vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Ousainou Darboe, was asked by
the lawmaker for Niani, Alhagie S.B. Sillah to shed light on the D4.5 million
donated by the Chinese Embassy to the flood victims of Kuntaur.
Mr. Darboe in his response said the funds have not been utilized due to circumstances beyond their control. “The money is still at the Trust Bank account of the National Disaster Management Agency.”
He therefore informed lawmakers about the rehabilitation works of the Kuntaur Bridge and the dykes. “Work on the bridge is in progress whilst work on the dykes will commence in October 2018.”
Mr. Darboe also responding to a question posed to him by Hon. Fakebba N.L. Colley, member for Kiang West, as how the election of women councilors was conducted in various constituencies across the country, said that minister of Women Affairs is mandated to appoint one female representative from each electoral constituency and one female representative from each local government council in consultation with the local authorities.
The Act, he added, also empowers the President to appoint representatives, one from the Ministry of Agriculture, one from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, one from the private sector, one from each of the two main regions of the country, one from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and one female legal practitioner from the Attorney General’s Chambers.
He explained that the chairperson of the council is appointed by the President from amongst the members whilst the vice chairperson is elected by the members appointed.
The selection of lady councilors to the National Women’s Council as prescribed by law, Darboe went on, is through appointments and not elections. “However, in our bid to democratize the process, the Independent Electoral Commission was invited to conduct the election.”
Mr. Darboe further told deputies that the Women’s Act 2010 which established the National Women’s Council under Section 58 (1) prescribes for lady councilors to be appointed by the minister for Women’s Affairs and not through elections.