Monday, May 25, 2020

The Status Of Gifts To The Presidency

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As The Gambia embarks on constitutional reform the issue of official gifts to the executive in particular and all representatives in general should be discussed and provisions provided to prevent any encroachment on the integrity of the presidency in particular and the executive in general.

In particular the 1997 Constitution sought to separate private life from public life by insisting that the person who occupies the Office of President must not own or partake in any business. If a person had a business before being elected he or she would be required to appoint a trustee to manage the businesses while he or she occupies the Office of President. Unfortunately this provision was amended by the previous regime. Recently, anonymous gifts of cars, eleven million dalasis and reports of 33 million dalasis transfer to a foundation have been a subject of public debate.

This is why it is necessary to include in the republican constitution to be drafted provisions that would make every official gift received by a representative as public property to be put in the consolidated revenue fund and handed over to the appropriate ministry and be utilized as state property in one way or the other.

The provision separating private and public life should also be reintroduced and reinforced.

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