By Musa Bah & Kebba Ansu Manneh
Sainabou Martin- Sonko, the embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has alleged that she has been denied entry to her office by authorities of the council, but allocated the council conference hall as her new office.
She made this statement at the premises of the Kanifing Municipal Council where she officially resumes for work under the directive of the Ministry of Local Government and Lands after more than eighteen months wrangling with the authorities of the council on alleged official corruption and mismanagement of office leading to her suspension.
“Actually what happened here is we did not meet the Mayor, we were received by the Deputy Mayor and the escort went upstairs to talk to the Mayor first and when they came what they told us was that my office is not yet ready? They also told us that Council decided that the matter will be looked at the General Council Meeting probably tomorrow and any decision they have reached at will be communicated to us,” Sainabou Martin-Sonko disclosed before leaving KMC premises.
She added: “What I want to share with everybody is I have a letter that is instructing me to report to work with immediate effect from the Local Government Service Commission under the Ministry of Local Government and Lands.
The Local Government Service Commission is the body responsible for employing personnel in the Local Government Service, so this letter is an instruction to resume work and we been coming here for more than seven or eight times if I can recall but they (KMC) always been giving the same excuse.”
According to her, denying her access to office only indicated that the matter is not yet over, noting that she will return back to the local government services to seek for redress which outcome will be communicated with the public.
She disclosed that she has been waiting for the decision of the General Council meetings for the past eighteen months without any solutions, observing that it will be very difficult on her part to believe there will be any changes in the outcome of the General Council Meeting slated for Wednesday 22nd.
“We have to get this information across to our line Ministry and then the matter will be picked up from there. Actually what transpired inside instead of allowing me to access my office, they (KMC) allocated conference hall for me to hang around and wait for them to decide and that means even if I come here tomorrow I will be using the conference hall until they (General Council) takes their decision. Lamin K. Jammeh, Councilor for Bakoteh Ward who doubles as Vice Chairman of the Municipality’s Established Appointment Committee said Council have no intention to deny madam Sainabou Martin Sonko or any other person from visiting it’s premises to carry out their missions, adding that in the same vain no one can force anyone to forcefully work at the Council.
According to him, the General Council is responsible for making decisions on pertinent matters relative to affairs and has taken its decision, adding that Council will further discuss the issue of the embattled CEO at its General Council Meeting on Tuesday Wednesday 22nd February, 2023, regarding her return to work.
Meanwhile, Council has also reacted to a press release issued by Ministry of Local Government expressing it’s disappointment to it’s Permanent Secretary, Buba Sanyang regards comments he highlighted in the press release, arguing that the PS have no rights to threaten the Council on the resumption of duty of Sainabou Martin Sonko.
“As a matter of ethics, good governance and morality, the Council cannot assign a public servant duty over public resources, while there remain finding of corruption. This is a matter of facts and not mere allegations,” KMC emphasized in its press release. It added: “The Local Government Service Commission is urged to review the recommendations for removal of CEO as required by their mandate. In the interim, the CEO may continue to report but shall not be assigned any responsibility until the recommendations of the Established Committee are considered in substance.”