Saturday, March 25

Role of mayor is ceremonial, no executive powers: Samba Faal

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Former mayor of Banjul, Samba Faal, has said some of the mayoral aspirants do not actually understand the role of a mayor, hinting that the job of a mayor is more or less ceremonial because they do not have executive powers.
In an exclusive interview with The Point on 9 May 2018, Mr. Faal, who on two occasions had been mayor of the city spanning a period over a decade and tipped as the most popular mayor of the council, said upon hearing what some of the mayoral aspirant are saying on the campaign trail means that “they do not really understand the job.”

“Most of them don’t actually know, they don’t understand the roles governing local governance, and I think before you get into something, you have to know what you are going into and that has not been the case from the look of things.”

“The Local Government Act itself is not giving executive powers to any mayor. The mayor is just a ceremonial head and his or her role is limited to chairing council meetings and being the link between council and government. The mayor supervises the activities of the council on daily basis,” he continued. “But the supervision is based on resolution of council. When council passes resolutions, and then it is the mayor’s role to work with the administration to make sure that the resolutions are being implemented and then report back to council.

Unfortunately, he argued, even former mayors who are vying for another do actually understand the role of a mayor.

“The mayor cannot add or deduct anything from the resolution that has been made by the council; the council is supreme, so the mayor’s role is purely ceremonial,” he reiterated. “You are like a messenger and the power is given more or less to the council who are the representatives of the people at the local level.”

He added that the councilors work with their people; conceptualise programmes and projects which are brought to council for implementation. This article was first published by The Point in 2018.