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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Letters: Re: State House driver palaver

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Dear editor,
How can a driver at State House be issued a diplomatic passport, admit to escorting another ineligible pursuer of a diplomatic passport to the foreign ministry to “ guide him on the process and ways of acquiring “ our nation’s highest level travel document and still be allowed to go home and give cheeky interviews taunting the Office of the President ? He is not entitled to a diplomatic passport and conspiring with others for the sole purpose of fraudulently acquiring the document for a similarly ineligible individual is a very serious criminal offense regardless of whether his motivation was financial or not .

He and all other culprits should be charged and prosecuted.

And what has been the reaction of his employers at State House ? A weird and nonsensical press statement that attempted to split hairs and hide behind vague language that the President’s self described driver is not really his driver and floating the possibility that he might be an employee of another sort incase it becomes public that he is still on government payroll.

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What kind of a situation are we in where a freaking driver can be accused of a serious crime regarding a document that requires Presidential approval and all we get is a tepid and lousy statement from the Presidency which the accused publicly and condescendingly dismissed as being untrue and contravening his purported firing ? How can this happen ? A driver disputing his firing after admitting to a conspiracy to help someone get a document they were not entitled to .

What kind of an operation do we have at State House ?
They similarly allowed a kid fronting for some shadowy foreign business interest to fly in from Spain and go straight to State House and pitch them a story that the entire Gambia government cabinet should be flown to Barcelona along with musicians and wrestlers as well as other hangers on to discuss the NDP.

What kind of a rational being would entertain such a patently silly idea coming from a stranger who simply smooth talked his way to the presidency and in a flash ministries were instructed to cooperate with this story .

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Thankfully, I expect the government to drop this Spain junket and spare the nation the expense and embarrassment of being associated with this affair .

The reason all these problems are emanating from State House is that the President has created an enabling environment complete with mediocre aides where access is trafficked like a commodity coupled with a frightening lack of understanding about how the world or a modern democracy works .

We are in very big trouble because this President is incapable of recognizing just how bad things are .

By Karamba Touray






Mr President, look at this list

Dear editor,

This is the list of things I have been advising the government to do, since last year.

1) Review and revise all investors agreements and include strict environmental laws.

2) Ban Chinese fishing on Gambian waters, otherwise, in our lifetime, the fish, our primary animal source of protein will will be depleted.

3) Revisit the 1970 Banjul Declaration and strenghten it.

4) Send a team to Asia and South American to study intermediate technology cooking methods so Gambia can ban all use of firewood and charcoal as energy, if not, we’re heading towards desertification when we strip all the land of trees.

5) Introduce burnt brick house construction so Gambia can ban all sand mining for construction purposes.

We don’t have infinite supply of sand for local use, not to speak exporting to China.

At this rate, we are soon going to turn our entire costal area into moon crater surface.

6) Immediately stop all mining and exportation of sand; black or non-black.

7) Introduce speed limits throughout the country; 25 mph in the greater Banjul area, extending all the way to Brikama and all residential areas around the country, and 65 mph on the highways. Get distance speed monitors from the US or UK and seek police referral from the US or UK to train Gambian police in their use.

8) Start a free 1800 number to report crimes and bribes.

9) Introduce another free 800 number for emergency ambulance and police calls.
President Barrow stop acting like an imperial president and start attending National Assembly meeting to answer questions.

10) Place all income generating agencies, SSHFC, GPA, Gamtel, etc, etc under a retainer, preferably an independent accounting firm to audit all of them.

Millions, if not billions are slipping through into private bank accounts of their management.

11) Immediately stand an anti-corruption unit in Gambia to finally curb this epidemic of corruption in the country.

12) Also stand up an Institutional Review Commission, which will work with the Constitutional Review Commission to strenghten our anti-corruption laws.

13) Finally, ban all cement wall fencing between properties/compounds and introduce tree planting instead.

Cement wall fencings are unnecessary and contribute to the degradation of our pristine beaches for holiday goers and citizens.

Besides, tree fencing has added environmental and economic benefits to the country; apart from beautifying, tree are major causes of rain.

14) I saw street congestion around Serekunda Market and thought I was watching a scene in Calcutta, India or Bangkok, Thailand in “Parts Unknown” with Anrhony Bourdain.

Surely this traffic congestion can be fixed, so why isn’t anyone thinking of how to make traffic flow seamlessly?

Mathew K Jallow

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