By Momodou Justice Darboe
A former director of local governance, Kemo Conteh, has sharply criticised the launch of a food bank by UDP leader Ousainu Darboe, describing it as a contravention of the laws of the land.
Writing on his Facebook page, Conteh also warned that Covid-19 pandemic should not be an excuse to abuse the country’s laws, regulations and good governance practices.
The leader of the United Democratic Party last Saturday rolled out what he called non-partisan country-wide initiative to provide relief aid to the vulnerable population as Covid-19 continues to paralyze economic activities across the country.
“Not a good practice in public governance and it is impractical under the laws of The Gambia for an individual leader to create and sustain a financing or funding structure in a government institution for whatever purpose,” wrote Conteh.
He opined that the UDPleader’s food bank should have been independent of local government authorities.
“In the interest of good public accounting and financial management practice, I think the UDP leader’s initiated Food Bank should have been created outside of the councils and funds donated or otherwise accrued donated to councils in the country as may be wished by the party towards a project or projects of general communal interest launched by the council concerned,” Conteh said. “We should not take Corona as an excuse to abuse our own laws, regulations and tested good practices in governance.”
Mr. Conteh funds lodged under the care and management of government institutions are deemed as public funds.
“Under current financial regulations of the government of The Gambia, funds lodged under the care and management of government institutions are deemed as public funds and therefore subject to relevant provisions in prescribed financial management regulations of government,” he pointed out.