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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Letters to the Editor

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Open letter to Ummah Welfare Trust 

Dear Editor,

We the college of imams are delighted to extend our gratitude and appreciation to Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) for the lofty activities it is carrying out for the welfare of Muslims in The Gambia, especially for the annual financial allocation UWT makes for Arabic/Islamic teachers and imams.

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Amana, which your organisation entrusted with the task of distributing your financial donation to the imams of the country, conducted the operation through the Supreme Islamic Council last year with no strings attached.

However this year, it came as a surprise that the council is requiring the imams to fulfill certain conditions before they are eligible for the financial largesse. Among the conditions is that the mosque of the recipient imam must be registered with the council and that the imam must be willing to work closely with the council.

We believe that UWT, as the fund provider, did not impose these inclement requirements. On the contrary, it is the council’s machinations to force all imams to pledge full allegiance to the council given that its composition is considered unIslamic and undemocratic, therefore illegitimate, by many imams, to say the least.

Furthermore, the council hardly mentions UWT’s name as the donor of the financial allocation.

We therefore reckon such a move is unethical since it is tantamount to blackmail. We believe UWT entrusted Amana with the responsibility as custodian and distributor only of the former’s funds. If there are any conditions to be fulfilled, they should emanate from the donor, namely, UWT. The council, which is not even the repository of the funds, is requiring from the Imams conditions of eligibility according to the council’s own terms. This, we believe, goes contrary to the principles of equity and fairness.

We the concerned imams want ummah to understand that the council, under its current formation, is considered illegitimate by the vast majority of imams of The Gambia. Consequently, the conditions imposed by the council will further exacerbate a festering division and acrimony between the vast majority of Imams and the heads of the traditional madrassas on the one hand and the council on the other.

In light of the foregoing, we request the indulgence of UWT to consider the matter with the urgency it requires and come up with a remedy that would immediately defuse the tension unnecessarily created by the council’s controversial move.

We avail ourselves of this opportunity to extend to UWT the assurances of our highest consideration and esteem.

College of Concerned Imams

The Gambia

Who are behind this dumb conspiracy

against Rambo Jatta and the APRC executive?

Dear Editor,

How logical is Alagie Sanyang, Rambo Jatta’s accuser of bribery to tell the police that after the APRC first deputy party leader paid him the D30,000 bribery money, Rambo immediately seized his phone and deleted all his numbers used to call him before their meeting at Lamin? Really Alagie? How stupid does he think his police interrogators were?

But as important and rather arrogant as the behaviour of Rambo was, I think that part of his story should have featured clearly in his first video and not to wait until the police cornered him with producing the evidence of his phone records. Hey, was the unorthodox behaviour of Rambo not in contradiction with his boastful remarks that he had before their nightly meeting at a gas station in Lamin adequately prepared himself for any kind of confrontation with “Rambo, the so-called Jatto Jatta” as he put it? That he was never scared of Rambo in anyway and form. Wasn’t he instead a classic weakling to allow Rambo to confiscate his phone and delete all incriminating numbers?

I am sure that unsophisticated Alagie doesn’t know that once a call is placed from one phone to another the evidence is instantly recorded and printable by the server. No amount of “fitti-fitti or fatta fatta” – borrowing Essa Faal’s warnings to witnesses at the TRRC – will make those phone records and the times they were placed disappear into thin air. In my view it is fair to conclude that the whole thing was a cheap conspiracy against Rambo and the APRC executive funded by bunch of low IQ folks and a very dumb one for that matter.

Samsudeen Sarr

Banjul

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