Rohey Malick Lowe

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Rohey Malick Lowe (born 19 December 1971) is a Gambian politician who has served as the capital city Banjul's mayor since May 2018 and is the first woman elected to the position.

Early life and education[edit]

Rohey Malick Lowe was born on 19 December 1971 in Banjul, then known as Bathurst.[1] Her father, Alhagie Malick Lowe, was mayor of Banjul from 1981 to 1983.[1][2][3] She attended St Joseph's High School.[1] In 2012, she moved to Europe and studied International relations at the University of Falun in Sweden.[1][4]

Mayor of Banjul

Career[edit]

Lowe worked as a food and beverage controller in a number of hotels before setting up her own business, "Wa Kerr Rohey", supplying the hotel industry with cleaning materials.[1] She became a member of the Social Democrats while living and studying in Sweden and served on the Child Welfare Committee of Nyköping Municipality.[1]

Lowe returned to The Gambia in 2017 and was a founding member of the United Democratic Party.[1] She was selected as the UDP candidate for mayor of Banjul and in her campaign spoke of a "twenty two year neglect" of the city that was "in bad shape."[5][6]

Lowe was elected mayor of Banjul on 12 May 2018, the first female to hold the position since the establishment of the city in 1816.[2][7] The polls were the first mayoral election since the ouster of President Yahya Jammeh in December 2016.[2] Lowe defeated eight other candidates including incumbent Abdoulie Bah and another woman, Lizzie Eunson, a banker who ran as an Independent.[8][5] The Independent Electoral Commission certified the result, describing the election as free, fair and transparent, despite low voter turnout.[8] Lowe received 2,836 votes to Bah's 2,292 and Eunson's 1,576.[8][9] Lowe said her top priorities included sanitation, municipal economy and public infrastructure.[6] In remarks at her inauguration, she said despite her being a member of a political party, "Banjul City Council will never again be an extended wing of any political party."[7]

In December 2018, Lowe was nominated for Congress to replace Tombong Saidy, but withdrew her candidature after a lukewarm response from delegates.[10]

In March 2019, Lowe allocated D10 million of her own money to the Rohey Malick Lowe Women's and Girls' Empowerment Initiative in cooperation with Guarantee Trust Bank in fulfilment of a campaign promise to empower the women of Banjul.[11]

In March 2019, Freedom Newspaper reported that Lowe had been jailed in Germany in the 1980s on "alleged drug related issues", and was later involved in litigation after accusing a prison warden of sexual assault.[12] Lowe responded by saying, "I saw the newspaper that is circulating. If the person, who wrote the story understands German, he will know that I haven’t done anything wrong. I was violated. I am not going to dignify what they are saying."[13]

Personal life[edit]

Lowe married Mboge Saidykhan, a Protocol and Welfare Officer at the Embassy of Gambia in Washington DC, on 12 May 2019.[14] She was previously divorced.[14] Lowe is a Muslim[1][14] and she speaks English, Swedish, Mandinka and Wolof.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Jallow, Fatoumatta K. (24 April 2018). "On Female Mayoral Aspirants: Rohey Malick Lowe Speaks". Foroyaa. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Alfa Shaban, Abdur Rahman (13 May 2018). "Gambia capital Banjul elects first female mayor: Rohey Malick Lowe". Africa News. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Gambie : Rohey Malick Lowe, première femme élue maire de Banjul". Jeune Afrique (in French). 14 May 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Gambie: Rohey Malick Lowe, première femme à être élue maire de Banjul" (in French). RFI Afrique. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b Kiunguyu, Kylie (14 May 2018). "Gambia: The Gambia's Capital City Banjul Elects First Female Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe". All Africa. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b Waweru, Nduta (14 May 2018). "Gambia's capital makes history by voting first female mayor". Face 2 Face Africa. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b Bah, Muhammed S. (23 May 2018). "'BCC Will Never Be A Hub For Politics' Mayoress Lowe". Foroyaa. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Camara, Arfang M. S. (14 May 2018). "UDP's Rohey Lowe wins Banjul Mayoral race". The Point. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Mayors Mayoresses Elections Final results". Independent Electoral Commission Gambia. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Banjul Mayoress Rohey Lowe withdrew her candidature to challenge Tombing Saidy in Sunday's Congress amid failed efforts by the Banjul delegates to dislodge Saidy". Freedom Newspaper. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  11. ^ Dem, Fatou (4 March 2019). "Mayoress Rohey Lowe allocates D10M to Banjul women". The Point. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Gambia Mayoress who recently met Ivanka Trump was not only jailed in Germany on drug related issues but she also accused German prison wardens of sexual abuse". Freedom Newspaper. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Banjul Mayoress says she will not dignify reports linking her to past drug related imprisonment". Freedom Newspaper. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Love Affair at UDP Turns a Marital Situation; as Banjul Mayoress marries Diplomat Mboge Saidy-Khan". Freedom Newspaper. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Lord Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe". The10th Tel Aviv Cities Summit. Retrieved 10 June 2019.