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Opposite to the purpose of the draft constitution for greater liberty to be divested in the head of the civil service, President Barrow’s Cabinet has desired that the Secretary General should remain under the supervision of the President.
The CRC, in its draft has said that the secretary general “shall not, in the performance of his or her functions, be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority…”
Nonetheless, looking at its stand on the draft constitution in a document seen by The Standard, the Cabinet told CRC to “delete” such a provision giving liberty to the secretary general and head of the civil service to act on his or her own accord.
“Delete this provision because the secretary general works under the President and undertakes assignments given to him or her by the President,” the Cabinet paper demanded.
“He or she cannot be divorced from presidential supervision, direction, control or authority,” it added.
“The position of a CEO should also be performance-based and since the president retains ultimate responsibility for the performance of public enterprises, it is essential for him to retain the power of removal,” the paper observed.
The Cabinet endorsement was sent after the disclosing of the first draft, the CRC did not include the recommendations in the final draft which was sent to the president and has since been published.
As part of his attempts at social engineering, former head of state Yahya Jammeh passed a law which came into effect on 1st January 1996 prohibiting the importation, sale, possession and use of skin bleaching in The Gambia.
Meanwhile, The Gambia government is trying to push through a bill at the National Assembly to amend that law and effectively legalise skin bleaching in the country.
The Skin Bleaching (Prohibition) Bill, 2020 had its first reading at parliament on Monday and will be tabled for a second reading by the attorney general on Thursday, 2nd July.
The bill according what is seen by The Standard outlined that the skin bleaching prohibition law was “found to be discriminatory against women and girls in The Gambia in furtherance of The Gambia’s international obligations and in line with the Constitution…”.
In its known objectives and reasons justifying the made of the skin bleaching prohibition law, the drafters noted: “This bill is the first of its kind in Africa for being the trailblazer for the recognition, observance and domestication of international obligations and commitments relating to women’s rights into domestic law. Since the enactment of the Women’s Act 2010, significant strides have been made to enforce the law and to protect women in line with the provisions of the Act. Section 25 of the Women’s Act recognized the need for periodic review of legislation every ten years to ensure further compliance with our international obligations as enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw), and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Right on the Rights of Women in Africa. This amendment is intended to review and amend the provisions of this Act that are discriminatory against women as mandated by Section 25 of the Women’s Act.”
Nominated National Assembly member, Ya Kumba Jaiteh has said if the executive do not want to bring the Draft Constitution to parliament, a lawmaker or a committee can bring the draft to the parliament instead
Speaking as a panelist on the Paradise TV national briefing on the final draft constitution Saturday, Ms Jaiteh disclosed it might have been a miscalculation by the parliament not to give a time-curb on to when the executive should take the draft to the House, but said there is still other ways if the executive drags its feet.
“It is true that there is no time-limit for the president to bring the draft to parliament but who would have thought, given those circumstances why they wouldn’t want to bring the draft to parliament. I think for me it’s impossible; they have to bring it to parliament,” she said.
“Another thing that people always lose sight of is parliament can bring this draft to itself. It doesn’t necessarily have to come from…the executive” Speaking on the actual process to this alternative draft tabling, Ms Jaiteh added:
“There is a process of how this bill will come to life and that is in the 1997 Constitution. The constitution has made provisions on how you can repeal it or amend it or how you can amend certain provisions or entrenched provisions. And there is nothing in it that says it cannot be brought by a member of the National Assembly. It is the responsibility of the Legislature to make laws; we should never lose sight of that.”
She said parliament too can put forward laws just like the executive, and in this instance, it can always introduce the draft if it is very needed.
“Laws can be proposed by the executive but they can also be proposed by the National Assembly. So if in any case the executive says they are not bringing this to parliament, well the parliament can bring it to itself. That is very simple and straightforward. So if they decide not to bring it, one of us or a committee can bring the bill to itself,” she told Harona Drammeh, the host.