The dismissed Gambian Vice President Ousainou Darboe says there are non-Gambian(s) working at Gambia’s Public Service Commission (PSC). He also alleged that PSC officials are meddling into politics; a conduct he says, was contrary to the dictates of the 1997 Constitution.
“The Constitution says if one belongs to an interest group, association, or political party, he or she cannot be part of the PSC. The same Constitution also says a member of the National Assembly cannot be part of the PSC. It also prohibits foreign nationals from working at the PSC. There are Gambian citizens, who had given up their Gambian citizenship and naturalized to become citizens of other countries, and yet they are working at the PSC,” Darboe remarked in the local Mandinka language.
Darboe was speaking on Saturday at a political rally held in Wellingara. He told his supporters that perhaps President Barrow was not aware of the constitutional ramifications associated with hiring non-Gambians to work at the PSC. He also adds that it is very likely that President Barrow has not been advice on the matter.
“It is wrong to hire non-Gambian citizens to work at the PSC. It is contrary to what the law says. The most bizarre part of the whole saga is that they are also meddling into politics,” Darboe lamented.
Mr. Darboe did not name names during his address. It is public knowledge that his new political nemesis Alkali Conteh, who is an American citizen, works at the PSC.
Conteh was a longtime resident of Raleigh, North Carolina, before his home return following the change of government back in 2016. Both Darboe and Conteh used to be in the same political party called the UDP, before the fallout between Barrow and Darboe.
Conteh was hired to work at the PSC, when he (Darboe) was the Defacto shadow President of The Gambia. At the time of Alkali’s hiring into the administration, Darboe was Foreign Minister. He was also calling the shots at the time. He never raised the issue of non-Gambians serving at the PSC. He waited until he was fired, and he wanted the Barrow government to be compliant with the law as far hiring at the PSC was concerned.
It is imperative to note while serving as Foreign Minister, Darboe had facilitated the appointment of non-Gambians into the Foreign Service. A classical example was the appointment of Mrs. Jainaba Bah, a Swedish national. Like Alkali Conteh, Mrs. Bah too had to give up her Gambian citizenship to become a Swedish national. Mrs. Bah is The Gambian Ambassador to Russia.
Suntou Touray, a Gambian national, later became British Citizen, was also hired into the Foreign Service. Touray works at The Gambian High Commission in the UK. Both Touray and Mrs. Bah are UDP supporters. The list goes on and on.
Just trying to keep Mr. Darboe honest. He is not practicing what he is preaching today when he was in the Barrow administration.
As a lawyer, Darboe, could have communicated his concerns to the Attorney General or President Barrow, when he was in the government, but perhaps he never thought that the “illegal appointments” he ignored yesterday, would become an issue for him in the foreseeable future. Darboe has the opportunity to fix the alleged illegal hiring when he was hired by The Gambian government, but he decided to turn a blind eye. Let justice guild our actions.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai