By Nelson Manneh
The women of Kembujeh Village in the Kombo South District of the West Coast Region, on Monday January 7th 2019, told the Constitutional Review Commissioners (CRC) who were on their consultation meeting in that village, that the proposed new Constitution should make provision for the establishment of an Agriculture and Lands Commission to aid their horticultural endeavours.
The women told the CR Commissioners that as farmers, they live by their labour; that an Agriculture and Lands Commission should be the first sector to be considered in the proposed new Constitution, because farming is the main source of the livelihood of the vast majority of Gambians.
Jalika Ceesay, also of Kambujeh village, said she is a farmer; that any Constitution for the country, is made for the people, and should support and empower them to make sure that their farmlands are protected and market outlets provided for their produce.
“Our gardens are not properly fenced. We do not have access to proper road infrastructure, storage facilities and market outlets. So, the Agriculture Commission when established, will help to solve some of these problems,” she said.
Ebrima Manneh another farmer in Kembujeh village, said the Gambia is losing its flora and fauna; that there should be a provision in the proposed new Constitution to protect the country’s lands and forest and natural resource cover.
“Look at the surroundings of Kembujeh and other villages. We lost all our trees and good farmlands,” he said. Manneh in response to these and other issues like the death penalty, said the death penalty should be revoked and replace with life imprisonment. He added that free education is not the solution to the Education sector of the country, but a change of the whole education policy instead.
Regarding the participation of prisoners in the electoral process, Alagie Bojang said they should not vote; that the appointment of Alkalos, Chiefs and Governors, should be by elections and not by appointment from the President. “The Governor of Central Bank and the Auditor General, should be nominated by the president and scrutinized by National Assembly Members,” he said.
Regarding the qualification for the post of president and member of the National Assembly, the majority in Kembujeh village agreed for this to be moved to another to an advanced diploma level from the Gambia or any credible College or tertiary Institution.