The civil society group has questioned the credibility of the Belgian company and feels it’s the responsibility of the NAMs to make inquiries into the Semplex saga and resolve the issuance of the national documents: national ID and passport to be precise.
The civil society’s worry with the credibility of Semplex is as a result of many corruption allegations associated with the company and its CEO Albert Karaziwan.
According to the statement from R2K, there is now a criminal probe into Semlex and its operations, and a case on Semlex CEO Albert Karaziwan, over money laundering and other corrupt practices. The national prosecutor has confirmed that serious evidence against Semlex has been uncovered. Their computers, files, and other materials have since been sealed, and confiscated to aid in the investigations.
This is a company that has been awarded a contract, which was immersed in illegality from the onset. A contract that flouted all the procurement rules, and vested in the corrupt practices of the Jammeh regime, which the current government is now determined to uphold and execute, despite all the evidence of the political exposure and high risk associated with this company.
The group said despite these serious allegations and problems associated with Semplex, nevertheless The Gambia government is yet insists on entrusting their most precious assets to this company-identification of their citizens, reputation of its national identities, and the citizens power to elect and selected how they wish to be governed, their voters’ cards.
Hon. Madi K. Ceesay, National Assembly for Serekunda said the National Assembly has a role because the president, the ministers are all accountable to the national assembly because they are a people representative and as a result they are mandated in the standing order and in the constitution to probe any matter that they felt there are doubts.
“As we speak to you now those constitutional clause and the standing order sections that empower us to probe into the matter, we have already started in to that,” he said. “My position is that what is at stake here is our national integrity.”
He said The Gambia’s passport is highly ranked in the world 71 and if the government is bent on giving this contract to Semlex which is currently under investigation in its home country, then his (Hon. Ceesay) position is why is the government entrusting a company that is not credible and they will get to the bottom of the matter as they owes it to the people.