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Gumbo Touray continues testimony

Jul 31, 2012, 10:27 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Former UTG director of International Affairs yesterday continued his defence testimony at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Alagbe Ade Taiwo.

Gumbo Ali Touray is standing trial for the offence of giving false information to a public officer.

Touray told the court that according to the contract document and the report of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), UTG vice chancellor Professor Kah’s salary was D3.5 million per annum.

He added that Vice Chancellor Professor Kah should not receive that amount as the salary of a professor.

“It had been confirmed by the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) report on the University of The Gambia that the institution was not working in compliance with the GPPA rules of procurement thus seriously flouting the said rules and doing things the way the Vice Chancellor and his administration likes,” Touray stated.

He added that Augustine Prom’s financial report also revealed that Professor Kah was doing things on his own willing.

Professor Kah had dissolved so many committees at the University of the Gambia, he said, adding that the UTG Research and Strategy committees lost its prized position of membership in the ERNWACA group’s research initiatives.

He said some of the lecturers who had demonstrated a commendable track record of publishable (CODESRIA, ActionAid etc) academic research expertise in the past, had their planned research teaching courses arbitrarily cancelled by the Vice-Chancellor, without even the courtesy of consultations or any explanation.

Touray added that he was a senior member of the UTG as Director of International Affairs, and they all took the UTG as a national pride after it was established by the second Republic.

It was disheartening to see such national institution as a university being eroded, he said, adding that he was concerned as a senior member or employee of the UTG that the standard was falling.

Touray added that he was further concerned by virtue of his responsibilities as Director of International Affairs, and that was why he honestly wrote the petition to the President and the Chancery of the UTG for redress for unlawful suspension and termination of his services by Professor Kah.

He stated that during the visit of members of the National Assembly to the University, he frankly expressed his disapproval in the way the University was governed, which certainly did not go down well with the Vice-Chancellor who subsequently decided to suspend him, as in his words “based on powers conferred” on him.

He said the UTG is an institution the government spent a lot of money on for its citizens to have higher and a solid education.

Touray also cited that, according to the NDEA report, “Professor Kah may be a very good lecturer, but not a good administrator who can move the UTG to the envisaged level.”

“If this is the case, I feel very justified to stand for the national interest and also stood firm to see that government had achieved the development agenda in Vision 2020,” he said.

Touray told the court that he totally disagreed with the charge of giving false information to the Office of the President.

Instead, he said, he had written to the President and Chancery of the UTG to make a complaint and to seek redress for unlawful suspension and termination of his services by the Vice-Chancellor of the UTG.

“I maintain that what I have said is the truth, nothing but the truth,” he said.

The case was adjourned till 9 August 2012, for cross-examination.