By Musa Bah
The word omertá is a code of silence not to reveal any secrets of a group one belongs to. This code will not be broken even at the pain of death. It seems to me that we have an omertà which is preventing some people from divulging the rot that is in government. This is becoming clearer every day that passes.
Earlier this year, a report was leaked which was actually an audit report from an audit firm based in the United Kingdom. It looked into the financial dealings of some seven State Owned Enterprises (SOE) and found many financial irregardless. It made some revelations and gave strict recommendations to correct the anomalies and prevent a repeat of the same.
When this report was leaked some of us made some noise and called on the government to do something about it and investigate the irregularities and find solutions. At the time, some of the cabinet members seemed to be covering for each other and were not ready to reveal anything that might be incriminating to their colleagues.
But, as it’s always the case, other scandals came along and some of the activists and ‘watchmen’ moved their radar to the latest, and perhaps most important and that’s it, no one has heard a thing about that report anymore.
It looks like these people are toying with the Gambian people. They create one scandal to bury another. The problem seems to be that the Civil Society Organizations are either not interested in the long haul or are just not tenacious enough.
During the past week more clarity has come to this issue when a report in the Malegen newspaper revealed some dubious expenditure at the Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC) while Mr Mambury Njie current minister of Finance and Economic Affairs was at the helm of affairs there (which means the damning report on the SOEs was submitted to him.)
At least this will enable us to add one and one and arrive at a conclusion as to what might have happened to that report and its recommendations. This will – should – point the journalists and other interested parties to a new paradigm as to what to look for. The media must tighten its belt and do more investigation into this and many other issues.
On Saturday, the Minister of Health made startling revelations at the National Assembly regarding the problem of corruption and nepotism in his ministry but fell short of revealing names perhaps appropriately. He spoke in general terms and was not the least specific.
It is high time the relevant authorities picked it up and launched an investigation in order to bring to book all who will be found wanting and send a signal to those who are in public office only to loot the coffers of the nation that it will not be business as usual.