By Buba Gagigo
The Chief Executive officer of the Banjul City Council (BCC), Mustapha Batchilly, has described allegations of financial mismanagement at his council as ‘baseless’.
A terse scripted document that was anonymously shared on social media alleged that between January 1, 2019, and December D31, 2020, D19, 909, 042. 14 in cash and D20, 901, 190,16 in cheques were collected and recorded as receipts in the main cash book but not deposited in the bank or spent.
In response to these allegations, the CEO of Banjul City Council (BCC) Mustapha Batchilly, said these allegations came as a surprise to them since they were never asked to respond to any queries before its anonymous publication.
“I think everywhere around the world, people know very well that whenever you have Audit queries, you’re also bound to have management respond to the queries that were made by whoever. In this case, we don’t have a clue as to who made this anonymous posting. But the allegations are spurious and just ridiculous.
“Ridiculous because like I say, every report that has allegations should have at least a section in which the management is allowed to react. So in this case, we just saw, some financial malpractices are mentioned in the post. And this has a huge potential to bring confusion, especially within our taxpayer community. So on that note, we just felt that we have to tackle this issue. Because we can’t be fooled anymore. These are things that we say should stop. If you want to attack institutions, you have to be very armed. This allegation is baseless and just not serious, is just absolutely rubbish,” the CEO said.
Momodou Camara, the Finance Director of Banjul City Council (BCC) also denied the allegations and invited Gambians, especially Banjulians to go to his office to read the final audited financial report;
“What is circulating on social media has no substance whatsoever. I don’t know where that anonymous piece of information came from. However, I have the final audited report with me here and it is available for the public to look at, view, to critic, analyze, share, to digest. The same final audited report is available at the National Assembly (FPAC), at our line ministry, and all other relevant stakeholders are supposed to be copied.
“This document has been copied to all stakeholders about seven months ago. And what is on social media has no bearing whatsoever on this final draft. For me, it is hearsay and I told my CEO. For me, it’s not my makeup to respond to social media issues. The documents are there and this is not hidden. And no truth whatsoever to what is circulating on social media,” he said
He added “When it was sent to me by my CEO, I looked at it. It has no detail. It has no reference point. I said no this is just another hoax or another joke but I’m not a politician as I say I can’t respond to this. The final report that I have has no bearing whatsoever on what is going on social media. So please, I am available, the documents are available for viewing by any interested party. Every Gambian has a right to look at this document, especially Banjulians. this is just another political hit job and I’m not a politician