By Musa Manneh (UK)
I am a concerned Gambian and a keen follower of Gambian politics. I have watched the interview of Eye Africa Tv and Mamma Kandeh, leader of the GDC party which was aired on Sunday, 18th July 2021. In this interview, Mamma Kandeh heavily attacked Mr. Essa Faal, Lead Counsel of the Gambia’s maiden Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) and the commission in the way and manner they handled the testimonies of the witnesses.
Mamma Kandeh also criticized the Barrow Government for the seizure of former president Yahya Jammeh’s assets and defended Jammeh’s widely rumoured home coming from exile.
Kandeh went further to accuse Essa Faal of being disrespectful to witnesses by telling them that they were lying to the commission under oath. He also stated that the Commission should not have visited Kanilai, the birthplace of the former president Jammeh to find out evidence of certain killings as mentioned at the TRRC.
Jammeh was accused of having ordered the killings of many Gambians and non-Gambians, some of whom were allegedly thrown into the wells in the forest around Kanilai and some were allegedly thrown into his crocodile pool.
Indeed Mamma Kandeh has got it all wrong. He is playing a political strategy that will not work. He has to decide to either support the victims or support his former political God-father Yahya Jammeh. It is no surprise for Gambians that Mamma Kandeh is defending Yahya Jammeh against his victims and the TRRC officials just to get Jammeh and APRC’s support. He said it clearly in the interview that he is a political breed of the APRC.
The multi-million dollar question is; how on earth can this person (Kandeh) who criticized Jammeh for abuse of human rights, be the same person to defend him against the victims? This is real hypocrisy at work and it must be condemned.
It is an open secret that Kandeh is threathened by Essa Faal’s coming into the political ring, hence Mr. Faal has already won the hearts and minds of many Gambians and has almost taken the rank of Number 3 in the country’s political structure after President Barrow and Lawyer Darboe.
Mamma Kandeh’s politicial strategy will not work. I know what he is doing and the cards he is trying to play but it won’t work.
Kandeh is a failed politician and very soon Gambians will understand what I meant by this. It is due to his style of politics that he cannot get any position apart from Parliamentary seat. He refused to join the 2016 Coalition against Jammeh simply because he wanted to lead the Coalition and now he has regretted it.
Recently he has started delegating his deputy Hon. Tina Faal to meet almost all party leaders except President Barrow and Darboe, to join him in a Coalition against President Barrow but that plan too has failed.
His main target is to get the APRC into a Coalition which he wants to lead but the APRC rejected him due to some reasons.
His latest televison interview was planned and well calculated because he feels threathened by Counsel Faal’s coming into politics. He is losing it everyday and saw that the only thing he could do now is to start attacking people he saw as threats and praising Yahya Jammeh and the APRC to get their confidence and support.
For Lead Counsel Essa Faal, he has his own strategy of getting the witnesses who appear before the TRRC to tell the truth and he knows that very well but refused to acknowledge it. Instead, he wants to use that to criticize Mr Faal to score political points.
Indeed it is very sad that this same Mamma Kandeh who claims the TRRC could not find anything to implicate Jammeh in his rights violations against innocent Gambians is the same guy who wants to seek support from the same victims. Let it be very clear that Mamma Kandeh must decide to either be with the victims or be with the dictator Yahya Jammeh. Kandeh is Jammeh’s disciple in politics and he has always been loyal to Yahya Jammeh even after his expulsion from the APRC.
Let it be clear from now onwards that no victim of Jammeh’s regime should vote for politicians like Mamma Kandeh. He has shown no sympathy for the victims. His only interest is to get to the presidency.
Why is Kandeh worried about Essa Faal’s questioning strategies? Why is he saying that Essa Faal exposed some witnesses for being uneducated? Did he forget that some of the alleged perpetrators are semi-illiterates and were used by former dictator Jammeh to violate the rights of others?
Should we allow our country to continue with that same trend? Hell no!
Mamma Kandeh should apologize to Gambians especially Jammeh’s victims before it is too late. He thinks by attacking Essa Faal, the TRRC and Barrow Government he will score political points? Oh no he got it wrong!!! He won’t. In fact, this interview has exposed his political nature.
Mr. Faal and the entire TRRC team have done a great job to unearth the truth about rights violations, reconcile families and friends and they deserve the commendation of all but not criticism based on politics. Take politics out of the work of the TRRC, for they were appointed as civil servants and are paid with taxpayers’ money.
Let Mamma Kandeh repent before it is too late. Essa Faal is not his match and nothing can change the love and admiration Gambians have for him.