By Madi Jobarteh
The action by the youths of KMC to dump waste collected from Serre Kunda Market in front of the Mayor’s office is in the right direction that must be applauded. As a city council KMC has a responsibility by law to establish an efficient and effective system of waste collection and management. Businesses and vendors in the market pay duty while residents pay compound rates and taxes. These monies are supposed to be utilized by the Council to provide efficient services to the people. Yet for the past years, KMC has failed to provide the necessary tools while abandoning its obligations in the Local Government Act to ensure a clean and decent municipality.
Therefore the actions of the youth are in place that is very legal, nonviolent, peaceful and appropriate. It is an act of civil disobedience that sends a clear message to not only KMC but also to all other Area Councils that the people have enough of it. This is a message to not just the Area Councils, but also to the entire Government and public servants that the time has come when Gambians have taken charge of their country and their destiny. This is a message that tells all public institutions and public officers that they must deliver according to the law otherwise the people will make them deliver. This is what makes democracy work.
The youth of KMC must now organize their communities to stand together in unity and purpose to address the pressing concerns of the municipality. At this moment both the Government and KMC will try to negotiate, give excuses and empty promises just to calm the people. But the people of KMC must refuse these schemes and games. The people must stand firm that Bakoteh dumpsite must close today and it is the duty of the Government and KMC to find an alternative place.
The people of KMC must stand firm and unified to demand that the Kololi land sold by KMC is returned to the people because it is an illegal act. The people of KMC must stand together to prevent any tricks to divide and conquer them.
Both the Government and KMC will be seeking ways and means of finding the weak points of the people in order to neutralize them. This is what governments do all over the world. When they fail in their responsibility and the people are agitated, they will try to weaken the people with false promises, flimsy excuses and creating divisions and antagonism among them. The people of KMC must be aware of that to prevent such schemes being used against them.
KMC youths have given Gambians a lesson and a way forward and this must be consolidated throughout the country. For far too long our governments and Area Councils since Independence have been taking our money and failing in their responsibilities with impunity. The time has come to make them address their failure on their own. All that the people must do is to tell them and we stand our ground. Do not listen to any excuses, tricks, promises or false claims from the Government or KMC. These are nothing other than empty rhetoric that you hear all over the world whenever the Government or Area Councils are under pressure from the people. They are merely creating a diversion.
Democracy is where people take charge of their country to ensure that public institutions and public servants produce the necessary goods and services as stipulated by the law. It is such actions that tell a government that the people mean business and they will not take anymore any nonsense, inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement. It is such actions that awaken the government at both central and local levels to realize that they must deliver otherwise they will face the wrath of the people. It is such actions that therefore make the government afraid of the people and not the people afraid of the government. When the people are afraid of the government that is dictatorship. But when government is afraid of the people then you have democracy. it is such democracy that will produce sustainable development in fulfillment of the rights and needs of the people. Stand for democracy.
Stand firm and United.
God Bless The Gambia.