By Baba Sillah
Dr Tamsir Mbowe, the former director of Jammeh’s controversial Presidential treatment programme, was summoned by the Janneh Commission in connection with the programme initiated by Jammeh in January 2007.
The programme under which Jammeh claimed he could cure AIDS with herbs, was much criticized around the world and recently by his own patients who claimed it led to deaths among them.
But in his testimony, Dr Mbowe claimed that to the best of his knowledge, the treatment was successful and the number of deaths was not more than six.
He said Jammeh was the chief doctor and he, Mbowe, was the clinical expert.
He said he has no idea whether Jammeh was registered as a medical doctor. Dr Mbowe however pointed out that as director of the treatment, he was paid by Jammeh a salary of D1, 500. He told the commission that he did not have access to some of the records of the treatment programme.
Dr Mbowe further testified that he was verbally appointed by Jammeh and has no idea whether he was exempted from tax.
According to him, about 48 staff were appointed by Jammeh for the programme but he has not got the record of the staff but was asked by Commission Counsel, Amie Bensouda to provide the list of all the staff and the vehicles allocated for the programme.
Mbowe who also once served as Jammeh’s Health Minister said he was appointed to monitor the clinical condition of the patients.
Dr Mbowe also expounded that an account was opened for the programme which he was a signatory to with Ansumana Jammeh and one Nyima Badgie.
He confirmed signing a cheque and the donation of funds by some institutions for the treatment programme.
He explained that the funds were used to buy group uniform for the treatment programme and other medical items as well as food stuff for which he said was operated at State House , Ndemban clinic and Kanilai until 2017 when Jammeh went into exile.
According to him, Ndemban clinic was served as a registration centre for the patients and was well equipped and functional at the time of the treatment programme.