By Amadou Jadama
For all his vocalisms, it seems President Barrow’s former driver, Mansa Sumareh, does not actually know what he wants.
Recently he set tongues wagging when he announced his desire to contest the Brikama Area Council chairmanship in next year’s local government election.
Now he wants the president to appoint him to cabinet as the Honourable Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment.
Sumareh who confirmed he barely finished grade school and who in fact is standing trial for fraudulently acquiring and selling diplomatic passports, told The Standard it is anomalous for the president to delay the appointment of a substantive minister to the important portfolio.
“I am urging President Adama Barrow to appoint me as Minister of Trade. If appointed, I will regulate the country’s business sector within months.
In fact the first minister who should have be appointed by the president in his cabinet should have been the trade minister as trade is the most important sector in the country. But since President Barrow reshuffled his cabinet, he has not appointed anybody in that ministry,” he said.
Asked why it would be wise counsel for the president to appoint him, Sumareh responded: “President Barrow should appoint me as the minister of trade because I am a businessman and I have experience in business and even President Barrow himself knows that. In real democratic countries, they [just] don’t appoint educated persons as ministers of trade. They appoint a person with experience in business and who have connections with investors so that they [investors] can bring their products in the country”.
On how he intends to deal with the paperwork being barely literate, he stated: “I graduated in form four in Basse. In fact, let me tell you, the ministry of trade does not need intellectuals, but people like me who have experience in business should be appointed to that position. Former President Jawara appointed people who were not educated but they served the country very well.
“All these educated people who were appointed as ministers of trade in this country were in the pockets of businessmen and that is why the prices of goods are increasing every day but they will never talk about it. They don’t have the country at heart; their interest is only to fill their pockets. Period.
“If President Barrow appoints me minister of trade, the business sector in this country will be regulated, and all the prices of the goods will go down, and all those scrupulous businessmen will leave the country within 24 hours forthwith or I resign. I have the country at heart and what is happing right now in the country, especially in the business sector, is very disheartening. These so-called intellectuals are not doing anything for the citizenry.
“If we want to control the price of commodities and to restore a vibrant business sector in the country, we must set up this kind of mechanism. These foreign businessmen operating in this country have created WhatsApp groups where they communicate across the country to fix prices.”