chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), Justice Cherno
Sulayman Jallow, on Wednesday disclosed that the commission has spent an amount
of D14.6 million on their external public consultations.
Justice Jallow made this statement at the CRC press briefing held at the CRC Secretariat in Kotu.
He revealed that D18.9 million was the actual amount budgeted for the external public consultation but they were able to spend less, adding that D13 million was spent on the internal public consultation.
The consultative process which was aimed at eliciting the views and aspirations of Gambians living in the diaspora on the drafting of the new constitution of The Gambia was held in Senegal, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and in Europe.
“The turnout and contributions during the public consultations were quite impressive and the external exercise went far enough in enabling Gambians abroad to have a strong sense of belonging in the constitutional review commission,” he said.
Justice Jallow added that the public consultations have taken the form of direct face-to-face public consultations with Gambians at home and abroad, dialogue with civil society, household surveys as well as one-to-one dialogue with traditional chiefs and many other engagements.
“We have received wonderful proposals that are guiding us in our effort to design and build a new constitution for The Gambia and also received opinions that express the frustrations and a desire to make things better for our country,” he said.
Justice Jallow further commented on opinions and aspirations expressed by Gambians and other stakeholders during the Constitutional Review process, which include the democratic government to be given priority – the need to respect the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms.
“Government institutions must be strenghthened to uphold the values and the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the poor management of public finances and ensuring effective accountability in government,” he added.
The chairperson also stated that they have conducted an in-house capacity building exercise, which was conducted for all CRC staff by the CRC Statistics Unit on how to generate various types of graphs and charts using the Microsoft Excel application.
“Data entry for the CRC Household Survey is ongoing and is expected to be completed shortly and the statisticians are pursuing a rigorous data verification process through the use of double data entry system so as to ensure clean and accurate date sets,” he said.
He also disclosed that in line with the CRC Act that is empowered under Section 11 to establish technical committees with each technical committee being chaired by a commissioner, five technical committees have been established, three of which were inaugurated earlier in April and May this year.