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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Letters to the Editor


Dear editor,

I’m pretty sure that pre 1965, when grandpa Jawara was in his veterinary office looking through the window with dissatisfaction, he must have said if I become the president……. and my godfather with his camouflage pre 1994 on the back of the pickup en route to Banjul sure said similar as did Barrow in his Majum office on the passage of the long black car some nine months ago.
Whatever may be the hidden secret embedded in the corridors of power, the truth remains that there is a circus of transformation like the Oxford circus in England with irresistible forces of transforming desires into retired wises.

Yes it is normal for the stubborn child of the house to always carry the blame like Jawara did to the colonial masters, Jammeh to Jawara, Barrow to Jammeh and for sure the succession chain will move on to Barrow with the next president.

However, on board this ambulance plugged into the mud, is not my sister going to a naming ceremony but a patient bearing pain who could be a woman in labour about to give birth to the nation’s future president.
The question though is, wouldn’t the $48M lab, the $50M conference centre, the D3M house rent, the first class air tickets and that spent on an office like this below and many other spending we are not privilege to know have been helpful in bettering the lives of the taxpayers particularly those in rural Gambia, some of whom do not even know their tax collectors nor see the usage of their collected tax.


Muhammed Teks Tekanyi

Dear editor,

Some of the revelations at the ongoing commission of inquiry into the financial dealings of the former president Yahya Jammeh clearly depict a criminally sophisticated President and a circle of unprincipled educated technocrats or elites who, without hesitation or regard for integrity and proper procedure, willingly carried out or implemented his directives to the letter.

Before trusting these officials to do his nefarious bidding, Jammeh might have made several ‘dry runs’ on them until he felt confident that they would do anything for him just to remain close to him. He studied the stuff they were made of. In fact there were reported tense races among these public officials as to who would sink deep to the bottom to win the tyrant’s favors. No wonder our Jammeh had no respect for educated folks as evidenced by ceaseless hiring and firing of civil servants.

With no knife held at their throats, how these enablers knowingly and repeatedly conducted back door transactions for Jammeh at the expense of every transparent protocol is beyond me. I do not believe they were forced or coerced into doing what they did; many of them were direct and willing participants in a systematic scheme to defraud the state while receiving various rewards for their cooperation. These people had ample chances to desert Jammeh but they decided to stay on until when they were fired and/or recycled.
By the end of the of the commission’s sitting, Gambians will get very close to knowing how some of our own country men and women woefully failed their citizens to appease one bloody dictator although you can’t put all the blame squarely on Jammeh alone.

The current Coalition government has to understand that any institutional reform that continues to cater for the same cadre of officials who were most instrumental in entrenching dictatorship in our country for 22 years is an abhorrent violation of the letter and spirit of change Gambians voted for. To sanitize the system, bold decisions will have to be made for the broader interest of the country without favor or ill-will.

Zakaria Konteh
Queens, USA

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