Breaking News:Gambia’s President In a Major Land Scandal-British Firm Reached A Deal With Gov’t!

Gambia’s President In a Major Land Scandal-British Firm Reached A Deal With Gov’t!
Sanyang, Bijolo And Other Lands Put On Sale
By Our Correspondent Famara Jammeh

President Jammeh in land sale through UK firm

Investigations conducted by the Freedom Newspaper have revealed a shady deal of the sale of Gambian tourism development reserved land by President Yahya Jammeh through a UK firm.
The corruption scandal of the sale of land when the paper received a tip-off that President Yahya Jammeh has hired the services of an international real estate company with sub-labellings; “… large two bedrooms with suits in Sanyang village”.
A close associate of President Jammeh who wished not to be named for fear of reprisal hinted a mass demarcation and sale of land that President Jammeh recently ceased from the locals of Sanyang.
According to the official, the genesis of the land seizure debacle mushroomed few months ago when the President personally engaged in a scuffle with his former Lands minister, Manlafi Jarju, over a piece of land they both claimed was given them. Many a questions arose from within the awesome stricken Gambian public when the President even ordered the state prosecutors to charge former minister Jarju for “stealing the President’s land”, in summer 2006.
What even baffled the pedestrian on the Banjul/Serrekunda highway was the simmering fact that a sitting president could stop so low to fight over who should own a land taken from poor farmers.
Albeit the criticisms and indifference of the Former minister Jarju, President Jammeh, without a shrug, pursued the case with a view to not only solely take the land who had also used his ministerial position to syphon it from the villagers, but lock him up.
Much the president’s chagrin, the villagers testified in court branding the President against the President’s claim that the former minister had stolen his land. They informed the court that the land in dispute was indeed given to the former minister and that it was not shared between the two powerful men of authority, leading to the acquittal of the accused.
The Freedom Newspaper has been informed that soon after that public humiliation of, perhaps Africa’s most corrupt and brutal dictators, he sent his much feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to warn the villagers of the possible repercussion of their act. In a bid to avert a prospective calamity, the villagers scissored a vast piece of their remaining communal land to allocate to the President.
Now, barely six months after the secret seizure of the land of the villagers of the tourist resort area, President Jammeh has developed almost half of the large area of land and began selling it while the other portion is being developed.
President Jammeh, last year, send a Bill to parliament to ask permission for him and his ministers to engage in business which was hitherto restricted from them. Following the enactment the much criticized Bill, he immediately threw his gauntlet into the real estate industry which has affected many families and communities in The Gambia through his random seizure of land.
This attitude of the iron-fisted president also created a bitter scuffle when he seized a land between the Kiti and Siffoe. The president claimed the huge chunk of land which he claimed he intended to use for agriculture, was given to him by some families in those two communities. But a fierce ensured resluting in some people wounded as many families who were affected refused to endorse the transfer of the land to the president.
Again, President Jammeh, used force to get the land by ordering the arrest and detention of the leftist ones in the land saga, before they were released by a court. And yet again, he refused to relinquish the land even though it as tearing families apart. Initially, before he started using the land for his real estate and agriculture business, his ruling party, the APRC, used the thickery on it to secretly train militarily, its youth wing, the “green Boys”, who orchestrated regular attacks on opposition supporters in the country.
Currently, the president’s land that is under sale is being sold in US Dollar and not the national denominator, the Gambian Dalasi, an apparent reminder of the paradox in the Central Bank of The Gambia rule that such shouldn’t hold.
Among the buildings ready for sale are “large 2 bedroom properties on a complex in Sanyang”. The information we received indicated that there are 8 bungalows on the complex sharing a large communal swimming pool, reception and cars with drivers. The dossier of President Jammeh that contains the real estate information also indicates that the properties on sale in Sanyang include large two bedrooms with en-suites, large kitchens and lounges. Further more, the properties on the complex also have fitted washing machines, ‘fridge freezers’ and gas cookers.
With these findings on President Jammeh’s land deals the questions that are left to linger in the minds of Gambians are: are Gambians going to benefit from the sales tax? Why is President Jammeh and his partners in the UK choosing dollar and not even its dalasi equivalent? For how long will President Jammeh keep on using people’s land for his private business?
Editor’s note: We promise to put more to light on this scathing corruption scandal if we have any more information about it. We will follow it to the very end. All rights reserved. We have noticed that some people and their organizations are engaged in culling or re-writing or stories without permission or credit. We warn any such per son to desist from such.

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Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 (Archive on Wednesday, April 25, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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