March 30, 2018 will always be a black day for UCLG Africa; the day when its President, the elected MP and Mayor of Dakar, Mr. Khalifa Ababacar Sall, received a sentence of 5 years in prison after having been cleared of charges of embezzlement; charges which led to his arrest.
We are not qualified to comment on a court’s decision, however we regret that this ruling did not do justice to the fact that Khalifa Sall was found innocent of the charge of embezzlement, with the alleged fault being one of complicity in forgery and the use of false documents.
In truth, a first judgement doesn’t mean the case is over. We have since learned from the press that the protagonists are intending to make an appeal.
For UCLG Africa, this does not change the functioning of the leadership of the organization. Under our constitution, the members of UCLG Africa are legal persons. In this case, it is the city of Dakar, represented by its mayor that holds the position of President of the organization. As such, there is no power vacuum in our Executive Committee, the political body, which directs UCLG Africa.
All we want is that justice is fair, so that justice is credible in a state like Senegal, which should after all represent the rule of law.
Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI,
Secretary General, UCLG Africa