By Omar Bah
Mai Ahmad Fatty, the leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, has criticised what he calls “wasteful” government spending on travels and buying of vehicles.
Mai was speaking to journalists at the airport from his European tour during which he visited Germany, Spain and France.
“All this wasteful spending in government, example spending millions on vehicles, fuel and useless travels must be curtailed. I was in government and I know a lot has been done but we must empower the sectors that lead to growth in this country,” he told waiting journalists.
He continued: “We must focus on growing the economy. We cannot spend all our time on just TRRC alone and recommendations of the Janneh Commission that have not even been properly implemented. We must focus on developing the human capital of our people. We spend over D600M every month just to pay debt; money that is wasted”.
Fatty said an estimated 18,000 Gambians are seeking asylum in Germany alone.
“They are just sitting there without any future. It is the Gambian future that is being wasted unless we build the future of our people in this country here which is possible, if our politicians put people’s interest first. We cannot continue this recklessness. We cannot keep playing lip-service to this situation when our young people are dying and the Gambian future is being exploited outside of the country through migration,” he said.
Fatty further explained how he had intervened through engaging the French authorities to have hundreds of Gambians living in the streets given shelter.
State House meetings
Fatty said he wouldn’t certainly have followed Barrow’s trend of staging meetings at the State House, saying if he were the president, he would have had them elsewhere.
“State House is a house for every Gambian but I think State House is not a meeting place. If I were the president, I would have gone out to meet people to do it there. But what the president is also doing is not unlawful. State House is a place for all Gambians,” Fatty said.
Fatty said his party agrees to the completion of the five-year constitutional mandate for the president.
But he said the GMC would have loved the President to honour his agreement. However, he said it would be unrealistic to conduct election in 2019.
“For us, having election in 2019 is not realistic. One, we have the same constitution that Jammeh left with us and this constitution is heavily skewed in favour of the incumbent. Simple majority, you are gone through. And it is now a prevailing trend in the world to have absolute majority. That is why it is essential we reform the laws… Secondly, we need to change the electoral laws. There are too many distortions in our electoral laws and unless we sanitise our electoral laws, we will have something similar to what we had with Jammeh. So, we are supporting 5 years for these reasons,” he added.
He said: “The purpose of this trip is to engage diaspora on GMC’s enduring values and to share our message of inclusivity and development to our countrymen around the world”.