The Kanifing Municipal Council has expressed disappointment over the Ministry of Local Government’s statement threatening the council over any attempts to stop its CEO from accessing her office.

On Monday, the ministry issued a statement authorising KM CEO, Sainabou Martin to resume work yesterday, saying any attempts to obstruct Mrs Sonko and other persons affected in any form or manner from gaining access to their offices will face the full force of the law.

But responding to the ministry’s statement, the KMC said the “threats” against the council were unfortunate.

It continued:“The CEO was refused entry 18 months ago following a council resolution ordering her to proceed on administrative leave amidst investigations on an alleged corruption involving her. The findings were also confirmed by the inspection team sent from the ministry but the CEO refused to comply with this resolution as required by law which dictates that she is under the direction and control of council. The council subsequently obtained a court order against the government and the CEO to prevent forceful entry. The order has since been withdrawn by the high court in a ruling wherein the Court cited limitations of its authority. The case is still pending and there is no order authorising her return.

Nevertheless, the CEO has in fact been freely entering the council premises and also reported to the mayor in early February. The mayor graciously informed her that the matter would be brought before the general council and she would be communicated to accordingly. The general council is due to meet on the 22nd February. Nothing has stopped the Ministry and  the Local Government Service Commission from taking a decision on the findings against the CEO for the last 18 months. These findings are matters of fact and not mere allegations. As a matter of ethics, good governance and simple morality, the council cannot assign a public servant duty over public resources while there remain findings of corruption. This is a matter that cannot be compromised.”

The council further urged the Local Government Service Commission to review the recommendations for removal of the CEO as required by their mandate.

 Meanwhile the CEO reported to the KMC yesterday without  incident.

She told the assembled media: “I am relieved to have resumed official duties today – I want to thank the ministry for  giving us advice. This is a public office so I don’t care whether some people want to deal with me or not. My conscience will be guided by the laws that guide my office”.

The CEO also confirmed she has been receiving her salary and allowances in full. Mrs Martin who was escorted to the KM conference room said she was told her office is not ready yet. 

Source: The Standard

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