By Adama Tine
According to the mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Talib Ahmed Bensouda, an additional D2.4 million has been returned to the account of the KMC staff welfare association from the amount alleged to have been misappropriated by the embattled Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Sainabou Martin Sonko.
“The council worked tirelessly with the bank to recover additional funds from the unapproved land loan. Since the last press conference, an additional D2.4 million was successfully recovered from the fraudulent transaction of the D12 million loan. The additional amount of D2.4 million has been returned to the account of the KMC Staff Welfare Association,” he revealed.
The mayor further informed the press that there is still a pending balance of D0.9M from the missing funds.
He said the council has filed a complaint against the alleged misconduct to the fraud squad of the Gambia Police Force regarding the issuance of the council’s guarantee without the approval of the council.
Kemo Bojang, a KMC youth councillor also indicated that they are worried about the minister of Local Government’s involvement and interference in the investigation of the alleged fraud by some council members, saying the minister facilitated the release of the alleged fraudsters when they were arrested.
Mr. Bojang added that they lost confidence in the ministry, adding that as councilors, they believe that the Local Government Service Commission is the right authority to reply to their letters and not the minister.
“The minister’s involvement has compromised the principle of good governance and democracy. If we call for strong institutions, we must be ready to empower institutions and individualise them in the process of abusing power. With all the powers given to the minister, he has never exercised any of those powers to ensure that the process of governance happens within the KMC.”
Bojang explained that since they began work, the minister never took time to inspect and see the work they have been doing. He added that they have heard instances where a deputy manager was put through the same process and the commission acted upon their recommendations.