By Fatoumatta K Jallow
Mrs. Rohey Malick Lowe, an aspiring female candidate for the forthcoming Mayoral Elections slated for 12th May 2018, over the weekend spoke to Foroyaa.
Fatoumatta: Can you brief the readership about yourself?
Rohey Lowe: My names are Rohey Malick Lowe, born and raised in Banjul. I attended St Joseph’s High school and later worked in various hotels as a food and beverage controller. I set up my business called ‘Wa Kerr Rohey’, specializing in supplying the hotel industry with cleansing materials. By the blessings of Allah, the business is successful and I employed young people as well as helped the less fortunate in their education, as part of the social corporate responsibility of my business entity. In subsequent years, I traveled to Europe and lived in Sweden where I had the opportunity to study International Relations at the University of Falun. While there, I was active in politics and was a member of the party called the ‘Social Democrats’ and had the opportunity to serve on the Child Welfare Committee of Nyköping Municipality, with responsibility in overseeing Schools. I’m blessed with a wonderful family, who are my closest friends.
Fatoumatta: What are your interest in politics?
Rohey Lowe: My interest in politics started early. My father Alhagie Malick Lowe was one-time Mayor of this city. It is from him that I learnt the value of public service not as a career, but as a way of giving back to one’s community. I am a strong believer in the duty of citizens to not be spectators, but active participants in the democratic process they live in and I have always endeavored to engage in the political process of my country. That is why I am a founding member of my party UDP, and throughout the period, I remained steadfast in opposing tyranny, by actively working with my colleagues and likeminded Gambians to restore freedom and democracy.
Fatoumatta: What is the motivation behind your ambition to contest this position?
Rohey Lowe: What motivated me to contest is the love and compassion I have for my city and the near catastrophic challenges it faces, due to decades of institutional neglect, poor and inefficient leadership. I feel a profound sense of duty to my city especially at a time when it’s great and diverse citizens are reeling from poor service delivery, crumbling infrastructure and a Municipal Government that is failing in all its responsibilities.
Fatoumatta: How can you make a difference by becoming the next Mayor?
Rohey Lowe: I am running for Mayor because I believe I have a clear understanding of the short and long term challenges our city faces, and I have specific practical, realistic and achievable solutions that can set us on a strong reform, to a revive and rebuilding path. My first priority as Mayor, would be to fully assess the resource base of the city with a view to establishing effective and transparent management control systems, to ensure we are effectively collecting, managing and applying the finances of the Council. It is only by demonstrating good stewardship of our resources that we can begin to address the many urgent challenges we face, high among which is the sanitation, sewage and infrastructure problems.
Fatoumatta: Can you elaborate on some of these challenges?
Rohey Lowe: The challenges Banjul faces are many and are essentially competing priorities each crying for immediate attention and resources. We intend to attend to the most pressing issue of sewage and sanitation because of the persistent and eminent danger they pose to the public. Balancing urgent needs with the practical realities of resource limitation, is the test for all leaders and I believe my experiences have prepared me, to effectively deliver the required results to residents of the City.
Fatoumatta: What can you do to uplift the lives of women and protect their rights?
Rohey Lowe: Women have a high priority in my agenda for Banjul and my plans call for specific approaches that will help them become economically empowered. Traditionally women work the hardest but their full potential are often truncated, due to lack of access to support systems like skills, capital, business incentives and infrastructure. I have an ambitious set of initiatives tailored to help the hardworking women of Banjul to succeed in their various endeavors. I have a robust education investment plan that includes private public partnerships to offer scholarships, mentorship and other incentives to help give women, elevated opportunities to improve their lives. I intend to champion the rights of women at all levels, from healthcare to employment.
Fatoumatta: What message do you have for the electorate?
Rohey Lowe: My message to voters is very simple and that is this election and my campaign, is entirely about them and the challenges they and our beloved city faces. If elected, I promise to spend my every waking moment finding solutions to the very real issues we face. I am not offering magical solutions because a city that is left to wither in the vines for many years, will require dedication, collective hard work, unity of purpose and patience. Together we can reform, rebuild and set our city for a rebound. Our citizens and the nation, need and deserve a healthy and vibrant city.