The Senegalese authorities on Thursday banned a demonstration planned for Friday, January 6 in Dakar by the opposition, to denounce irregularities in the management of an anti-Covid fund noted in a report by the Court of Auditors, it was reported. learned from official sources.
A decree of the prefect of Dakar invokes that "the place chosen [for the event] is the subject of major works" linked to a project for a bus running on exclusive lanes and the preparation of the Independence Day scheduled for April 4.
The Place de la Nation, planned for the demonstration, "is marked by a continuous presence of machines and workers which now makes it impossible to hold rallies, because of the risk of accident" and delay of the works, according to the text. The prefect indicates, therefore, "not able to give a favorable response" to the opposition's request.
Place de la Nation, near downtown Dakar, usually hosts demonstrations, such as the one on December 30, 2022 to appeal by civil society organizations against irregularities in the management of the anti-Covid fund.
“Failures” and “overbilling”
The main opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi (YAW, Let's Free the People in the Wolof language) had called for a demonstration on Friday to "challenge the way in which this government manages our public funds" and against "the democratic backsliding and impunity of men of power” .
An audit report from the Court of Auditors of Senegal, published in mid-December, relates to the expenditure made in 2020 and 2021 on the "Fund to respond to the effects of Covid-19" .
This fund, financed by the State of Senegal and international donors, is worth 1,000 billion CFA francs (1.5 billion euros) including more than 740 billion CFA francs (more than 1.1 billion euros) have been officially spent, according to the report.
The document pointed to “shortcomings” , “overbilling” , “lack of supporting documents” for expenses, some of which, moreover, are “not linked to Covid” .
The government defended itself by emphasizing that the breaches reported relate to less than 1% of the total amount of the fund and promised to follow the recommendations of the Court of Auditors which requested the opening of judicial inquiries against officials in ministries.