For the first time since its establishment in early December 2020, the National Transition Council held its first session of questioning of ministers of the Republic. It was on Thursday 11 February in the Djeli Baba Sissoko room of the CICB. A plenary session during which some members of the NTC questioned ministers on the burning issues of the day, including the protection of the school environment against Covid-19, the demolition of some concessions near the airport area of Bamako Sénou and Decree No. 20047 PT-RM of December 31, 2020 setting the amount of the bonus to 207,500 CFA francs for health personnel involved in the fight against Covid-19 in Mali. At the helm were the Minister of National Education, Doulaye Konaté, the Minister of Land Affairs, Urban Planning and Housing, Dionkè Diarra and the Minister of Health and Social Development, Mrs. Soumaré, Dr. Fanta Siby.
Last week, the CNT (National Transition Council) opened the ball rolling on one of its main missions as a legislative body. It is the interpellation of members of the Government on burning issues of the day.
For this first democratic exercise, the members of the National Council of Transition wanted to enlighten the lantern of national public opinion on issues relating, among others, to the protection of the school environment against Covid-19, the demolition of certain concessions in the airport zone and the provisions of Decree N°20047 PT-RM of 31 December 2020 fixing the amount of the bonus at 207,500 F CFA for health and security agents.
Putting double bite against the Covid19 in the school area
In the field of Education, AdamaFomba, spokesperson for the synergy of the signatory unions of 15 October 2016, member of the CNT, called on the Minister of National Education, Pr Doulaye Konaté. The questioning concerned, among other issues, the management of Covid-19 in the school environment, the measures taken by the government to protect learners and teaching staff against the Coronavirus pandemic, the respect of barrier measures in all schools in Mali, the provision of all schools in Mali with means of protection. But also to find out whether the government has involved the school’s partners in the decision-making process that led to the opening of classes, what it plans to do in the event that this Coronavirus disease appears in the Malian school environment.
In response to Mr. Fomba’s concerns, the Minister of National Education reassured on the implementation of barrier measures in the school space to secure teachers, students and administrative staff. He stated that: « the government has made available 3 million 450,000 protective masks when classes resume. We will in any case try to insist that teachers and administrative staff keep as far away from the school as possible, including during breaks. In addition to these measures, Minister Konaté recalled that it has been instructed that the new school year will start in all schools in the Republic with a model lesson on the Covid19 . A lesson that must be repeated fairly regularly. He also pointed out that the administrators have been instructed to set up a monitoring committee in each school and in each class, responsible for monitoring the strict application of these barrier measures.
Despite these clarifications from the Minister of Education, CNT member Fomba says he notes shortcomings in this protection mechanism in several schools near the capital. However, the Minister invited the member of the CNT not to present a catastrophic situation likely to create panic where it does not exist. Before recognising that there are efforts to be made.
Demolition of concessions in the airport zone, a legal measure
During the same plenary session, the oral questions addressed to the Minister of Land Affairs and Urban Planning by Mr. Aboubacar Sidick-Fomba, aimed at enlightening the Malians on the recent demolitions carried out by the government. This member of the CNT in his interpellation wanted to know the real reasons for this demolition especially during this period, he said, particularly difficult for everyone.
The minister concerned, Mr. Djonkè Diarra, reassured on the legal nature of the operation which according to him, should take place long ago. And to reaffirm that those who have left this area having built illegally are not entitled to compensation. He went on to say that the state is very sensitive to the situation of the very poor among them and is in the logic of ensuring them a minimum care. This operation, said the Minister of Urbanism, was defined on an area of 1,660 hectares. « It was launched by my predecessor in order to shed light on the illegal restriction in the airport domain. The Minister of Domain and Land Affairs commissioned a destruction mission. We commissioned one of his destruction reports and this was transmitted to the Head of State. In reaction, the President of the transition instructed the Minister in charge of Domains and Transport to implement all the recommendations of this report which, according to him, simply said to proceed with the demolition of illegal constructions, » Dionkè Diarra clarified.
As for the Minister of Health and Social Development, she was questioned by the same Aboubacar Sidick-Fomba about the anti-Covid measures, especially the decree N° 20047 PT-RM of 31st December 2020 fixing the amount of the bonus at 207,500 per person, paid once only for 25. 664 agents of the Ministry of Health and Social Development. The latter wanted to know the criteria that led to this choice and said it noted the absence of private structures on the list of establishments.
« How can you explain this arbitrary situation when some of these structures are listed among the establishments concerned by the hospital law? « he asked the supervisory minister.
In response, Dr Fanta Siby, Minister of Health, will say that, as the administration is a continuity, this process started before the current government. And that arrangements had been made at the time. « These provisions were related to the speeches, to the strict respect of the content of the President’s speech, which concerned all public sector personnel, including those of the police and civil protection who are involved in this Covid-19 struggle, » said Minister Fanta Siby. In her intervention to elucidate Mr. Fomba’s concerns, she said that private personnel are also taken into account in another measure to mitigate the adverse effects of this pandemic.
Addressing the President of the National Transitional Council, she said: « Mr. President, we have considered everyone, everyone without exception, so we have not differentiated between health workers.
This plenary session was not only a first for the CNT, but also for the members of the Transitional Government to respond to an interpellation. A baptism of fire was successful.