By Nelson Manneh
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), continues to engage communities in the Central River Region on their ideas and contributions towards the proposed new Constitution. In the village of Kerewan Touray Kunda Lamin Jarra, a farmer by profession, said Government needs to empower Agriculture by establishing a special commission that will look into the affairs of farmers.
“Most of us in the provinces are farmers. We live by our hands and Government should consider us. There is a Ministry for Agriculture but this is not enough. We want a commission for Agriculture that assess and take care of farmers’ concerns, to know our problems,” he said.
Jarra added that health and teaching are other important sectors that contribute immensely towards the development of the country; that without them, it will be difficult to achieve something for the country. He said Commissions should be established for these areas to look into their affairs.
Sainey Dibba a translator during the group discussion, told elders of Kerewan Touray Kunda and environs, that currently there is a death penalty; that if one kills, he or she should be killed. He asked the gathering if they were satisfied with that provision in the Constitution or not? Dibba asked whether the proposed new Constitution should make provision for prisoners who are citizens of the country to vote, and told them to make their own contributions and ideas towards the making of the new Constitution. In response to the questions, the Imam of Kerewan Touray Kunda Saikou Touray, said prisoners are our brothers and sisters and they have the right to vote, despite breaking the Law; that they should be given the chance to express their rights as citizens. Regarding the death penalty, the Imam said if one is convicted by the Law, one should be jailed for life and not to be killed.
The Imam contributed that to run for the presidency, the proposed new Constitution should make provision for one to be educated at degree level, to be qualified. “The world is advancing. Therefore, we should move with it,” he said
Issues like Alkaloship, the Chieftaincy, term limits, second round of voting, etc., were dealt with by the villagers.
The women and youth participated in discussions with other Commissioners, to contribute and give their opinions on what they want the proposed new Constitution to capture.