By Muhammed L. Bojang
Concerned Citizens Association of Kafuta Village has called for congress to select a new and vibrant Village Development Committee (VDC) slated 13th December 2020.
The Association is calling for a new VDC that would represent the voice of the villagers to bring development to the doorstep of everyone.
“It’s almost 3 years since the current VDC took office on a 6 months transitional period to amend or draft a new constitution before the Congress but it failed to respect what was initially agreed and it is illegally occupying the office for 3 years,” said Bakary Ceesay, PRO Association of The Support Of Grassroot Communities (ASGC) and also the Chairperson of the Taskforce Committee.
He added: “Alikalo Ba-Katta Bojang and Imam Janko Kassama, have convened the villagers and informed them that they intend to set up a task force that would take over from the old VDC as a transitional committee to run the affairs of the village for six months after which a congress would be organised to select a viable VDC, after some months, the team declared themselves as a permanent VDC without holding any congress and continue to use public wealth and funds.”
Ceesay aaid three years has gone without congress and the villagers did not know how their money is spent while alleging to have registered a mining company in their names as a private company thus becomes shareholders and sharing public funds amongst themselves.
According to sources, the VDC has not fulfilled any of the undertakings stated on the company’s operational Act and anytime they are being confronted they would refuse to disclose any of their dealings.
“Based on facts, the concern citizens of Kafuta have petitioned the said VDC through the Brikama Area Council who have investigated the matter and found out that the so-called VDC have acknowledged all the allegations labelled against them and for almost six months the Brikama Area Council is still silent on the issue,” he remarked.
The following are some of the facts outlined by the concerned citizens:
1. The VDC was said to have been selected based on trust, discipline and educational background as highlighted in the letter written by the Alkalo to the KAFUTA diaspora, which is contrary to the Local Government Act.
2. No formal handing and taking over has been done from the previous VDC to the self-proclaimed VDC.
3. Five out of the seven executives members all came from one area (kabilo), and the remaining nine areas (kabilos) from the ten are not been represented.
4. The VDC is using public office to issue contracts to each other within the committee.
5. The VDC have sold the community ambulance and the village tractor without following the GPPA regulations and the citizens were not being informed and it has been sold at an undisclosed amount with all its equipment which were later realised to be D75,000.
6. The VDC has registered a mining company in the name of the village as a private entity in which the executives are the shareholders or subscribers.
Mr Malang Jatta, the Chairperson of the current VDC when contacted on the allegations against them said they are aware of what is happening. He disclosed the plan to go for AGM (Annual General Meeting) on the 28th of December 2020.
“We will only clear the air when the investigation reports of the Brikama Area Council is released and the concern citizens knew that the BAC report and recommendations will not favour them that’s why they are running to the media and saying they will sue us to court, let them go to court and stop making noise,” he remarked.
Mr Lamin Sonko, the Chairman of Kafuta Market Committee and also a member of Concern Citizens, speaking to this reporter, said they are going to Congress to set up a new vibrant Village Development Committee to serve the community.
“The so-called VDC executive members will not be allowed to contest should they attempt to retain their seats as they are under public Investigation. and the people have already lost faith and trust in them as we want an all-inclusive VDC to represent everybody,” he posited.