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 Government should be subjected to enquiry

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 05 Feb 2018 : 14:16:12
Government should be subjected to an independent enquiry
By Madi Ceesay
The Daily News: 31 January at 19:55

Government should be subjected to an independent enquiry

The Gambia Government should be subjected to an independent enquiry into the awarding of the production of our national documents to a company that is under police investigations.

SEMLEX is a Belgian company that is producing passports and other national documents for some countries in the sub region; but recently it is under police investigation for possible money laundry and corruption.

The Gambia government has almost concluded on awarding the production of our national ID to be linked to our voter cards to this company. The question is why is the government awarding our national documents as important as the National Identity Cards and voter cards to a company under police investigations; when they the government are yet to explain to Gambians why the former Interior was sacked whose sacking has floated a lot of rumours that the company under question do gave a lot of money to the former interior to win the award.

When the former interior minister was removed from his cabinet portfolio many have speculated that he was given a lot of money to influence the awarding of the contract to SEMLEX; eventhoug such speculations were dismissed. But six month later the same government is considering awarding them the same contract with additional documents to be produced; this our voter cards.

The other question is how transparent is the awarding of the new contract to SEMLEX when the deadline for the two parties to submit their applications was 4th January 2018; and how come is the ministry able to send a letter to CEO of SEMLEX on the 25th January 2018 barely less than 24 hour saying government has agreed in principle to award his company the production of these documents.

How can our government award the production of our national documents to SEMLEX a company under police investigations; and more importantly our voter cards? Is it not worrying that our voter cards could be tempered with? There are lots of speculations that a new splinter party will soon emerge. Our government should bold enough to come and clear the air on the subject before us.

Governments world over would choose to work with credible companies and organizations; the Daily News cannot understand why our government would deal with a company that is under police investigations, especially a company that is dealing with an important national document like our voter cards and IDs.

Government should first clear the air surrounding the awarding of the contract to SEMLEX as it do not seem to be transparent. The two restricted companies to bid did not have the opportunity for their bids to be opened in their presence.

The new government should championed dealing transparently with parties who are looking forward to winning contracts and if that did not happen then something is fundamentally wrong and need to be corrected now.

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