I would like to start by thanking Kerr-Fatou for the wonderful and insightful interview they conducted with VP Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang. The interview was well done and thanks to it, we were able to hear Mrs Tambajang, for the first time, explain in detail the reason of her sacking from the vice presidency. Mrs. Tambajang’s revelation that Dr. Mamadou Tangara, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Gambians Abroad, plotted to have her removed from office is just mind-blowing.
As a Gambian living in the United States of America where Dr. Tangara has served, for years, as the Gambian Ambassador to the U.N, I have heard from other fellow Gambians and read a lot from online media about him.
Mrs. Tambajang’s clear and straight-to-the-point narration of how she was removed from the vice presidency is coherent, truthful, and above all very damning against Dr. Tangara.
By naming His Excellency President Adama Barrow as the person who told her Dr. Tangara and Ousainu Darboe advised her firing, Mrs. Tambajang , who enjoys the reputation of being a truthful and straight-shooter, proves her sincerity.
How on earth would Mrs. Tambajang name H.E President Barrow in a fabricated story without fearing the consequences of such an action, particularly at a time when she enjoys cordial relations with him ? Why hasn’t the State House reacted to Mrs. Tambajang’s story to deny it? Why hasn’t Dr. Tangara, who almost took a week before responding in writing, published the receipts of the car rentals and all other expenses related to the VP’s trip? Why did Dr. Tangara handle the money allocated to the VP while the mission has a financial attaché? How on earth would an American car rental company refund someone $3,000 after duly agreeing with them on a price and charging them without any serious complaints on the cars or deficiency in customer service? Americans just don’t operate like that! What type of car rental would cost around $ 20,000 for two weeks ? An exotic car like Jaguar F-Type V8 S is rented in the USA for about $ 400 to $ 500 day!
Dr. Tangara’s written response falls short of providing readers with a convincing rebuttal of Mrs. Tambajang’s accusation and I strongly believe if there is a liar here, it is not the latter.
Dr. Tangara , instead of responding to the serious accusations of corruption and dishonesty leveled against him, tries to disrepute Mrs. Tambajang. The bulk of his written response is an attempt at destroying the reputation of Mrs. Tambajang and presenting her as a bitter woman who is angry for losing her position as vice-president of the Republic of The Gambia. Nothing is further from the truth. Mrs. Tambajang is still supporting the government and contrary to Dr. Tangara’s flagrant lie at the very first sentence of his written response that “Since the removal of Madam Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang from office as Vice President, she made numerous unguarded and unfounded allegations against me and other public officials regarding the motivations for her removal,” Mrs. Tambajang has been very quiet about her sacking from the VP position and talked , for the first time, about Dr. Tangara’s role in her removal from power during her interview with Kerr-Fatou.
Dr. Tangara has a lot of explanation to do. This is not the first time we are hearing stories of corruption related to him. A good friend of mine, a government employee once explained to me how a young and very intelligent Gambian official at the Gambian Mission at the U.N was “pushed out“ and transferred to another location because he was not accepting some of the practices at the Mission, particularly he would not allow a female non-Gambian employee of the mission ( who is said to be very close to Dr. Tangara) to abuse the money of the visas. Few months after I was told about the story, I read on FeedomNewspaper : BREAKING NEWS: TANGARA PICKED SECRETARY, FAATI, AND CO NAMED IN A $30,000 DOLLARS ALLEGED THEFT CASE AT THE GAMBIAN MISSION AT THE UN; GAMBIAN MISSION IN NY ASKED TO STOP ISSUING VISAS WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT! So, the story I was told was true!
I have heard some many other stories about Dr. Tangara, but I believe every individual’s private life is to be respected. I personally believe Dr. Tangara is not the right person for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Gambians need a person who is ethical and who enjoys spotless reputation to represent them in the international arena.
Mrs. Tambajang, for the work and selfless sacrifices she has done to topple a dictator and offer Gambians a clear path to democracy and economic development , will remain forever a beacon of courage and hope for all of us.
PS: Courage dictates Dr. Tangara sit with Kerr-Fatou and gives his version as well as publishing the receipts related to the car rental. Until then, I believe Mrs. Tambajang is the one telling the truth.