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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Concerns surrounding political appointments and qualifications


In recent times, a heated debate has emerged around the appropriateness of certain political appointments, particularly in light of personal scandals and perceived lack of qualifications. The case of Dou Sanno, whose nude pictures circulated widely, has drawn attention to the issue of suitability for state positions. While his appointment is criticised as political in nature, detractors argue that his education only extends to primary school, casting doubts on his qualifications for serving as an adviser to a president. One fundamental aspect of political appointments is the need for individuals to possess a certain level of expertise or knowledge relevant to their roles. Many argue that advisers to heads of state should have a foundational understanding, often requiring at least a college education. This perspective raises questions about whether those without such qualifications can effectively contribute to decision-making processes. The Dou Sanno incident underscores the unfortunate reality of individuals with questionable personal histories occupying significant political positions. The juxtaposition of a public figure with a past involving nude pictures raises concerns about the potential misuse of power. The accusations made in the aftermath of the photo leak, coupled with the absence of any legal action, imply a certain validity to the claims. These narrative fuels the perception that some individuals might exploit their positions to manipulate or coerce others, taking advantage of their authority. Opposition party leaders have seized upon this situation to question the government’s priorities and allocation of resources. Allegations of wasteful spending on appointees who exhibit limited proficiency in basic skills, such as spelling their own names or the word “orange,” have contributed to public frustration. Critics argue that these financial resources could be better utilized to address pressing societal needs, particularly in a country like The Gambia. In essence, the controversy surrounding Dou Sano’s appointment and the broader discourse on political qualifications reveal a complex interplay between personal histories, qualifications, and the responsibilities that come with holding state positions. As the public and policymakers continue to engage in these conversations, the issue of political appointments is likely to remain a focal point of discussions on governance, accountability, and the effective utilization of resources.

Lamin Samateh


The sad reality

We voted for development not embezzlement of public funds. We voted for peace and tranquility not crime and instability. We voted for change not continuation of the status quo.

Are the promises made by those in parliament fulfilled? Do they meet our expectation? Did they erase all the bad deeds of the previous government by their good deeds, or, are they worse? These are all questions that must be answered. I believe, to strengthen democracy and ensure that parliamentarians are responsible, we should hold them and public officials accountable.

It is rather unfortunate that most of our representative are hungry pockets who only care for themselves. How can we develop if we only care for ourselves and how to upgrade our families before leaving office to the detriment of the masses? I think it is high time we woke up from our slumber.

Not fulfilling our responsibilities, embezzling public funds, and failing the people at large seems like a common factor in the African continent and West Africa in particular. Hustling in another continent and helping in the development of their GDP has no effects on Africa but instead it deters its economic development. If only those in power create more job opportunities for youths, then the history of West Africa could have been different.

Where are the morals that our ancestors have left behind, who fought risking their lives for our liberation? Developing yourself when you are given the chance of developing your community or your country is ungratefulness, greed and unfaithfulness.  We should understand that what is morally and ethically wrong in our primordial publics should equally be wrong in our civic public. But the sad reality is that there are two publics in Africa unlike the West where there is one public and what is accepted in one’s personal and private domain as morally right is equally accepted in one’s public and civic life as rightful and the vice versa. 

Amira Jallow


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