By Muhammed L. Bojang
Some concerned residents of Kafuta village in Kombo East of the West Coast Region on Friday filed a criminal complaint of theft against the embattled Village Development Committee (VDC), accusing the members of conspiring to defraud the people of Kafuta of funds belonging to them.
Lodging a complaint at the Mandinaba police station, the Concerned Citizens accused the members of the VDC of committing an offence under Section 292 of the Criminal Code after months of a battle questioning the legitimacy of their selection and allegations of embezzlement of public funds.
The group stated that the accused persons have constituted themselves as an executive body of the Kafuta VDC in 2017 without a congress and claimed that they were handpicked by the village Alkalo and other village elders without following the right procedures under Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2002.
In their statement, the group also accused the VDC of setting up a company they called Jarisu Social Development Enterprise of which they are shareholding subscribers and directors and the company yielded funds from the sale of the village’s natural resources such as gravel with no proper accountability to the villagers, adding that there were numerous unaccounted financial dealings during their 3 year tenure in office.
Speaking to Mamos Media shortly after filing the criminal complaint at the Mandinaba police station, Barrister Yankuba Darboe, a member of the Concerned Citizens of Kafuta described the move as “a right step in the right direction”.
“We are setting the records straight and not to witch hunt anyone. We want an all-inclusive VDC, which will be accountable to the people of Kafuta. We don’t want the trend of the old VDC to continue and we are doing this for the future generations so that everyone can take ownership of the village and be part of its development,” he remarked.
The Executive members of the VDC are Malang Jatta as Chairperson, Abdoulie Kujabi, Vice-Chairperson, Lamin M. Camera, Secretary, Abdoulie F. Bojang, Treasurer, Ebou Jarju, Assistant Secretary, and Bakary L. Gibba, Adviser, amongst others.