#Headlines

BCC rubbishes mismanagement allegation

Sep 14, 2020, 11:38 AM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Mustapha Batchilly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Banjul City Council (BCC) has strongly denied reports suggesting that there was “mismanagement and corruption” at the council, dismissing such reports as “false” and intended to tarnish the “reputable image of the council,” thereby setting the records straight.

In a press conference on Friday, Mr. Batchilly shed light regarding the allegation against the council and its mayoress.

“We all know what is going on. There is a smear campaign against Rohey Malick Lowe. Others are associating it with politics.”

Commenting on the D10-million micro finance project initiated by Rohey Malick Lowe to empower Gambian women, he said the project was single handedly initiated by the mayoress.

“This is a campaign promise that she is fulfilling. BCC didn’t grant her and I can clearly tell you that this is not coming from our accounts. If anybody wants to consolidate this truth, the person can contact officials from the Trust Bank. We have nothing to do with this project.”

Meanwhile, the 100, 000 facemasks was also initiated by mayoress, he said, disclosing that almost 50, 000 facemasks have already been secured and distributed and the “mayoress and her team are working tremendously in ensuring that these objectives are achieved.”     

“I heard people saying that mayoress’ Personal Assistance (PA) was included in a U.S. trip only for her to refuse to return to the country. I can tell you that this is not true because that guy is currently here in the council doing her work.”

Mr. Batchilly was also quick to debunk claims that a park in Banjul was sold to GPA which led to the council receiving two compactors from.

“That’s rubbish. Here is an evidence to prove the so-called claims,” he noted.

The land that was sold to Nandu behind the National Assembly, he clarified, was just sold at D2 millions. “It is not true that the land was sold at D3 millions, and that the remaining D1.5 millions was shared between me and Rohey Malick Lowe. Where can we get that D1.5 millions from?

“I believe the documents are here in present of all you to see the amount which the said land was sold for. They are trying to do everything possible to tarnish the image of the council but I can tell you that it will not work.”

According to him, during the past 20 years it was very difficult for councils to function effectively as they were directly under the purview of the central government and a lot of “interference” into the day to day management of the councils was happening.

“This is the first time we are having a mayor who is not interfering into the daily management of the council. The mayoress and her councillors are working effectively in coming out with developmental plans that are good for the council and the people of Banjul.”

“Let me make it clear to all of you that we are having less interference from the mayoress as being portrayed. This is the very mayoress who has given the council a lot of things on grantees. So, if I hear some smear campaign against her, I am compelled to come out with these facts. She is benevolent to the council. In fact, she has been supplying the council with a lot of materials ranging from detergents among other valuable items that the council needs.”

The objective of Rohey Malick Lowe, he added, is to totally revamp the council and position it in the right direction.

“I can tell you that from 2018 to date, there have been massive changes in the way the council was run and in terms of bringing development to our taxpayers. This has led to an increase level in terms of our revenue base and in terms of our administration outputs and in terms of our relationship with other stakeholders.”

CEO Batchilly also dismissed reports suggesting that Rohey Malick Lowe brought some people directly to the council, claiming that the council’s deputy CEO was hired by the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC).

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