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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Gambia’s deteriorating economy exacerbated by the NAMs’ SUVs

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By Mamadi Sawo

I would like to express my opinion regarding the recent National Assembly saga. The purchase of a vehicles by the government worth over D2 million for NAMs is outrageous and uncalled for. It is incredibly disheartening to hear such news from our parliamentarians, especially during a time of economic hardship. Initially, I had hoped that they would prioritise actions to alleviate our suffering by implementing beneficial laws, but it seems that their primary objective is to maintain their positions.

When they came, the first thing they did was increase their salaries and allowances, while also creating unnecessary allowances to the detriment of the Gambian electorate. Moving further, they should have prioritised a cheaper car that could make their work easier instead of a D2.5 million luxury car, as the luxurious cars only provide comfort without any additional benefits. Currently, most of them have no clear agenda for their constituencies. This behavior is a shame on them. When you examine the situation, it appears that they are not committed to development, but rather focused on making money and providing for their families.

Why would they go for such expensive cars? In fact, the claim that they are paying 30% while taxpayers pay 70% is a self-inflicted wound. The government is using taxpayers’ money to pay the MPs. In this situation, they could have rejected the luxury cars and instead take their car allowance. It surprised me to hear some National Assembly members supporting this move, as they seem to have forgotten about the people who put them in power. The claim that government policy does not procure cheap cars is an insult to the average Gambians who struggle to afford three meals a day. What is wrong with driving cars that are worth a hundred thousand dalasi? While your position may be important, the economic well-being of the country should also be taken into consideration.

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In conclusion, the MPs’ decision to prioritize their own benefits over the needs of the Gambian people is shameful. Their focus on increasing their salaries, allowances, and acquiring expensive luxury cars is evidence of their lack of commitment to development and serving the electorate. Rather than prioritizing the welfare of the citizens who entrusted them with their vote, it appears the MPs are more concerned with personal gain and providing for their families. This behavior undermines their role as public servants and is a disservice to the country and its citizens.

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