By Nelson Manneh
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), Sunday November 25th 2018 continued their meeting with residents of Gambisara, in Jimara in the Upper River Region, to seek their contributions on the new Constitution. The CRC’s Justice Cherno Jallow explained to residents of Gambisara, the reasons why they want them to be involved in the designing of the new Constitution, which is the Supreme Law of the land that governs everyone.
Contributions in the form of questions and answers, were made by the people of Gambisara and the y were later divided into three groups for group discussion. Commissioner Lawyer Lamin S Camara during the group discussion with the youth, told them that they are the future leaders of the nation and should fully take part in designing their own destiny. “We are going to look at citizenship. Who is a citizen and how can he or she be categorized?” he asked.
Lawyer Camara further explain to them that in some cases, a citizen can be a person whose parents are born in the Gambia or one of their parents born here; that citizenship can come through marriage when a husband or wife is a Gambian or it can come when someone spends a minimum number of years in the country, and fulfils all the requirements. Commissioner Camara asked which of the options they think is suitable as a Constitutional requirement.
Commissioners Camara discussed the appointment of Alkalos, Chiefs and Sefoes, regarding their manner of appointment including the Chief Justice, and told the people to make their contributions on this.
In his contribution Kawsu Fofana of Gambisara, said the Alkalo of their village has never been appointed by the president; that the Alkaloship of Gambisara always comes from one family lineage. “These are the people who are said to have established this village and if you want to change the Alkaloship, it will not be easy. It is better we respect our culture and let it continue,” he said.
On the issue of the appointment of the Chief Justice, Fofana said there are good Lawyers in the country who can handle the position, and therefore the Chief Justice should be a Gambian and his or her appointment should be done by a well-established body and not by the president.
“On the issue of Chiefs, they should not be appointed by the President. Instead they should be elected since they are not there for a particular village,” he said.
Alagie Mamadou Dukureh, another contributor from Gambisara, said members of the National Assembly should not be grade twelve graduates but must obtain a College certificate or diploma, from a College or University.
“If the president travels in the name of the country and get something, he should be honest to take it to the National Assembly and show it to our representatives. But if it is just a normal gift from anybody, that one belongs to him or her,” he said.
The CRC on Monday will continue to engage the villages of Kulari and Garowol in the Tumana district of URR.