By Tabora Bojan
Yusupha Jaiteh, a pensioner and former national director of SOS, has said the former board of the Social Security and Housing and Finance Corporation must be prosecuted for helping Jammeh steal poor pensioners’ funds.
Speaking to The Standard on the sidelines of the recent pensioners’ congress at the Friendship Hotel, Bakau where a new board was elected, Jaiteh alleged that if the current revelations at the Janneh Commission are anything to go by, the board were responsible for the millions of dalasi unlawfully taken by the exiled former President Jammeh from the pensioners’ funds.
”They cannot blame everything on the nature of the regime because some people have stood their ground and rejected Jammeh’s evil intentions. So no one can be excused by saying that they could not refuse Jammeh,” he said.
According to Mr Jaiteh, the average pension for a pensioner is just D910 which he said cannot buy anything useful for the family.
“Yet Jammeh through the help of the SSFHC board took hundreds of millions from that money to waste it.
”What is more disheartening is that from what we heard from the commission, the SSHFC had lots of money and yet they were paying pensioners that pittance when they have enough to give to that monster to waste it,” Jaiteh said angrily.
He said no one can imagine how the poor pensioners’ funds could be used to buy rams for Jammeh or sponsor useless ventures.
”We all know that the federated pension scheme, the National Provident and industrial injuries compensation fund are financially rich institutions, because contributing institutions have to contribute by law only for one man to waste that money,” he added.
Jaiteh who also worked at the former Gambia National Insurance Company said Pensioner’s retirement fund has to be reviewed over specific periods but for the last seven years it has not been reviewed and pensioners are paid at the rate of seven years ago.
“How do you expect them to live and survive and they have families and kids,” he quizzed.