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 NA Members approved 54m budget line for themselves
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  11:24:24  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
National Assembly Members approved 54 million dalasi budget line as loan for themselves!



"The National Assembly yesterday passed or agreed to create a load scheme for themselves amounting to 54,400,00. So today Halifa raised a motion for the National Assembly to withdraw the decision because isn't in line with proceed and the constitution for members of the National Assembly allocate themselves any amount for personal interest.
A vote was taken 17 say no to the motion while 16 say Yes to motion." Kexx Sanneh

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  11:29:45  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The arrogance of power
By Sidi Sanneh


We’re witnessing two incidences exemplifying the raw exercise of arrogance of power by the very custodians of democracy and law and order against Gambians (i) NAMs approving building loans for themselves during the COVID-19-induced economic meltdown and (ii) the paramilitary denying peaceful demonstrators access to their House, The People’s House, an edifice of democracy that costs $27 million, for which Gambian taxpayers will be paying for for decades to come.

The act of self-dealing by members of the National Assembly and the paramilitary’s continued use of repressive tactics against peaceful protesters must be vigorously condemned. Our hard-fought and well-deserved democracy and the rule of law will continue to be in peril if we continue to employ the very same corrupt and anti-democratic measures associated with the previous regime. We must not go back. We will not go back.

###

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  11:30:40  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wolves In Assembly
By Modou Ndow


First, the NAMs were given cars from a mysterious donor, they took it. Second, the brown envelopes containing D10, 000, they took it. Third, a plot of land, they took it. And now a D54 million loan scheme for the NAMs to develop their land. Next they will be allocated money to take a second or third wife!

So what have these *****s done to deserve all this again? Meanwhile, the people that they are there to represent, get saku malo ak bedongi dewleen only when a disaster hits. For a country whose budget is supplemented by others, what makes them think this is a wonderful idea? How come only a few get to benefit from our public funds?

In the middle of a global crisis that has paralyzed most economies around the world, these greedy and selfish NAMs want to saydoe D54 million and live a life of luxury di gainaa humbal all over town nak. How dishonorable! But we insist on calling them honorable? Not me morm! The only plans these greedy *****s have is for themselves, not those they represent. And what happens to the loan if some of these NAMs lose their seat In the next elections, given the fact that some of them have no business being there In the first place?

As for the masses, neka len fofu di torpa sabarr ak faycha rek! The NAMs are balling and you guys are searching for the next meal morning after the rally. All the goodwill and political capital we had has evaporated because of greed and wholesale ignorance! The wolves at Social Security were giving themselves loans and now is the NAMs turn. Smh

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  14:49:15  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When MPs put their selfish interests first!

Basidia M Drammeh


I am utterly disillusioned, disappointed and disheartened by Gambia’s National Assembly where the lawmakers have allocated themselves loans amounting to 54 million dalasis to develop their properties while the average Gambian continues to strive and toil to make ends meet.

It’s clear that politics in our country is a venture to enrich oneself at the expense of the hugely impoverished nation where the bulk majority live under the poverty line.

My respect for Hon. Halifa Sallah is immeasurable. He diligently tabled a motion to reject the proposal reminding his colleagues about the need to put the country first, but his plea fell on deaf ears and the motion was eventually rejected.

People, like myself, have previously pinned high hopes on the current National Assembly, as the country transitioned from autocracy to democracy but those dreams have been crushed by our greedy, selfish so-called lawmakers. The current Parliament might even be worse than those that existed under Jammeh and were slammed for being rubber-stamp parliaments.

When are we going to have compassionate politicians in our country, who put the country first? Honestly, Gambia needs a new bread of selfless, honest and trustworthy politicians to move the country forward, otherwise, we are doomed!

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  22:47:28  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LOAN SCHEME FOR THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS.
By Kexx Sanneh

Thursday, the nominated member Yakumba Jaiteh made a proposal for a load scheme budget line for the members of 54, 400, 000.00 million dalasis in the 2021 estimate budget.

In moving her motion she states “Hon speaker, it is in the constitution that as National Assembly Members, we decide our salaries and benefits and allowances. This is a benefit that we’re trying to get here. This is law, we are making law here, we can make it now and it becomes law, so am proposing for a sum of 54,400,00.00 to allocate for the members in form of a loan scheme."

It was supported by 25 members initially and 7 against it and it was agreed to create the loan scheme.

On Friday Halifa Sallah came with a motion for the Assembly to rescind its decision to throw away the loan scheme because it's not in line with Constitution, public finance Act, standing orders and the procedures isn't followed.
Halifa Sallah's submission for the assembly to withdraw the decision.

"Thank you very much honourable speaker, section 29 of the standing orders those provide for the possibility of rescinding decision made by the National Assembly.

Under standing order 29(3) It says that it shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question, upon which the assembly has been has taken a decision. During the current session, except upon a motion to rescind that decision to which notice must be given.

Hon. Speaker, because of the urgency of the motion that's why I've requested for you to give me leave to make the motion.

Honourable speaker, we are dealing with the most important document in this country. This deals with the estimates of revenue and expenditure of the country.

Hon. Speaker, having regard to Section 112 of the Constitution, which states categorically that National Assembly members must defend the integrity of the National Assembly and must at all time, ensure that what we do defence the national interest.

It states "All members shall maintain the dignity of the National Assembly during the sittings of the National Assembly. And in their acts and activities outside the National Assembly. All members, shall regard themselves as servants of the people, desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or allocate themselves and shall discharge their duties and functions in the interest of the nation as a whole and in doing so, shall be influenced by the dictates of their conscience and national interest."

Hon. Speaker, having 8(1) which states in all cases where matters aren't expressly provided by the standing orders, any question on procedure or order shall be decided by the speaker.

Hon. Speaker, having regard to standing order, 8(2) paragraph 2, which states. The decision made in paragraph 1 shall be based on the constitution, state law, precedents, traditions and practices of the Assembly.

Having regard to Standing order 8(3) which states, the speaker's ruling shall be final on all questions of procedure or order.

Having regard to the fact that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, bearing in mind that section 152 of the Constitution which expresses that the budgetary consideration process must be initiated under Section 152 of the Constitution, by the president, causing the minister responsible for finance to prepare and lay before the National Assembly at least 30 days before the end of the financial year estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Gambia for the following financial year. Estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Gambia, for the following year for approval.
Having regard to standing order 85. Which states that the standing orders 81 to 90 must be the basis of dealing with the estimates and revenue.

Having regard to Section 21 of the public finance Act, which provides the laying of the appropriate documents by the Minister.
Having regard to section, 24 of the public finance Act, which indicate that the content of the estimates. In terms of the actual revised estimates and estimates for the budgetary year must be provided for by the Minister.

Having regard to Section 25, which deals with the structure of the appropriation, which states the structure of the appropriation and reporting to the National Assembly shall follow the expenditure requirements, outlined in section, 24, B, D and E, which shall be the structure for appropriation spending limits, accounting and reporting be determined by the existing expenditure classification system, or such classification system, established by the Minister.

Having regard honourable speaker to standing for the 91. it says on the moving of a motion to approve the estimates the chairperson shall propose a question on each of the votes, in turn.

Honourable speaker, having regard to 93(3) considering the estimates the committee of supplied shall take into consideration the reported findings and recommendations of the assembly committees and the finance and Public Accounts Committee consolidated report on the assembly committee's consideration of the draft, and shall ensure.

Section 1A an increase in expenditure in a proposed estimate is balance by a reduction in expenditure in the same order proposed propose estimate.

Section B proposed reduction in expenditure is used to reduce a deficit in the budget.
Having regard speaker on amendments may be made to the amendment is to an item which exists subhead, we exist estimate, which exists within the estimates.

Having regard to paragraph five, which states very clearly an amendment to any estimate to increase the sum allotted, they're to respect of any item. There, in may only be moved if balance by a commensurate reduction in that or in another estimate, and he says exactly what must be said, such amendment shall take the form that the estimate for what is there, the reduced so it is, what is completely there is what is going to be reduce. And you mentioned a number of dalasi, in respect of sub head. The item appropriate and the estimate. Some head item, if appropriate, and the estimate for an increase in the item. The sub-head, and the amount of money to be in the form to be approved.

Having regard to paragraph seven, which means that an amendment to increase the sum allotted to the estimates overall, may only be moved by the Vice President, or the minister in the same form.

So another speaker. I wish to move that by adding a sum to the assembly, which has no provision in terms of item heads of hand, and hands went beyond the bounds of what this assembly is empowered to do under our Constitution, under public finance and our standing orders, and by virtue of that.

I move that we rescind our decision. And then allow the track of the National Assembly and the ministry to work on any proposal that any member may have failing which honourable speaker the huge work we have done within a matter of few weeks, we were able to engage all the ministers involved in the whole process and came up with profound recommendations for amendments that has shown the capacity of the assembly to safeguard the interest of the nation.

And the primary focus of the public finance committee, finance and Public Accounts Committee is to reduce the deficit that's what we are told, and all the members of the committee are united in that mission.

Honourable speaker based on the fundamental objective. They were able to engage the judiciary, National Audit Office, president's office and all those who matter to get them to subscribe to the reduction of the deficit.

Hon. Speaker, If we who showed that our intention is to reduce the deficit, now reduce another item, another head, only to add it to yours, not for our work but for individual interests, I will say we have sacrifice section 112 of the Constitution".

The motion was seconded by Hon. Alhagie Mboow.

Then the speaker put the question for members in favour of the decision of the National to rescind to say ayee and those not in favour say No.

A division was noticed in voice voting and the speaker asked for raising of tags and 17 members voted against the motion of Halifa Sallah with the position to allocate the loan scheme for themselves.

While 16 members supported Halifa Sallah's for the rescind the decision of allocating loan scheme for themselves.

Here are the names of members who voted No to loan scheme

1. Hon. Halifa Sallah = PDOIS
2. Hon. Sidia Jatta = PDOIS
3. Hon. Ousman Sillah = PDOIS
4. Hon. Suwaibou Touray = PDOIS
5. Hon. Sainey Jawara = NRP
6. Hon. Amadou Camaraderie = NRP
7. Hon. Alhagie Mboowe = NRP
8. Hon. Ousman Touray = NRP
9. Hon. Alhagie Drammeh = UDP
10. Hon. Birom Sowe = NPP
11. Hon. Alhagie s. Darboe = UDP
12. Hon. Amul Nyassi = APRC
13. Hon. Fatoumatta Njai = PPP
14. Hon. Fatoumatta Jawara = independent
15. Hon. Alhagie Jawara = independent
16. Ndey Yassin Secka = nominated

Those in support of Yakumba's for allocation of the loan scheme are:

1. Hon. Yakumba Jaiteh =nominated/UDP
2. Hon. Bakary Njie = UDP
3. Hon. Madi Ceesay = UDP
4. Hon. Sainey Touray = UDP
5. Hon. Alfusainey Ceesay = UDP
6. Hon. Sulayman Saho = UDP
7. Hon. Kebab K. Barrow = UDP (majority leader)
8. Hon. Sanna kawsu Jawara = UDP
9. Hon. Assan Touray = UDP
10. Hon. Alhagie Darboe = UDP
11. Lamin J. Sanneh = UDP
12. Hon. Alhagie Sowe = GDC
13. Hon. Salifu Jawo = GDC
14. Hon. Momodou Camara = APRC
15. Hon. Abdoulie Ceesay = independent
16. Hon. Samba Jallow = NRP (minority leader)
17. Hon. Muhammad Ndow = PPP.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2020 :  06:59:40  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Take it to the bank : The building loan saga
By Sidi Sanneh


In a country of 2 million inhabitants that boasts of, at least, a dozen commercial banks, government should not be in the personal loan business. Leave it to the banks instead.

If government is to extend loan facilities to politicians with no permanent/steady income, unless the loan is collateralized, government exposure will be unacceptably high, as will the default rate, leaving the Gambian taxpayer holding the bag. No responsible person, much less a lawmaker, should bring this to bear on our public finances.

Elected officials have a fixed term of generally 5 years. The current batch of NAMs have only 12 months left in their current term before they go for re-election. If the loan repayment period extends beyond 2021, the exposure to the public treasury will be very high, especially if some the NAMs end up losing their seats. To reduce the public treasury’s exposure, the entire loan must be paid off in full before the NAMs head to the polls in 2021.

Government should therefore consider the alternative of arranging with commercial banks to extend building loans to parliamentarians, as well as civil servants, at preferential terms and conditions that may include a subsidy element to be borne by the public treasury. The financial exposure or risk must be to the commercial banks and not to government.

The transitional government, if it can be called that at this stage of the game, was faced, from the inception, with institutional/structural challenges not solely of their making, including the absence of a robust financial control mechanism, coupled with lack of experience in both loan administration and management.

Let us all, in unison, endeavor to limit the power of government to providing for the general welfare of the people and not the general welfare of the political and privileged classes. Wa Salam

Sidi Sanneh

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A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2020 :  14:31:38  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


I make that a MAJORITY of ONE , hardly a landslide





"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 29 Nov 2020 14:35:56
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2020 :  11:22:29  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Public outcry as lawmakers approve D54m housing loans

The Point: Nov 30, 2020
By: Momodou Jawo

https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/public-outcry-as-lawmakers-approve-d54m-housing-loans

With less than two years before their terms of office expired, Gambians lawmakers last Thursday approved a staggering amount of D54, 000, 000 loans scheme designed to help them build their houses that were given to them by the government.

However, there has been a public outcry as many Gambians described the incident as “self-interest.”

At least a total number of 16 National Assembly Members (NAMs) voted against a loan scheme which was moved by nominated member Ya Kumba Jaiteh, while 17 other parliamentarians voted in favour of the loan scheme.

Meanwhile, some NAMs decided to walk out of the Assembly Chambers while others were absent.

In moving motion, Ya Kumba argued that it is in the constitution that NAMs can decide their salaries, benefits and allowances. She went on to state that it is a “benefit that we're trying to get here. This is law, we are making law here, we can make it now and it becomes law.”

Her proposal was initially supported by 25 members and 7 others were opposed to it.

On Friday Halifa Sallah came up with a motion for the Assembly to rescind its decision on Yakumba’s proposal, arguing that it's not in line with the constitution, Public Finance Act, and relevant Standing Orders of the Assembly.

Hon. Sillah argued that section 29 of the standing orders provides for the possibility of rescinding decisions made by the National Assembly.

“Under the standing order 29(3), it says that it shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question, upon which the Assembly has taken a decision, except a motion to rescind that decision to which notice must be given.

“Hon. Speaker, because of the urgency of the motion that's why I've requested for you to give me leaves to make the motion. We are dealing with the most important document in this country. This deals with the estimates of revenue and expenditure of the country.”

According to him, Section 112 of the Constitution, states categorically that National Assembly members must defend the integrity of the National Assembly and must at all time, ensure that what “we do defend the national interest.”

Hon. Sallah’s arguments were seconded by Hon. Alhagie Mboow.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2020 :  00:20:23  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

https://foroyaa.net/national-assembly-makes-one-step-forward-and-one-step-backward/


Never in the history of the Gambia did deputies sit more than twenty four hours at a stretch to scrutinise the estimates of revenue and expenditure, both recurrent and development, of the Republic of the Gambia. This was preceded by face to face engagement of each Ministry with a respective Committee of the National Assembly to scrutinise their budget item by item. In so doing, the National Assembly fulfilled its promise not to be rubber stamp assembly. If it stopped at reducing expenditure to reduce the deficit and thus reduce domestic borrowing it would have been on record as the most progressive and effective legislature that ever presided over the budgetary process in the Gambia.

Unfortunately, that never came to be the case. They spoilt everything when the budget cuts they recommended to curb the deficits were relied on to add fifty four million dalasis to the National Assembly budget for loans to National Assembly members without even a budget line existing to make the increase.

Even though the members were clearly cautioned that the action was improper and a violation of the Constitution, the Public Finance Act and the Standing Orders of Parliament, they went ahead to maintain the pursuit of personal interest.

In principle there is nothing wrong in giving loans to Public servants and legislators, but they are given after clear determination of their capacity to pay them within a realistic timeframe. After raising questions of integrity and probity, the legislators will now face an uncompromising accountant general who would never allow public funds to go into the hands of Public servants and legislators who do not have enough money to pay the loans within a realistic timeframe. This could lead to litigation in court for the first time in Gambian history to determine what is lawful or unlawful in a budgetary process. Interesting times are awaiting us.

Every authority could be king in one’s domain but in a democracy, there is no king only the law rules. History will be the judge and posterity will be the scribe that avails the record for the future generation. Action unguided by thought is blind and thought not followed by action is sterile. Unite action and thought and allow thought to lead and we make the progress we desire. This is the verdict of commonsense and it is incontrovertible.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2020 :  00:24:05  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://standard.gm/opposition-slam-worst-national-assembly-after-d54m-loan-scheme/




By Alagie Manneh on November 30, 2020

Some political parties have slammed as “the most irresponsible and worst ever,” National Assembly of The Gambia, following the lawmakers’ vote Friday granting themselves over D54 million loan.

Nominated member Ya-Kumba Jaiteh tabled the loan proposal that NAMs could access and use to build houses on the much-contentious lands recently allocated to them. Twenty-four NAMs agreed with Ya-Kumba Jaiteh.

The news sparked huge anger and public outcry, with some leading politicians describing it as “irresponsible, and a betrayal of the people”.

Dr Ismaila Ceesay, presidential candidate for Citizens’ Alliance, slammed the lawmakers for “caring only about themselves”.

“Who cares about the poor man, about the farmer, about the teacher, about the police officer? Who cares about your life, about your future?” Dr Ceesay asked.

According to him, this is the “worst [National] Assembly we have in decades, in fact in our entire political history. Look at what they did with the Supplementary Bill in the first place, look at what they did with the constitution and look at what they are doing now. They said they are going to reduce the money given to the presidency to give it to themselves to build houses after acquiring those plots of lands under very scrupulous circumstances. Which government – PPP or Yahya Jammeh – have you seen that? Our lawmakers give themselves land, and they want to take people’s money to build those lands when their tenure is very short. What collateral are they going to put to pay that loan? How will they pay that money back?” he asked.

Gumbo Touray, interim leader of the All Peoples Party, said the development shocked APP, calling it “self-centred”.

“At this time of a crisis and global pandemic, we believe the National Assembly should be responsible. We believe the concern should be economic recovery of the nation,” Mr Touray said.

Calling the loan scheme a ‘betrayal of the people’, Mr Touray called for a swift rectification.

“…The wrongs must be rectified,” he demanded. “And better examples should be set. All those allocations of lands to lawmakers should be forfeited, and the loan scheme canceled. Those allocations of land do not follow procedures. As such, we consider them illegal.”

The spokesperson of the GDC, Ahmadou Kah, did not condemn the loan scheme, but said the GDC was “not happy” about it either.

“We are not saying they should not be given any privileges like other government institutions are enjoying. We as a party would have been happy to see the new budget line not created by themselves [the lawmakers]. They could have requested for some form of appropriation from the Ministry of Finance,” Kah submitted.

Kah, who was careful with his choice of words, said the GDC “is worried” by the development and the ‘many other issues’ of the past surrounding NAMs and their conduct.

“Almost all of them continue to drive cars that they cannot tell us where they [those cars] come from. Lands were also allocated to them by themselves,” he said.

Mr Kah said it is now “too late” to challenge the decision of the lawmakers’ loan scheme.

“We have seen Halifa Sallah move a motion against it [the loan scheme] but they [National Assembly members] rejected [it]. There is a lot of public outcry. People are not happy with this,” he stated.

Majority of those who voted for Ya-Kumba Jaiteh’s proposal are UDP NAMs, but Mr Almami Taal, UDP spokesperson, said the party has no control over its National Assembly members. He said the UDP does not have any position on the issue.

“It [the loan proposal] came before the National Assembly and, like any other proposal that came before the National Assembly, the members vote on their own consent, on what they believe is the right thing,” Taal said.

The spokesperson said he “understands the outcry”, but swiftly added that not every member of the UDP voted for the proposal. “There is a lot of concern about this [loan scheme], even within the membership of the UDP,” Mr Taal said.

Mr Taal said the lack of experience of most NAMs may also be a contributor to this “traditional way of doing things”.

“We need to have an honest conversation on how to develop this country,” Mr Taal said.

NAM for Bakau, Assan Touray, who was among 17 others who voted for the proposal, said in his defence: “When government allocated us with land, we feel they should give us the loan because it’s happening with other departments. … they said all lands belong to the state and if that is the case, I don’t think that should be a problem.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2020 :  10:31:51  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

https://foroyaa.net/is-a-provision-of-the-constitution-breached-by-approving-a-loan-scheme-for-nams/


QUESTION OF THE DAY December 1, 2020

Somebody posed the following question to Sait Matty Jaw: Sait Matty Jaw can you enlighten me on which provision of the Constitution was breached by approving a loan scheme or you just taking Halifa’s word for it. By the way the constituency development fund was proposed this exact same way last year and there were no objections not even from Halifa. NAMs are the only people who have the right to legislate for themselves according to the Constitution. So [your] opinion is quite contradictory to the dictates of the Constitution?

This question was sent to Foroyaa. Apparently, the matter relates to the introduction of a loan scheme for National Assembly members in the estimates by the National Assembly members without the item being part of the estimates laid by the Minister. We will confirm the origin and ask the author and Halifa Sallah to clarify matters for the Nation.

Foroyaa would however assist our readers to understand the budgetary process and the unconstitutionality of the move of the NAMs.

In light with the principle of the separation of powers, it is the executive which proposes a budget and it is the National Assembly that disposes of the budget. The responsibilities ae clearly demarcated in the Constitution.

This is why Section 152 of the Constitution deals with “Annual estimates and Appropriation”

It states : “(1) The President shall cause the Minister responsible for finance to prepare and lay before the National Assembly at least thirty days before the end of the financial year, estimates of the revenue and expenditure of The Gambia for the following financial year. The estimates shall include any estimates which, under this Constitution, are to be submitted directly to the President by the Chief Justice or any other authority for presentation by the President to the National Assembly.”

Hence the heads, Subheads and Items in the estimates are prepared and laid before the National Assembly.

What is the role of the National Assembly?

The answer is very simple. Subsection (1A) reads:

“(1A) The National assembly shall, within fourteen days of the estimates being laid before it, give consideration to and approve the estimates.”

Has the Constitution imposed any limits to the powers of the National Assembly in giving consideration to Bills?

The answer is in the positive. The National Assembly cannot propose heads, subheads or Items. What they could do is propose amendments to allocation by way of increasing or reducing the various allocations by subtracting and adding to the various allocations without increasing the global sum proposed by the executive.

Where is this said in the Constitution. It is indicated under Section 101 Subsection which reads:

“(4) Without prejudice to the power of the National Assembly to make any amendment (whether by the increase or reduction of any ….. charges, or the amount of any payment or withdrawal, or otherwise), the National Assembly shall not give consideration to a Bill that in the opinion of the person presiding makes provision for any of the following purposes –

(ii) the imposition of any charges on the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of The Gambia or the alteration of any such charge;

(iii) the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of The Gambia of moneys not charged thereon or any increase in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal…….”

This is why the Standing Order 91 of the National Assembly has laid clear guidelines of the powers of the National Assembly in considering estimates which we will leave for further elucidation should a debate ensure between Halifa Sallah and the personality who posed the question.

To conclude it is important to indicate that the law making power of the Assembly is not absolute The Assembly is capable of making a law that is in violation of the Constitution.

This is why Section 5 of the Constitution states:

(1) A person who alleges that

(a) any Act of the National Assembly or anything done under the authority of an Act of the National Assembly; or

(b) any act or omission of any person or authority,

is inconsistent with or is in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for a declaration to that effect.

(2) The court may make orders and give directions as it may consider appropriate for giving effect, or enabling effect: to be given, to such a declaration and any person to whom any order or direction is addressed shall duly obey and carry out the terms of the order or direction.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 02 Dec 2020 10:33:43
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2020 :  17:24:37  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



https://standard.gm/finance-minister-feels-nams-loan-scheme-not-ideal/

By Omar Bah on December 2, 2020

The Minister of Finance has told lawmakers that the process used to allocate themselves a loan scheme is not ideal.

At least seventeen NAMs out of the 33 who voted on Friday agreed to a proposal for a loan of over 50 million dalasis to build their houses. The proposal, tabled by nominated National Assembly member Ya-Kumba Jaiteh, sparked controversy and condemnation.

“It is not ideal for members to have a loan scheme for themselves squeezed into the already drawn 2021 budget,” Mambury Njie said.

He added: “What Halifa Sallah said is correct. Taking from here and putting it as a loan scheme, I don’t think it’s ideal. I think we have to withdraw the loan scheme, even if we have to come with a supplementary bill. I think procedurally that’s the right thing to do. That is the limit of my powers as a minister in the Assembly.”

The NAM for Banjul South, Ousman Sillah said: “I fear double standard in the proposal on the part of the members. It’s the same principle with National Audit Office. We asked them to revise that (travel expenditure) and yet, we want to give it to the National Assembly. The issue is that let us not be seen as playing double standard. Parliamentary elections are expected in 2022 within the first four months. Only sixteen months away. Now, assuming that National Assembly Members are receiving D50, 000 per month including allowance, committee sittings and monthly payments, a loan of one million for a period of sixteen months will require a monthly payment of D62,500. So, the million-dalasi loan question is, how will you be able to pay back the loan?” Sillah quizzed.

Suwaibou Touray, the NAM for Wuli East, argued: “We have only one year to leave this office. So, if you take a loan, which is a building loan, when are you going to finish paying that? Do you leave here and leave your loan behind?”

Another NAM, Alhagie Mbowe of Upper Saloum, said: “For me, it was an ethical issue because we ask these people to cut their budget which they did and take the same loans and give it back to ourselves. That was an ethical issue and we must look at the economic situation of the country. We must be considerate, look at the morality and the ethical issues. That was why I voted against the loan scheme. We must think twice and we must take into consideration that the national interest becomes our topmost priority and not to give ourselves things because we have the powers to do it. “

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
10043 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2021 :  10:12:28  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chief Justice Presides over Controversial D54 Million NAM Loan Case

Foroyaa: January 20, 2021
By Yankuba Jallow

https://foroyaa.net/chief-justice-presides-over-controversial-d54-million-nam-loan-case/

The Supreme Court of The Gambia presided over by Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow on Tuesday, 19th January heard the case involving two civil society groups and the clerk of the National Assembly over loan Parliamentarians allocated for themselvest.

Marr Nyang represented Gam Participates while Sait Matty Jaw represented the Center for Research and Policy Development. These two civil society groups brought a case against the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Auditor General, the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General over the loan members of the National Assembly included in the 2021 budget for their use.


From L-R: Marr Nyang and Sait Matty Jaw
The case was instituted pursuant to sections 3, 4 and 5 of the National Assembly Salaries and Pensions Act, section 21 of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, section 14 of the Finance and Audit Act and Clause 70 of the National Assembly Standing Orders.

The court will first look into the motion seeking to stop the Defendants from having to disburse or use the D54 million loan for members of the National Assembly.


The case was adjourned to Tuesday, 26th January 2021 for the processes to be regularised. The court gave all parties time to file in all the necessary processes on or before Friday, 22nd January 2021. However, Lawyer Abdoulie Fatty made a motion seeking for leave from the court to file an‘Amiscus’ brief in the case. Lawyer Fatty made this motion on behalf of Activista-The Gambia.

Fatty’s motion was objected by Lawyer Ida Drammeh for the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Fatty said the purpose of the ‘Amiscus’ brief is simply to assist the court on an important issue concerning the public life of this country to come to a just and fair determination. He referred the court to the case of The State and Yankuba Touray where the apex court granted leave for ‘Amiscus’ brief to be filed by certain lawyers.

Lawyer Fatty said the case raises serious issues of constitutional law and the matter is in the public interest. He cited section 5 of the Constitution subsections (a) and (b).

Lawyer Hawa Sisay-Sabally urged the court to allow the application for it is going to assist the court to arrive at a just conclusion. Binga D for the Attorney General did not oppose the application and left it at the discretion of the court.

Ida Drammeh for the Clerk of the National Assembly said the court should refuse the application because it is going to cause delay in the case. She is with the conviction that the Supreme Court is competent enough to deal with the case and arrive at a just conclusion adding where the court is of the view that it needs assistance; the Attorney General is competent enough to deal with it. She said granting ‘Amiscus’ in all cases would prejudices parties to the suit.

She said the filing of the ‘Amiscus’ briefs in this case would delay the court adding the affidavit in support does not contain facts that would warrant the court to grant the application. She urged the court to refuse the request.

Lawyer Fatty in his reply on points of law said Lawyer Drammeh did not cite any law to justify her objection and has not given any sufficient reasons as to why the application should be refused.

The case was adjourned to Monday, 25th January 2021 at 10 am for the ruling on the motion.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2021 :  16:06:22  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://foroyaa.net/lawyers-argue-over-d54-million-loan-to-nams/
==========

By Yankuba Jallow & Mariama Marong on January 26, 2021

Lawyers in the controversial case of the 54 million dalasi loan for lawmakers have on Monday, 25th January completed their arguments on the motion seeking to restraint the Clerk and Government from disbursing the fund to legislatirs pending the hearing and determination of this case.

The Supreme Court is set to rule on the motion and the date will be communicated.

Lawyer Hawa Sisay Sabally for the Plaintiffs said they have filed a motion dated 28th December 2020 which was served on all the defendants, adding the motion was supported by affidavit in-support by Marr Nyang, the Executive Director of Gambia Participate.

The Plaintiffs in this suit are Gambia Participate and the Center for Policy and Research Development whereas the Defendants are the Clerk of the National Assembly (NA), Auditor General, the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General.

The Plaintiffs want an injunction against the Clerk of the NA, his subordinates, intended beneficiaries and whomsoever from applying for the loan.

Also, the Plaintiffs want the Supreme Court to issue an order directing the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to hold the sum of D54.4 million allocated for members of the National Assembly members and the staff in the public interest.

The Plaintiffs also want an order directing the Auditor General not to grant approval for the payment of the sum of D54.4 million.

She said the court has the power to grant the prayers in the motion since the State Proceedings Act does not cover the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The senior private legal practitioner relied on provisions of the Constitution including section 230 (1) and 73 (1) as well as some decided cases.

She said the case is proper under the laws adding the 54 million that the lawmakers pegged for themselves was wrong.

“We are urging the court to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of this case,” she said.

The former vice-chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission said it is convenient to grant the application and it is not going to cause any damages to the defendants.

Lawyer Sisay-Sabally said the issuance of loan by the Government from the consolidated fund is regulated. She cited the Public Finance Act and other laws (regulations) for civil servants but was quick to add the National Assembly has no such laws regulating their loan.

She pointed out that the defendants provided the court with a gazette (Appropriation Bill 2021) which does not have a number and date. She added that the gazette bears the signature of both the Clerk of the National Assembly and the President of the Republic.

“That is not a gazette because it is not complete,” she said.

She said the defendants were aware of the case and this was why they rushed to prepare the gazette.

She enjoined the court to take judicial notice of previous government gazettes. She informed the court the printers (GPPC) do not have the gazette in their custody.

“Even the printers said they don’t have this gazette. So it is not a proper gazette,” she said.

Lawyer Ida Drammeh said the application by the Plaintiffs was not proper and urged the court not to grant it. She said by virtue of the State of Proceedings Act, the court cannot grant a motion against the Clerk.

She relied on sections 94 and 270 of the Constitution that the office of the Clerk is a public office. She also relied on section 17 (2) of the State Proceedings Act as she argued that the court cannot grant an intellocutory injunction against the Clerk of the NA. She contended that the apex court cannot grant any of the reliefs in the motion by the Plaintiffs.

She submitted there is presumption of regularity in this case that the court has to give regard to. She said if the motion is allowed by the court, it would undermine the presumption of regularity in their favour. She added that the main case is there and the court will decide on the merits by the end.

She argued that the Appropriation Bill 2021 was properly passed.

“If there was no Appropriation Act, none of us would have been here. It is what set out how the money has to be spent,” she said.

Counsel Drammeh also submitted that the facts were deposed to in the affidavit in-support of the motion do not support the ground of application.

Binga D. for the Attorney General said an injunction cannot be issued against the Minister of Finance and Auditor General

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2021 :  12:44:52  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


https://foroyaa.net/lawyer-sisay-sabally-accuses-national-assembly-of-violating-the-constitution/

==========

By Yankuba Jallow on January 26, 2021

Lawyer Hawa Sisay Sabally for two civil society groups has accused the National Assembly of abrogating their responsibility to act in the public interest when they allocated themselves D54.4 million.

The former vice chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) is the lawyer for Gambia Participate and Center for Research and Policy Development. These two groups instituted a case against the Clerk of the National Assembly regarding the 54.4 million dalasi loan that members of the National Assembly allocated for themselves and staff of the aforesaid public body.

She said when the budget estimates was tabled before the National Assembly, there was no budget line for National Assembly members’ loan but they went ahead to create it in contravention of the law. She highlighted that the National Assembly committee that scrutinized the estimates did not make any recommendation for their loan.

She said the action of the lawmakers to allocate themselves loan was not done in the public interest.

On the 26th November 2020 a member of the National Assembly moved a motion to amend the estimates which was approved by the members.

“It is the case of the Plaintiffs that the National Assembly was wrong to have amended the estimates to allocate loan for themselves,” she said.

She argued that the lawmakers lack the power to make such amendments.

“They usurp the powers of the President,” she said, as she relied on section 152 of the Constitution.

She argued that it is only the President who has the power to give instruction to the Minister of Finance to make available and it is not for the Minister to prepare without any instruction.

The Senior Lawyer argued in considering what was presented before them, the lawmakers like all other institutions do not have any authority to amend their budget.

“The National Assembly cannot amend and create a new budget line that was not in the budget estimates,” she said.

She submitted that nothing stopped the National Assembly from negotiating with the Finance Minister with a view to come up with an appropriation bill rather than creating a new budget in the estimates.

“They (the National Assembly) have no right to create a budget line. They consider and approve. It is only the President who can authorize such,” she said.

She relied on section 101 (4) of the Constitution and said for the National Assembly to be able to do that, they needed a statute to be able to carry out that exercise.

She told the court that in The Gambia all loans are regulated by statute.

She relied on sections 3, 4 and 5 of the National Assembly Salaries and Pensions Act.

She said the Plaintiffs are not challenging the speeches of lawmakers, but their action.

She said the loan came by way of a motion by a member of the National Assembly which was supported by the majority of the members, adding it was not a unanimous decision which means there were members who opposed it.

“They adopted a procedure which was fundamentally flawed and which contravened the Constitution,” she said.

She submitted that the responsibilities of members of the National Assembly are provided for under section 112.

“What they did was inconsistent with section 112 (2) of the Constitution because what they did was not in the public interest,” she said.

She said as per section 47 of the Public Finance Act, it does not fall within the powers of the National Assembly to create their own budget line.

Lawyer Sabally said the Defendants raised the issue of the legal standing of the Plaintiffs to institute the case against them. She submitted that the Plaintiffs have the legal standing to institute the case as she relied on sections 5 and 6 of the Constitution and some decided cases.

She said they are not calling for the interpretation of the Standing Orders adding the National Assembly failed to follow their own standing orders.

Lawyer Sisay-Sabally submitted that the National Assembly violated section 106 (3) of the Constitution.

“How then did they approve this loan which was in their harmonious interest? They did not follow the dictates of public interest. They created the loan and voted for their interest,” she said.

She said the members made it clear that they have lands and they want to build on it.

“The National Assembly is not allowed to do what they did,” she said.

She referred the Supreme Court to a Ugandan case where the Court ordered the lawmakers to refund the money after they were issued with the fund.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11031 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2021 :  09:45:18  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
==========

https://foroyaa.net/supreme-court-refuses-gambia-participate-others-request-for-interim-injunction/

==========

By Yankuba Jallow on February 10, 2021

The Supreme Court of The Gambia has in a unanimous ruling refused to grant an interim injunction sought by Gambia Participate and Center for Research and Policy Development against the Clerk of the National Assembly, Auditor General and Minister of Finance.

The two civil society groups on the 28th December 2020 filed a motion for the country’s apex court to grant an interim injunction against both the Executive and Legislature pending the hearing and determination of the case.

The Plaintiffs want the court to make an order directing the Auditor General not to grant approval for the payment of the sum of 54.5 million dalasis to the legislature pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

They wanted the highest court to make an order directing the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to hold the sum of 54.5 million dalasis allocated to National Assembly Members and staff of the aforesaid body, in the public interest and not to pay same pending the hearing and determination of the case.

They wanted the court to make an injunction against the Clerk of the National Assembly, his subordinates, any intended beneficiary and whomsoever from applying for, raising of warrants, preparing payment vouchers or any documents to access the sum of 54.5 million dalasi or any part of it by himself, staff of the National Assembly Services and National Assembly members pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The motion was supported by a 12-paragraph affidavit sworn to by one Marr Nyang, the Executive Director of Gambia Participate. The first defendant (the Clerk of the National Assembly) filed a 13-paragraph affidavit in opposition sworn to by one Momodou A. Sise on the 20th January 2021. The Clerk of the House filed additional affidavit in opposition sworn to by one Lamin M. Dampha on the same day.

The other defendants did not file affidavit in opposition but during the hearing, the Attorney General submitted in their behalf that the court should not grant the application.

“The court holds that this is not a proper case to grant the interim relief sought by the Plaintiffs. Accordingly, the motion is dismissed in its entirety,” the Supreme Court ruled.

The Court said the decision will be incoporated in the final decision of the case.

There is no date fixed for the final judgment. Foroyaa will continue to follow the case.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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