is right as if they are the Courts.

Hence a Government that is committed to democracy and good governance would have gone to the Courts first to get a declaration and an order in its favour to have the CEO installed, if it thinks it is right. If the Courts decide otherwise, then the Executive must also respect that decision as well.

The Gambia is not supposed to be a dictatorship. The Gambia is not a monarchy. Pes. Adama Barrow is not a king or emperor of the Gambia. Minister Musa Drammeh is not a sultan, duke or baron of the Gambia such that he thinks he has the powers to impose his will on public institutions such as KMC as if such institutions are his fiefdom or personal property. That Yaya Jammeh kind of thinking must be condemned, smashed and buried for good.

This action by the Executive is unconstitutional, illegal and contravenes every aim and objective of the national decentralisation agenda and the overall good governance of the Gambia.

I urge KMC to immediately take the Executive to Court to seek a declaration that the deployment of PIU into KMC is illegal and should be removed. I urge the National Assembly to convene an extra-ordinary session to discuss this matter and to pass a motion of censure on Minister Musa Drammeh to sack him from office for violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct. Musa Drammeh must be told that he does not own the Gambia.

For The Gambia Our Homeland

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