Gambia’s Corruption Rate Undermines National Security!
 The Gambia has been ranked as one of the most corrupt nations in Africa. A very bad rating ever recorded in our nation’s history. The Transparency International damning report is shocking to say the least. Our country is on the verge of topping the list of corrupt nations across the globe. Our country has been named as a corrupt nation with little chances of meeting the millennium goals. Under Yahya Jammeh’s, watch we are not assured of a corruption free society. Graft is at its peak. The Ruling APRC is worse than the deposed PPP government in terms of corruption and right abuses. From 1994 to date, millions of dollars have found its way into the pockets of corrupt government ministers including the commander-in-chief President Yahya Jammeh. Gambia’s future is indeed bleak. There is no hope for its citizens. The government has failed its people as a nation.

If the Transparency report is to go by the the Gambian people should forget about the so called vision 20-20 development program designed by the government. The APRC “DRIMOS”  are milking our nation’s scare resources. The country’s corruption rate is growing at an alarming proportion.

Sometimes, we tend to question the patriotism of President Jammeh and his bunch of thieves running the helm of state affairs at the Quadrangle in Banjul. If President Jammeh was  patriotic as he wants to make us believe he wouldn’t have allowed few people in government holding the country into ransom. Today, most of the government ministers in the Gambia will not signed developmental projects if not bribed with kickbacks. Investors are being frustrated by the graft menace undermining our nation’s development. Not that these investors don’t want to invest in the Gambia, but they are not assured of conducive business climate. The government which is expected to woe them to stay in this country, are instead scaring them with unfinished kickback demands. We have seen instances where government officials would delayed projects due to lack of kickbacks. The aggrieved investors at the end of the day resort to moving their projects to other countries where their business interest would be protected.

The President himself is at the centre of the graft “Cancer” facing our beloved country. If he can own properties in Morocco, Guinea and elsewhere across the sub-region, what would stop the likes of Yankuba Touray, Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy, Neneh Macwdowl Gaye, Omar Fye, and others to behave otherwise. We must hasten to add that it’s is morally wrong for the above named officials to imitate the President for the mere fact that Jammeh has been duped as a “THIEF.” Jammeh being a thief don’t warrant government officials to swindle our nation’s coffers into their own personal use. Gambia’s current corruption crisis can be best  equated with the dreadful disease called HIV, the virus that causes aids. Official graft is undermining the nation’s national security and development. The government of the day should bear in mind that  a nation’s stability is usually measured by its economic and political freedoms. There is no point for Jammeh to seat at the state house when our people are being denied development and their constitutionally guarantee rights. Graft leads to insecurity and underdevelopment as rightly pointed our by a state house insider the other day.

Our country is today confronted by two problems. One, the rising HIV/aids cases and official corruption. For this administration to be taken seriously it must clean its own house. Such a move would go a long way in winning the confidence of the donor community and investors. As the situation appears, it’s suicidal for any investors to contemplate spending your money in a country like the Gambia, where corruption is the order of the day. There is no cash control at the Treasury Department and at the Central Bank. Accountability is now a thing of the past. Finance officials who  questioned or monitored the government’s cash transfers or movements are usually fired or arrested. This, to some extent has undermined our micro finance projects. Cash is being borrowed from the state central bank without any evidence of payment from parties concerned. In some instances, monies collected are usually not documented.  The President and his team believe that they can collect foreign exchange from the bank without any form of documentation.

No wonder, that the Jammeh government is down playing the Transparency report at this hour with the arrest of Aziz Tamba and Kawsu Bojang. Each time a negative report card is issued against this administration, it would resorts to diverting people’s minds with news of arrests and sacking of public officials. Let face it. Our country is in trouble.  The “DRIMOS” at quadrangle should stop it and work for the betterment of our country. Corruption is every body’s business. Let fight it.  We rest our case.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 (Archive on Tuesday, December 19, 2006)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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