Revenue Collector Jainaba Cham Testifies before Local Government Commission of Inquiry 

77

By Makutu Manneh

Jainaba Bah, a resident of Pipeline and a rates and taxes collector for the Brikama Area Council on 25 March 2024 testified before the 

Local Government Commission of Inquiry regarding allegations of revenue collection.

The 55-year-old began working in the Council in 2001. She has been collecting revenue in Kerr Serign for the past nine (9) years. 

On how she does her job, she said she first does her assessment and then issues invoices to property owners with a one week timeline for payment and then begins her collection afterwards. She explained that she used to deposit her collections daily in the bank.

She provided her cash book covering 2021 to date for rates and taxes. It was admitted in evidence by the Commission. She did not provide the Commission with her cash book covering the periods 2018, 2019 and 2020. She stated that she left the other cash book in the Council and promised to bring it. She was commanded to bring her old cash book covering 2018 to 2020.

She was informed about her collections without going for submission and reconciliation in the Council.

“You made a collection between 28th September 2022 and 5th October 2022, but you did not go for submission and reconciliation,” Counsel Gomez told the witness.

She denied the allegation. The witness was shown the lodgment register of the Council. 

“I see it. If I don’t have anything to submit, I don’t go for submission,” the witness said.

“That is not true. The amount is there. Remember, this was a time you were using the revenue collection devices, and the records are there for the collections you make,” Counsel Gomez told the witness.

The witness did not respond to the audit query, instead she began to fault the revenue collection devices. She stated that the revenue collection device that she was using used to make mistakes and input figures that are wrong. 

“But the machine will indicate the date, time, and the person whom you made the collections,” Gomez said.

“Yes,” the witness answered.

The witness said the machines were difficult to use.

“What information do you use to insert in the machines to print a ticket,” Gomez asked.

The witness said the name of the person and other relevant information.

Chairperson Jainaba Bah noted from the cash book that the witness provided there were no collections in February, March, August, September, and October. 

“Where are these collections?” Chairperson Bah asked.

The witness said she took her annual leave in February 2023. She explained that while on leave, she left a boy to do collection on her behalf and deposit in the account in her name. 

She said the boy who used to help her was Dawda Njie, who was a valued property collector for the BAC.

“In February and March, you collected revenue. Where is the cash because it did not reflect in your cash book?” Chairperson Bah asked.

She was asked about the collections of March 2023.

“I don’t know how that happened,” the witness answered.

She was shown her cash book again to check and provide an explanation. 

“Anyway, I don’t understand how this happened?” the witness said while flipping the pages of her cash book.

“There are so many shortages in your name,” Gomez asked.

The witness was silent. She will reappear before the Commission to provide her cash book and for further questioning on her shortages.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!