By Yankuba Jallow
Mai Ahmed Fatty, the Minister of Interior held his first ever monthly press conference at his office where he discussed issues pertaining to his office.
The press conference focuses on two main issues which are the bio-metric card and the forensic laboratory deal.
He said their main focus will be to train the security personnel such as police and immigration, fight and eliminate corruption in the security sector nationwide and sustainable and peaceful reintegration of the returnees from any part of the world will be of serious concern to the Ministry.
They are working towards rehabilitation of inmates because they believe that prisoners are not put in prison as a punishment but correcting them in order to be better citizens.
He announced that the Ministry has penned an agreement with private businessman in Senegal to establish a forensic lab which will help in the effective resolution of criminal cases through the provision of expert and scientific evidence.
He said they have a desire to review the salaries and grading structures of the country saying the condition of service personnel domicile is disheartening. He added that this will be done with a target of promoting the living condition of the service personnel by improving their living condition and salary increment.
Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty said the Gambia government has not contributed a butut in the forensic Lab scheme adding that it is purely private investment. He said as hotel investors, the forensic lab is also private investment by a private investor.
The Minister in his bold state said that the investor came privately and was not invited by the government and the Company is incorporated in The Gambia. He said the establishment of the Forensic Lab in the country will be a thing of great benefit to the country as the State is facing challenges on issues relating criminal forensics and it has a very outstanding forensic analysis unit.
“The forty eight (48) million [dollars] is an estimate provided by the private developer” said Fatty. He said the Forensic Company is headed by a molecular scientist named Sheikh Tijan Sey who is a Senegalese. The name of the center will be Center for Diagnostic and Molecular Research and the government has provided them with a land.
According to Minister Fatty, the purpose of establishing a Forensic Science Center is to support law enforcement and provide a data base that will assist in solving crime.
“This centre was envisaged in the Gambia not to solve crime in the Gambia alone but to services the rest of Africa and the world” said Fatty.
The centre will serve as a training center for security personnel and also serve as a food testing center.
“The Gambia is a training partner and we will use the Center for national service and the Gambia government will pay for service” said Minister Fatty.
On the prisons, Minister Mai Fatty said the focus of the Prison should be developing the inmates and not to serve as a place for penal. He said they are considering constructing a prison center where any inmates when released would be reform and better citizens who will work for the betterment of the society. When one goes to prison without a skill, Mai said he or she will come out with a skill.