Thursday, April 22, 2021

Fisheries Minister Debunks Claim Recent Fire Outbreak Was ‘Foul Play’

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By Kebba AF Touray

The Minister of Fisheries James F Gomez, has debunked in totality, claims that the recent fire outbreak at his Ministry was foul play.

Minister Gomez made this dismissal on Monday December 23rd 2019 during the adjournment debate.

‘‘I want to register my disappointment with an honorable member who made mentioned that our Ministry got bunt and he thinks that it was foul play. I would expect that in this honorable house, people will speak about what they know. Tomorrow morning (Tuesday 24th December 2019), we are conducting an investigation on everything that came to that office and as we speak now, they think it is an electrical fault,” he said. He further explained that he was in his office when the inferno started and he raised the alarm and asked everyone to run out, because he believes that life is more important.

“So for him to say that this was foul play is unfortunate. Maybe tomorrow, I will invite him to come with us during the investigation so that he can tell us what he knows,” he said.

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On Tendaba Fish landing site, Minister Gomez stressed that it was built by the Ministry who gave the site to the people; but because of poor management, everything that was invested on the facility went in vain. He added that they cannot even build toilets for the site.

“These are Gambians who are using the place, but they are not willing to contribute for the proper management of the site. We must work together to develop this country. Because if you do not take care of what you have, you will rely on assistance outside,” he said.

On ScanGambia, Minister Gomez noted that the issue of this Company is complicated in view of its seizure from the owner by the Fisheries Ministry; that since he took office, he has been engaging the owner to reduce the money he (the owner) is asking in return because the sum is huge.

On the arrest of some fishermen, Minister Gomez said the information was new to him and stated that when they issue licenses to a trawler, they have a zone to operate in; that as such, he did not know how the accident came about, but assured Deputies that they will investigate the matter.

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