Gunjur VDC Chairman Tijani Bojang set record straight, backs former chairman and treasurer
The newly elected Chairman of the Gunjur Village Development Committee (VDC), Mr Tijani Bojang has written to dispel allegations of corruption endemic within the previous VDC. Mr Bojang described as “delusional floating accusations labelled against Mr. Demba Touray and Sanaba Darboe which are totally unfounded”. There has been series of debates especially on the social media and Gunjur related discussion forums on alleged financial misappropriation by the former VDC especially the treasurer Sannaba Darobe who is now re-elected as new Treasurer of the current VDC.
Mr Tijani Bojang - New Chairman of Gunjur VDC Mr Bojang has also dismissed the belief that the current VDC was not properly constituted as per the local government act and has given reasons as to why his VDC is legally constituted.
Below we reproduce verbatim, the VDC Chairman’s piece sent to GunjurNewsOnline: Fellow Gunjurians, I am thrilled by the enthusiasm manifested from dedicated people of Gunjur to join hands in pursuit of developmental aspirations of the community. It is gratifying to see the revival of GDF who has been at the forefront of series of developmental projects accomplished during the past 15 years in Gunjur. The level of comments and commitments exhibited here has exceeded the expectation in the aftermath of the revival of GDF. We as members of the VDC are extremely grateful for the confidence GDF have to work with us for the development of the village. I as the Chairperson have been requested by the entire membership of VDC to extend our gratitude to the GDF for choosing the right direction and taken bold step in recognizing the legitimate and all inclusive VDC instituted by the authorities of eight (8) Kabilos of Gunjur. Our doors are open to all the institutions/entities that have genuine desire to develop Gunjur. I would like to thank my predecessor, Mr. Demba Jobe Touray for his outstanding and exemplary leadership during his tenure as Chairperson of VDC. Mr. Touray is a perfect gentleman who has tremendously contributed to the development of Gunjur and it was the dividend that earned him to his current position as Programme Coordinate for the entire Upper River Region with SOS Children’s Village, Basse Branch. We were reluctant to replace Mr. Demba Touray as the Chairman of the VDC for the fact that his performance and integrity remain exceptional throughout his tenure in office. If not his current relative location, Mr. Touray will never be replaced as the Chairperson of the VDC. However, there are delusional floating accusations labeled against Mr. Demba Touray and Sanaba Darboe which are totally unfounded and I will not do justice to myself without make clarifications. Mr. Touray’s records as Chairperson are very cleaned and intact. We have all witnessed the reports presented at the AGM which were embraced with applausive roars. I am also surprised to hear the accusation on Sanaba Darboe and the VDC that they have embezzled huge funds at Fisheries Ice Plant at the Beach side. It is important for people to understand that the funds generated at the Fisheries Ice Plant are neither under nor managed the VDC. The Beach Side Fisheries Committee is under the Department of Fisheries, Government of the Gambia. Sanaba is only a VDC representative to that Committee helping them to develop their activities. The Machine that produced ice sheets consumed Gas Power of about five thousand Dalasis (D5,000.00) in 12 hours or approximately eleven thousand Dalasis (D11,000.00) in 24 hours. Now for simple Arithmetic, how much would it consume in a period of 3 to 4 years? Sanaba was entrusted by Beach Side Fisheries Committee to present their report at the VDC AGM and he mentioned the figures of Gas Power expenditure of 3 to 4 million Dalasis in a period of 3 years which selfish people with their agenda of discrediting the then VDC deliberately injected falsehood into the minds of the community by giving the impression that such expenditure is impossible. The allegation of the corruption levied against the former VDC has gone spiral without single evidence. The VDC as a community entity which is open to public scrutiny and accountability and I as the Chair wishes to invite anybody with evidence of corruption done by the duo mentioned above. Better still, everyone is free to bring an independent auditor if you doubt that the former VDC is corrupt. I can assure you that we will give 100% support and access to records of the former VDC to conduct an independent audit exercise. We have all records of their activities in the past five years which is not restricted to access by anybody. On the issue of Sanaba Darboe holding the position of Treasurer, I have not seen any Constitution anywhere that barred him. It is important to understand that Area Council has no Constitution but use Local Government Acts 2002 to regulate the establishment and functioning of VDCs in the country. The ACT empowered VDCs to draw their own Constitutions to manage their day to day affairs of the village. There is no clause neither in the Local Government Acts nor the VDC Constitution that whoever is accused of embezzlement will be disqualified to man an Executive Position. So there is no justification to allude that Sanaba is disqualified by the Constitution to be a Treasurer. In fact Sanaba is found to be one of the best Treasurers VDC has ever have. Section 93 (1) of the Local Government Act empowered only the executive members of the VDC to select the Chairperson and other Executive positions among themselves. Therefore, even I as the Chairperson, Kabilo Heads, Alkalo, Chief, Chairman of Brikama Area or Governor cannot stop the nomination of Sanaba as Treasurer or Buba Lanla Janneh as Auditor. If anyone believed that Sanaba is barred by the Constitution, please forward the relevant clause and we will act decisively without delay. This VDC will not compromise to respect the rule of law and implement to the letter as enshrined in the Local Government Acts and the Village Constitution. On the resources generated at the Beach side Fisheries Complex, it is not the way people thinks. All the Fishing Landing sites in the country is controlled and managed by the Gambia Government through the Department of Fisheries. However, we understood that Communities have shares to the incomes generated at the Landing Sites and this is also clearly depicted in Area Council Acts. In the past three weeks, my committee and the Gunjur Ward Councilor, Mr. Momodou Charreh Gibba has opened dialogue with the Ministry of Fisheries to fully establish how much money is entitled to Gunjur from the Landing site. This consultative discussion has been delayed due to President’s Meet the People’s Tour and my subsequent travel out of the country. The discussion is expected to resume pretty soon. Whether there are thousand stalls, we first need to know how much belongs to Gunjur. Once again, on behalf of VDC, I wish to express our profound gratitude to you for the big heart you have to move Gunjur to a higher height. Tijani Bojang Chairman VDC
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