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Gamcotrap boss cross-examined

Nov 4, 2011, 12:55 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Dr. Isatou Touray, Executive Director of Gamcotrap, was yesterday cross-examined at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, after she completed her evidence-in-chief.

Dr. Isatou Touray and Mrs Amie Bojang-Sissoho, programme coordinator of the same organisation, it was alleged, in 2009 in Banjul and diverse places, jointly stole 30,000 Euros being money provided by the YALOCAMBA SOLIDARIDAD of Spain to GAMCOTRAP.

Under cross-examination, Dr. Touray told the court that she and Amie Joof-Cole were among the founders of Gamcotrap.

She said her organization is banking with Standard Chartered Bank and the secretary, treasurer and president are signatories to the account.

When asked by the prosecuting officer weather she is a signatory to her organization’s account, Dr Touray told the court that she is a signatory to Gamcotrap’s account.

She said her organization made contact with Yolcamba Solidaridad based in Spain in 2007, and they agreed to share information and campaign against the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Dr. Touray added that exhibit B2 was an agreement document between her organization and Yalocamba Solidaridad.

Still under cross-examination, Dr. Touray added that defence exhibit 14 was the letter written by her as the Director of Gamcotrap to the Executive Director of Yolcamba Solidaridad in connection with a project that was ended.

She pointed out that the issue of micro-finance was never part of their original project proposal, and it was just an interpretation by the Yolcamba Solidaridad Management.

When it was put to her that, since the case started, the dispute raised by the complainant was the issue of micro credit and alternative employment opportunity,  Dr Touray in response told the court that there was nothing like micro credit in their proposal, pointing out that Gamcotrap is not a micro-credit organization.

“We are engaged in women’s rights activities,” she stated.

She asserted that Yolocamba Solidaridad sponsored project to the tune of 129, 824.07 Euro for 36 circumcisers, of which Alternative Employment Opportunity (AEO) was a component in that project.

She added that there was money spent on the Alternative Employment Opportunity activities, and her office has the files since the project phased out.

When asked how much money was spent on AEO, she told the court that she could not remember.

She added that the Alternative Employment Opportunity aspect was a development initiative of Gamcotrap based on the cultural reality to help the community to stop the practice of FGM.

She said that D5, 000 was the money allocated for 36 circumcisers each, but each later received D3, 000 after the cost of ashobi and other expenses.

“The money was meant for the circumcisers in exchange for dropping their knives and protecting the girl child from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM),” she added.

The case was at that juncture adjourned till 10 November 2011.