EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: The Constitutional Review Commission –CRC- is on its second phase of public consultation on the draft Gambian constitution with a meeting held at Kaur, in Central River Region on Wednesday.
The Commission was established as per the Constitutional Review Commission Act that was passed on 13 December 2017 by the National Assembly and assented to by the president on 13 January 2018.
Chairman Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow said the consultation is to present to the people what they discussed with them before the drafting of the constitution during their first meeting, saying if the draft is approved by Gambians it will the final constitution.
“If you confirm your positive words that you gave to us during the first meeting to be put in the constitution, it will become the supreme law in the country. There are many things in the draft constitution. Some are from you and some from us.”
Commission Lamin Camara pointed out three important parts of the draft, starting with the country’s sovereignty which, he said is from the citizens, saying that all religions in the country are equal. “You requested that we should include citizenship, power of citizens, devolution of power and most importantly human dignity to be part of the constitution. We said any one working for in The Gambia shall work in the interest of the people in transparency and accountability manner in order to protect the county’s’ economy.’’
He said in the draft, a person is considered as a Gambian when he is born in or outside the country but one of his parents is a Gambian. “To apply to be a Gambian citizen, one have to stay in the country for 15 years without problem but will stop using the other country’s documents depending on the agreement between the two countries.”
Mr Camara said children who are born in the country but both parents did not have Gambian documents the National Assembly will decide on that area.
He said a leadership shall be trustworthy, grateful and know that he or she is in that position for the people and if that particular leader travels and receive gift, upon return that gift shall be published.
Mr Camara said the draft constitution dictates that there will be free education up to high school level which is been approved by government. “Elders are also considered in the draft because they are important in the country. They shall be respected and well taken care of. The youth shall be educated and will have access to skill trainings for them to benefit themselves and they shall be protect from hard labor and abused.”
Kaur Warf town Alkalo, Mustapha Njie said a leader have to be transparent and give equal treatment to all.
Mariama Bah of Kermai requested for the constitution to empower women, particularly in farming.
Story written by Amie Faye