BCC mayoress claims gov’t denies her right to assist Center for Children

Sep 9, 2020, 12:48 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Rohey Malick Lowe, the mayoress of Banjul City Council (BCC), has claimed that the government has denied her right to render support to the Center for Children in Bakoteh.

The BCC Mayor, through her Women for Girls Initiative intended to present a cheque for D350,000 to the Center for Children in Bakoteh designed for the construction of a borehole, detergents and facemasks among others.

Mayoress Lowe claimed that the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs has asked her project to write a letter to the ministry indicating what they intend to do to support the Center, citing it as bureaucratic.

A source from the Centre who is au fait with the matter and wished to remain anonymous confirmed the development to The Point. “This is unbelievable and definitely frustrating. How can a ministry ask someone who intends to invest over D350, 000 on the Center to write to them and inform them of her decision of supporting the Center?’’

“In fact, Mayor Rohey Lowe was among the first persons to visit the center. She was informed by the center’s management that they were facing acute water shortage. Instantly, she said that the issue of water shortage would become history as she promised us with a borehole,’’ our source revealed.

“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the mayoress also promised other materials which include detergents and face masks among other items.

Mayor Rohey Lowe, who was contacted for comments, confirmed the development to The Point.

“I once visited the center in Bakoteh and among the challenges they raised was water shortage. I felt that water is essential in human life especially in a center where children are.  I promised them that I was going to support them. Unfortunately, I wanted to do the project now and to my surprise, I was asked to write a letter to the ministry.”

“Under normal circumstances, it’s the ministry that is supposed to write to me after the project and thank me for the intervention but not otherwise. This is not about politics or whatever, this is about needy people who approached me for support and I felt it’s my duty to do so.”

National development, she added, is everybody’s responsibility. “If people approach me for support and I think I have the means to support them, I will do so without hesitation.’’

“This issue of protocol and bureaucracy is derailing Gambia’s development and unless and until we remove our political lens, it would be difficult for us to move forward as a country.”  

Meanwhile, Rohey Bittaye, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, confirmed that the mayoress and her team once visited the Center when they were facing a water problem.

“However, now we have a borehole solar project which means that we don’t need any borehole at the center.”

“A person who I believe is from the mayoress team called me yesterday and said they wanted to present a cheque. I told the person that we’re an institution and we can’t be here forever. It’s important to have a reference point. Personally, I believe in documentation and that’s how I operate. So, if you want to intervene to support the Center, you should have written to the ministry and inform them earlier.”

“I told the person that the Ministry can’t attend the presentation because we have other important issues to attend. I told the person to first write to the ministry, because if we have the money, we will use it for other important points but not a borehole because we need other things at the center. We wanted to organise it better for transparency purposes and in a professional way.”

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