By Omar Bah
The Gambia Moral Congress leader has called for a political funding bill that will compel political parties to appear before the National Assembly to disclose their sources of funding. He said the bill should be subjected to public verification.
“It is important that we have a political funding bill. This bill will specify the methodology and means by which to determine contribution to political parties,” Mai Fatty told journalists on Wednesday.
The former Interior minister said there should be “a parliamentary session in the draft that will require political parties just like public institutions to come before parliament and explain and justify the spending and the acquisition of funds”.
“The bill should also compel political parties to publish their accounts on newspapers so that everybody knows how much is there; how it is spent; how they got it; who contributes what and whether it is coming from Gambians. When we do this, I think we will be able to sanitise the political process,” he said.
Fatty added: “The Gambia is among the most corrupt nations in the world. I know this, we all know this. Try to do any transaction in this country that requires money, you will be stuck because everywhere you go you will have to use money to open doors. There is mass quilt in terms of corruption because there are those who concede to corruption by performing acts that promote corruption. So the whole country is culpable. We are encouraging corruption by condoning corrupt practices.”
He said the country’s political landscape is faced with a moral crisis.
“The government is supposed to be the guidance of everybody. But when you have a government that cares about keeping themselves in power, every single policy is calculated against ‘how does this benefit me to stay in power’. The first consideration in every funding project is ‘how can this project earn me political capital’. This has been the problem with The Gambia since independence. In fact, the previous government was so clear that ‘if you do not support me there will be no development in your area,” he said.
He said the country’s political class has become “so selfish that being a politician is an embarrassment nowadays. We have lost our moral balance. It is now left to the citizens to decide whether you will allow this situation to continue or not”.
Fatty said the GMC will “not dance to the tune of any political party. We have not allied with any political party nor do we have any plan to do so”.
He said the GMC will continue to engage in negotiation to ensure the country has a constitution.
“We went to Abuja because we believe Gambia should go to election with a new constitution. We believe there are great provisions in this constitution that are the best for this country. But we also believe there are other areas that need some fine tuning and that is why we went to Abuja to sit down and discuss on how to find a solution,” he said.