Basse Association Communication on Mosque Project and Resolving the Challenges on the Ground.

05/05/2010 20:46

 Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 2pm US Eastern Time 

Attendees: Yoro Sanyang, Abdourahman Jallow, Michael Secka, Dawda Sankareh and Momodou B. Krubally (MB)  

Chairperson: Yorro Sanyang  

Secretary: Momodou Krubally  

Agenda:

  1. The mosque project:
    1. Discuss the communication breakdown and misunderstanding on the ground in Basse.
  2. Discuss the way forward

 

Opening:  

Mr. Yorro Sanyang opened the meeting by apologizing to Mr. Abdourahman Jallow, Michael Secka and Dawda Sankareh on behalf of BA executives for the confusion that was created due to lack of proper directions.  He reassured them that the executive will do a better job next time.  Special apologies were extended to Abdourahaman for the rumors and headache we caused him. He also notified the group that MB was also on the line but the folks in Basse were not able to hear MB. 

·         Yorro continued by stating that the purpose for his call was to help the team on the ground coordinate their efforts better and also work as a team.  He thanked Dawda for agreeing to continue on his role as a project manager and assured him that we will communicate with him better moving forward.   

·         Yorro advised Dawda that he was the elected Project Coordinator which gives him the authority to lead the project and represent BA effectively.  He cautioned him that this was a volunteer role just like the rest of the executive and that we are all answerable to the general membership. 

·         Yorro counseled Dawda that as a representative and a leader, people will sometimes attack him personally.  He advised him that to be effective, he Dawda needs to learn to take criticism and not feed into the unfounded rumors. 

·         Yorro continued that:

·         We are counting and expecting more from him Dawda and his team

·         We will give him better information and directions

·         That as the project manager, it is his choice to either work with only Michael and Abdourahman or add on more folks

·         That he should only take direction or information from BA officials and no other person/association has the authority to direct him and his team

·         That he should have the contacts for the President, Vice President, Secretary and other executives handy

·         That he can call any of the executive members by beeping them and they will call him back to answer questions and give him the necessary support. 

·         He again emphasized that all of us are answerable to the association and that transparency and accountability is required to motivate more Basserians to come on board.   

·         Yorro communicated to all three that for BA projects to succeed, they will have to work as a team and communicate effectively. 

·         In regards to the “Mosque Committee’s” argument that if President Jammeh can hand them D300, 000 to work with, then why can’t their own kids hand them D52, 000?  Yoro countered that unlike Jammeh, we/BA are answerable to our members. 

·         He advised them, especially Abdourahman to not hand over the cash to anyone unless directed by BA executives. 

·         Yorro commented that he has already spoken with Mr. Samba Johm who should be in Basse no later than Sunday, May 9, 2010.  Upon Samba’s arrival, he, Dawda, Michael and Abdourahman should meet with Alh. Kaw Yero Cham.  He would have spoken to Mr. Cham by then in detail.  He urged the four of them to rally the mosque committee and help communicate and come to an agreement with them. He urged them to solicit help from the Governor if they think that will be helpful. 

·         Yorro mentioned that depending on what the executive members decide, Samba Johm might get the cash from Abdourahman.  

·         Yorro urged the three to continue working on getting more local Basserians on board including approaching even Alh. Kaw Yero Cham to pay his D100.00 membership dues. 

·         At this point Mr. Michael Secka Jumped in to informed Yoro that the three of them are in good working relationship.  Michael mentioned that the real problem is within the mosque committee.  His observation is that there are two factions within the group, the mosque committee and the Imam’s group.  Both groups want the money in their hands before proceeding.  Michael cautioned for us to be careful and to come up with a good plan on the handling of the cash.  He suggested:

·         We open a bank account and allow them to work with the contractors after which they can send a detail report on the project.

·         Or if we give the cash to the mosque committee, include the three of them in the committee to enable them to get better information and send us updates and reports on the projects.  He cautioned that if we go with this option, we should conduct a hand over ceremony and invite the press to witness. He does not like this option as this give them less control, thus exposing us to possible embezzlement.

·         Michael concluded that we needed to send a delegation to Alh. Kaw Yero Cham to help explain our position to the committee.  In a way tell them the way we operate, without being disrespectful.  Abdourahman mentioned that it was Alh. Kaw Yero who ordered for the current project to stop.

·         Yero touched on the issue about the D1,500 from last year.  He urged Dawda to find out if the fund were with a specific person or if they had been embezzled.  Dawda expressed that his duty on that matter was simply listing the names.  He informed Yorro that the cash collected he thinks is with Mr. Alhagie Nyang and with Mr. Nyan in trouble with the authorities; it will be inhumane to ask him for money at this time.  Yorro then ask him to continue on mobilizing the youth on the ground and encourage them to pay their dues and be a part of BA and the development of the town. 

·         Dawda express that the biggest challenge with membership on the ground was due to the reason that folks in Basse do not agree with the decision to have their money taken to Banjul.  They felt that since the cash was intended for Basse, it only makes sense that it be kept in Basse. 

·         Yorro, again jumped in to remind Dawda that it does not matter where the money is saved at.  What matters is that the money went to BA and is being used towards Basse. 

·         At about 45 minutes into the discussion and right before the call disconnected, Yero reiterated to the three especially to Abdourahman to not hand over the cash to any one until he speaks with Samba Johm.  Yero concluded that he will discuss with Samba and Alh. Kaw Yero further and get back to Mike, Abdourahman and Dawda.  Abdourahman commented that now they feel like they have better information as he was with the impression that we were working with BYA and that BYA was included in the supervision of the projects.  Right after, the call disconnected. 

 

 

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