By Sarjo Brito
The United Democratic Party has expressed disappointment in the newly established commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of corruption and malpractices at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC).
The party in a press release issued on Friday 14 January said while it advocates for open governance and the reduction of corruption in the Gambia, it however described the actions of the Local Government Minister against Mayor Bensouda as “politically motivated.”
‘’The actions of the Minister are not only politically motivated but vindictive against the person of Mayor Talib Bensouda. The Minister is reminded that the office he occupies is not personal to him or any other holder. KMC under the leadership of Mayor Bensouda lodged a complaint against the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kanifing Municipal Council on allegations of graft and corruption several months ago. Instead of the Minister investigating the matter, he belligerently demanded the return of the CEO to work with armed police officers escorting her to the council premises’’
As Gambians head to the polls in April for local government elections, the United Democratic Party believes the KMC inquiry is a plan orchestrated by the local government minister to derail Talib’s bid for re-election.
‘’Citizens of the municipality will go to the polls in the coming months to elect a new mayor and the actions orchestrated by the Minister have political undertones that aim at using instruments of state to derail Mayor Bensouda’s bid for re-election’’
A five-member commission of inquiry was constituted and sworn in by the Local Government Minister on Tuesday January 11th 2022, to investigate allegations of corruption at the Kanifing Municipal Council from 2018 to now. The Kanifing Municipal Council was involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals in August last year after its CEO was alleged to have acquired a loan to a tune of 12 million dalasis on behalf of the council’s staff association without their consent.