Unconfirmed reports reaching The Fatu Network has it that dictator Yahya Jammeh has dissolved all municipal police in the country with immediate effect. This move according to sources came after the dictator during his dialogue with the people tour accused members of the municipal police of corruption.
Dictator Jammeh has asked that the sacked municipal police officers be paid a six months’ salary with gratuity and be stopped from reporting to work immediately. Meanwhile, twenty police officers led by a senior police officer are currently manning the KMC and other municipalities. The Municipal police are not as many as the police. Sources say they are only a little over a hundred officers.
Municipal Police are law enforcement officers under the control of The Ministry of Local Government and Lands. They are tasked with collecting rates from vendors at markets and making sure that vendors stay away from pavements. It was first introduced in The Gambia between 1999 and 2000 when Lie Conteh was the mayor of The Kanifing Municipal Council. This came after the work load was too much on the police that they could not handle the municipalities especially the KMC which is the biggest.
Ex-servicemen were the first to join the force who also brought a wealth of experience with them. This is not the first time Jammeh is clashing with the municipalities. The first one was last year when he asked that rates and taxes be paid directly to The Gambia Revenue Authority, GRA.
The move did not only make municipalities redundant, it also kept the staff without salary for a few months and kept their offices without basic needs like electricity etc. That decision was later reversed by the dictator through a press statement from his office.