By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The latest Gambia Parliamentary Newsletter (GPN) published today 19th September 2023 highlights some of the most eventful moments from the Sixth Legislature’s Third Ordinary Session of the 2023 Legislative Year. Hot on the heels of our previous newsletter focused on the Draft Constitution this edition highlights two “Matters of the Day” tabled by Parliamentarians on the shocking killing of two Police Officers and a Parliamentarian’s call for the law banning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to be repealed.
Download the latest edition in the link. https://gainako.com/download/200771/?tmstv=1695150964
Hon Sillah Withdraws Four Motions
In our previous edition, we published a story highlighting how two Ministers withdrew their motions in Parliament and were warned by the Speaker of the House, Hon Fabakary Tombong Jatta. On Thursday 7th September 2023, both the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Foreign Affairs withdrew their motions on the Arms Trade Treaty and the Agreement between The Gambia and the Swiss Federal Council on Migration Matters.
Similarly, today 19th September 2023, the Minister for Transport, Works and Infrastructure was scheduled to table the African Road Safety Charter, the UN Road Safety Convention on Road Traffic, 1968, the UN Road Safety Convention on Road Signs & Signals, 1968 and the UN Road Safety Convention on European Agreement for the International Carriages of Dangerous Goods by Road, 1975 for ratification. However, this never happened as the Minister for Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Hon Ebrima Sillah had other plans to withdraw his bills from Parliament’s Agenda.
Just like his fellow Cabinet Ministers Hon Ebrima Sillah took the podium to say “we realise the bills that we have brought here, actually the ratifications, they have not been signed by the mission in AU and the ratifications should proceed the signature. So we want to seek the indulgence of the National Assembly to withdraw the various motions and then they will be signed immediately and then we’ll bring them back to the National Assembly”.
His motion was seconded by the member for Upper Nuimi Hon Omar Darboe and eventually voted in favour. This removed a bulk of the agenda items from the day’s session. This brought the session to an abrupt close meaning that Parliament only convened for almost an hour. The major difference is that the Speaker of the Day was Deputy Speaker Hon Seedy SK Njie who did not caution Cabinet Ministers, unlike the Speaker.
10th GPN Edition Launched on Third Ordinary Session
On a positive note, one of our exclusive publications highlights how three Parliamentarians have been supporting their electorates in recent months and how the women of Bundung waved their empty buckets at the President’s convoy. This eventually led to some efforts from NAWEC and the authorities responsible for providing water to Gambians. The launch of the Parliamentary Reporters Association of The Gambia is also featured in this edition and features exclusive interviews with the President of The Gambia Press Union as well as the Dean of the Press Corp.
Some of the exclusive stories published in this edition focus on Parliament’s rejection of the Judiciary Officers Bill which would have increased the remuneration and other entitlements of Supreme Court Judges. In our laser focus coverage of the progress of the Anti-Corruption Bill, our reporter has published an article which highlights that the much anticipated Bill has passed the consideration stage and the lack of independence of the Anti-Corruption Commission to prosecute offenders. Another short story highlights that the Anti-Corruption Bill is set for its Third Reading on Wednesday 20th September 2023.
Still on the theme of corruption, Parliament’s resolution to recover over D142 Million from various institutions is included in this edition which highlights some of the National Assembly’s efforts to hold institutions accountable. Similarly, the Sixth Legislature published another resolution on the amended Finance and Public Accounts Committee to recover more monies from other government institutions.
Another publication highlights the President’s business dealings with GAI Enterprise which has been flagged in Audit Reports. The publication highlights how GAI Enterprise owned by Mr Serign Hadim Gai has benefited from a single sourced D17.48 million project to rehabilitate State House and the unconstitutional award of the $35.72 million Banjul Project.
Download the latest GPN Edition in the link below.