IGP Landing Kinteh

(Jollofnews)- Authorities in the Gambia have warned against any protest at the busy Westfield junction against the continuous power and water shortages.

A group of Gambians had planned to gather at the WestField junction and hold a peaceful assembly against the state owned National Water and Electricity Company (Nawec).

Organisers have used social networking sites to reach out to discontent Gambians and have also applied for a police permit in accordance with the country’s archaic public order laws.

But the Inspector General of Police Landing Kinteh said: “After a thorough and careful review of the request, the office the IGP has decided not to grant the request for protest/demonstration, for the fact that it is likely to cause the breach of the peace.

In view of the above, the general public especially those intending to take part in these proposed demonstration are hereby warned to desist from such actions. Thus any attempt to hold such demonstration will constitute an unlawful assembly and then police will therefore apply the full force of the law in dispersing any such a gathering or assembly as provided by Section 5(2) of the public Order Act Cap 22:01 Volume 4 Of the laws of the Gambia (2009).

The right to peaceful is guaranteed by the Gambian constitution, but restricted by the country’s Public Order Act introduced by the then colonial government in 1955 to “circumvent those who wish to create a breach of the peace, or to take into themselves powers of control which rest property in the hands of government.”

Ironically, while in opposition, both the country’s new Interior and Foreign Affairs ministers have spoken out against the law and have accused the previous regime of Yahya Jammeh of using it to strengthen its grip on power.