Defiant KMC to maintain resolution despite minister’s ultimatum

Aug 9, 2021, 12:01 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Talib Ahmed Bensouda, on Friday convened a press conference and vowed to maintain the council’s decision on the ongoing alleged corruption involving the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mrs. Sainabou Martin-Sonko and co, of expecting that salaries of alleged individuals will be paid.

The CEO is alleged for involvement in the fraudulent land loan, which includes the missing D12 million.

The council suspended Sainabou from executing her work at the municipal council, which resulted in the involvement of the Ministry of Local Government, Regional Administration and Lands, urging the KMC to rescind its recent suspension of some council officials.

Mayor Bensouda explained that the council recommended to the local government service commission for the removal of five council members, while adding that the individuals are sent on indefinite leave and await the decision of the commission.

“The council maintains that it is a matter within the powers and prerogative of the council to send staff on leave in appropriate cases pending investigations into their activities by the relevant bodies. We will continue to apply the law and follow the due process,” Mayor Bensouda stated.

He added that his office received a letter dated 3 August 2021 from the ministry, setting out areas for inspection. However, the mayor promised that the exchange of correspondence on the proposed inspection will be made available to the public.

“Inspection of local government provided under section 150 of the Local Government Act is an important governance tool, intended to foster transparent government at the local level. All books, records, facilities, and personnel will be made available to the inspectors upon their request in accordance with civilized and orderly procedures.”

He reiterated that the CEO’s attempt to enter the council with the company of a TV crew was unfortunate, saying it’s the duty of all staff in public sector employment to have due regards to the code of conduct of officials.

Dwelling on the alleged audio recording, Mayor Bensouda said the council has appointed a joint committee of the establishment and appointments committee and the contracts committee to conduct a detailed investigation.

The ministry’s statement further urges the mayor to immediately withdraw his suspension of the affected officials and make an appropriate recommendation to the Local Government Service Commission.

Surge in covid-19 cases at Ndemban clinic 

Doctor Warns Cases Might Increase

By Momodou Jawo

A doctor at Ndemban Clinic has affirmed the surge of covid-19 cases at the clinic, while claiming that the recent increase of coronavirus cases in the country is a result of the Tobaski celebration.

Dr. Ya Fatou B. Jobe, who spoke to QTV recently, said: “The surges of Covid-19 cases we are experiencing right now are beyond anyone's imagination. The past few weeks have been quite tedious and very hectic. We have patients that are coming into full capacity to whom most of them need oxygen and among others. Some of the patients are critically ill and those patients need a lot of attention to be given to them.”

“In fact, we have a lot of patients who are Covid-19 positive and need admission and are in the community. Some are in hospitals in the communities because this place is full to capacity.”

“You have seen some patients that are in critical condition. They are between life and death. We foresee that in the next few weeks things will be worst because we are just from the Tobaski. We have tried our best in the past few weeks to save as much life as possible, but we lost a lot of patients in the past few weeks as well.”

She further added: “We are here 24 hours and nurses and doctors are working 24 hours to make sure that everybody gets what they need. Some will tell you that I haven’t seen anybody that has the virus, but I can tell you that the virus exists. Covid-19 exists, thus we should take our precaution right and stay away from gatherings.”

“We have to wear our masks and wash our hands and make sure that we stay at home as much as possible. We should only go out when it’s necessary, like going to work.”   

Babucarr Sey, a reporter of QTV, who recently visited the clinic and did a report about the condition of patients said: “After a round of the wards, we saw more than 60 patients admitted with most of them with critical conditions. Staffs in the clinic are working round the clock to save lives, but from what we observed, they will need more capacity and resources and perhaps another hospital to support them in admitting covid-19 patients.”

“Case numbers are increasing rapidly and according to doctors we found here, this may be due to the recently celebrated Tobaski. The hospital management gives us rare access to the wards where patients are admitted in order to prove to us how bad the situation has become.”

“A lot of oxygen cylinders are empty and some patients are using two cylinders at a time in order to breathe properly. The hospital's only oxygen cylinders operator who we met told us that he has not been around for the past three days and changing bottles and has not been able to go home nor has he been able to take shower.”