Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Is The President Allowed To Remove Chiefs Without Any Cause?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY:

It is important to note that democracy does not condone impunity. Democracy calls for governance based on rules and procedures. The Local Government Act has provided for the basis for the removal of a Chief based on a cause. Suffice it to say that the cause must be reasonable and justifiable in a democratic society. It must not be fictitious. The President has an Attorney General who is the chief legal adviser. A system which is based on the rule of law should give supremacy to legal advice provided by the Attorney General’s Chambers before the government takes fundamental decisions based on legal provisions. The president does not have unilateral power just to remove a Chief. This is clearly stated under section 136 of the Local Government Act. It reads:

“A Seyfo may be removed from office by the President on the grounds –

(a) Of misconduct or incompetence, or

(b) Of inability to perform the functions of his or her office for any cause whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or otherwise.”

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Hence all those who are removed should find out the cause and if they disagree with the cause then they should petition the Executive for answers and reversals of decisions. Should they be ignored they should go the press, civil society and the National Assembly for answers. The Gambia will only be a new Gambia if people start to challenge every injustice and wrong doing perpetrated against them.

A culture of silence is the breeding ground for a culture of impunity.

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