Alagi Yorro Jallow

Mamudu: Do not take our silence as cowardice? In a country faced with horrible repression, carried luggage of betrayals, pain, woundedness, cattle rustling, land- grabbing, protesters by youth pro-democracy activists, unemployment and mega-sleaze.

Speaking for some inept institutions is an executive urgency? It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “you can tell the greatest of a man by what makes him angry”. Our American-educated Prezzo, some civic education? The basis – the bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law.

We are a country living in such a deep state of collective trauma and the pain of this trauma is beginning to surface through tribalism, misogyny, internalized self-hate, corruption, acceptance for mediocrity etc. We must name things as they are- and name the impact those things have had on us.

Mamudu:  Care to listen to Caroline Kennedy? “We have to have an independent judiciary and judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing”. That is; unless you wish to emulate Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo – the rogue of the Equatorial Guinea?

Mamudu: Gambians are a peculiar people. Why are folks catching feelings about some public officers in the previous regime accused in alleged theft of public funds who aided and abetted former president Yahya Jammeh of pillage and plunder as well as extensive corruption, economic atrocities and thievery of our national treasury. It appears the legacy of the former strongman pervades and still inspires pride in the civil service and government of president Adama Barrow.

Instead of due process of the law, President Barrow offered some Yahya’s enablers to run the highest institutions from diplomatic, ministerial and senior government positions who are accused of being thieves? Talk about a suspected or convicted rapist being put in charge of running a rape crisis center.

Mamudu: What did you all expect when you hire former dictator’s enablers to the highest public offices in the land? It’s not like they were accused with stealing chicken feed. They used to be Yahya Jammeh’s most trusted enablers, economic and political hackers.

Think about it, you would never in your life employ a house maid or a chauffeur who has even been suspected of stealing from a previous employer or accused of violence against the previous employer and their children, notwithstanding that they were innocent until proven guilty, yet you step outside your goddamn minds and employ those accused of economic crimes to lead your country’s development agenda with governance reforms.

Mamudu:  We should be aiming for good enough governance, selecting a few imperatives from a long list of possibilities that is effective, legitimate, responsive that provides untold benefits, especially when compared to the alternative: inefficient governance, cronyism, and corruption. The conclusion is clear the development agenda and governance reforms of the new government should not be overloaded with unscrupulous bureaucrats or political hacks in government.

Mamudu: You cry that corruption will kill us instead of removing your head from the sand and acknowledging it’s already killing us. You mock God by praying for divine intervention, yet you don’t want to do anything to stop a predatory state from cannibalizing itself and its people. If you want to know what the problem is, look in the mirror. You’re the biggest culprit. You won’t even have an answer when your kids and grandkids ask you, what were you doing when this country went to the dogs? “Fatoumatta knows?”, will probably give you an answer.

Mamudu: Where is the law and due process that is hostage to the corrupt and powerful business and political elite, the country must survive first before the law becomes relevant? The Gambia is a country that has completely normalized dangerous levels of confusion.

From the way we do politics, to religion, to education, to healthcare, to public service and even to our daily interaction online and offline- everything is wrapped in confusion. Our tolerance for confusion is so high that I doubt that there is a way out for our generation. Corruption and theft of public funds must stop.

Mamudu: The Janneh Commission of Inquiry set up to probe into the assets tied to Yahya Jammeh and some of his close associates under his alleged directives appears to be troubling with revelations that have left many people wondering whether those enablers deserved employment in this new government.

In Kenya many years ago, a Central Bank Governor was imprisoned for accepting unlawful instructions from his then President. The President [then out of office] denied he issued such an instruction. The Central Bank governor died in prison.

Mamudu: In my view, the government need to enact for legislation that impose harsh penalties on educated professional civil servants and ministers who accept unlawful instructions which are detrimental to the national interests.

Why not the Janneh Commission of Inquiry offer them a 90-day amnesty to all Yahya enablers to come forward and report all unlawful instructions they received from the APRC administration. Now that would put the proverbial “cat amongst the pigeons”! Hearings could be held by special courts in camera, under the protection of the National Assembly.

This would be a game changer and then those innocents could be allowing to work in government. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last until you stop it.

Finally, we must refuse to glorify bad governance in whatever form it manifests itself. We must remember that those in political power rely on you being broken, fragmented, being traumatized and being completely disconnected from your humanity to help propagate their violent neoliberal agenda.