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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Democracy is a messy business

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Without a doubt, democracy and the rule of law engender a lot of progress and development for a nation.

Equally true though is the fact that it can sometimes be a tricky path to navigate.

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As the rule of law demands that law enforcement agencies do everything to keep the peace and maintain law and order; and, as true democracy entails giving everyone the right to hold a divergent view and the chance to express that view, sometimes there are bound to be clashes between these two ideals.

That is why sometimes people who wish to go out in the streets to express their views are seen as wanting to disturb the peace and start putting up fences, so to speak, to protect ‘us’ and the rest of society.

Those individuals similarly see that as a threat to their freedom and react in different ways. In these hard times, the lines sometimes get blurred and everyone is on edge.

Everyone should try to ensure that they remain within the confines of the law including law enforcement agents and agencies.

As a system is just as good as the people managing it, it is not unheard of for people to use the same laws to further their own agenda.

The police for instance, are humans like any other and are not immune from the disease of wanting to take revenge or do something that says ‘I told you so’.

The arrest of famous rapper/activist Ali Cham, commonly known as Killa Ace along with a dozen others has raised some eyebrows in the country.

The rapper/activist is well known for his uncompromising stance on police brutality where it exists.

Killa Ace is already battling a charge of police manhandling him and has been outspoken in his condemnation of what is seen as rights abuses by the Police Anti-Crime Unit of The Gambia.

Thus, it is not difficult to see how people will connect his latest arrest to his earlier run-ins with the police, the ACU in particular.

Thankfully, the courts in a democracy are supposed to be independent and thus, it is hoped that they will wade through this in a professional and nonpartisan manner and put it to bed quickly.

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