By Tabora Bojang
The vice president and minister of women’s affairs Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang said that the new government will not look back at what happened in the past and will not betray Gambian people by emulating the past.
Veep Tambajang said this on Wednesday while presiding over the official launch of Gambian civil society organisation in The Gambia, Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (Duga) at UTG Law Faculty. Duga was established by Gambians in US and played a pivotal role in ending Jammeh’s dictatorial regime.
“This is a government that is going to depend on her people. We want Gambians to take charge of the narrative. For many years other people have taken charge of our narrative and this is why we understand and appreciate the fact that unity is strength because we were united for a purpose and were able to take over our country,” she told the gathering.
According to the Veep, Gambians fought not only for regime change but for system change and that systemic change without resources requires patience, tolerance and courage. She said everybody has an “individual creativity” and putting together those creativities would bring the tapestry that The Gambia represent.
She said the Coalition government inherited a weak public service and is working to institute measures that will allow them to start looking inwardly by cutting down on expenditure and looking at mechanisms that will move the country forward.
She said: “We have been able to be a responsible government by curtailing public expenditure and most of the travels that we have undertaken are travels that are sponsored by countries that invite us in different forums.
“We are an open government that stands to create the enabling environment for every segment of society to participate and contribute accordingly. The political vision is for us to have an inclusive government that will create equal opportunities for everyone in and outside The Gambia,” she added.
Speaking earlier at the forum, the Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou, said to ensure that Gambians never live through the brutality, torture, killings and rape of the past, we must make sure that we lay a solid democratic foundation as a country. He said we must encourage civil society organisations take up their responsibility not as adversary of government but as partners of government to sustain the change the country ushered in.
Sohna Sallah the new chairwoman of Duga, said the movement is a non-partisan civil society organisation that continues to promote good governance and rule of law in The Gambia and promised that her organisation will continue its work to enlighten Gambians at home and abroad, while admitting that there is no perfect democracy.
Duga was founded by prominent Gambian activists based in the US and it worked tirelessly to bring an end to tyranny in The Gambia. The organisation will open a Gambian office in Banjul on Independence Drive.
In 2013 some of Duga’s founders including Pa Samba Jow and Sohna Sallah staged a public protest and occupied the Gambian Embassy in Washington to bring to international attention, Jammeh’s atrocities.