OPINION: Impeachment of President Barrow - Lamin Darboe
IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BARROW - IS THERE SUFFICIENT GROUND Uncle I feel so betrayed by Barrow. Uncle I ascended the mountains of Jahal and Pachar and looked through a telescope the landscape of my country and realised nothing has changed since Barrow took power, instead I saw waste, waste and per diem rat race.
President Barrow at the National Assembly during the 2018 State of the Nation address to lawmakers The hospitals lack basic equipment and medical resources, water and electricity still erratic, Chinese are still endangering coastal village fish and environmental resources with impunity, dumping dangerous waste into the sea continues, our budgetary deficit, our current account balances are spiralling out of control, debt/GDP ratio astronomically risky, public debt confounding, mortality rate high, yet Barrow has nothing to offer except the same old decanting political rhetoric as if he is campaigning for a new election. He is posthumously pointing to what the Chinese are doing for us but not to what he is doing to curb state budgetary waste except for haphazard measures he recently took. What is the cost of the Chinese projects to our nation?, we don't know but we know Chinese government has many ambitions of economic denomination of Africa. We fought so hard for a new Gambia that will usher in a new political and economic dispensation but it seems a group of charlatans who mystifyingly surrounds President Barrow are trying to scupper chances of achieving such a dispensation. A dispensation that put socio-economic development at the forefront of its national agenda. However barely two years past we see the old system of politics that revere sycophancy, wasteful spending, self-glorification and betrayal of public trust. We have seen Barrow using his wife foundations presumably to launder money from greedy investors into his political coffers instead of national coffers. We have seen Barrow within a year build Manson in his home town in Mankamankunda with street lights saying, it was build by my friends. When did he have those friends so rich they can build his house and build water system and street lights in one year. Did they build it for Adama Barrow or President Barrow, if it was for the former then it was political lobby with nefarious intent, if it was for the later it was corruption of the highest magnitude. Business or political friends don't do this type of investment without a motive and in most cases for lobby purposes. We have seen members of parliament given vehicles the origin of which still remain an enigma. Where in a democratic world will a president be given over 40 vehicles and the origins of such a colossal funds is disguised without the parliament or opposition members demanding answers. Also there was allegations of the president bribing parliamentarians with money, presumably to buy their loyalty. This is treacherous and an impeachable offence. That is because the allegations are so serious to trigger a parliamentary investigation as it bring the executive and parliament into disrepute, that make it impeachable offence. What is the sources of those funds, are they from the president' s own pocket or from well wishers. Both sources have antecedent problems. Why when these allegations surfaced, the president did not launch an investigation or release an official statement to clear the air. It all shows that Barrow is not the type of leader we all fought for as he is showing signs of same corrupt leadership style that bedevilled Africa and retarded its development since emancipation from colonial rule. Barrow seem to be using state resources to cultivate a political movement or party at the expense of the tax payer. Where is all the resources spent in sponsoring the numerous meetings at statehouse coming from. Again from his pocket, friends, business sponsorship or from state coffers. If it is from state coffers was this line of expenditure in the last year budget. If not then it is budgetary misappropriation because the only budget I know of while working at ministry of Finance is not for organising meetings of this nature. Is this the transparency and good governance he swore to institute when he ascended power. The tax payer who put him into power and who continue to eat "chaalo" while he eat barbecue and other delicacies, we contend with poor transport while he is driven in a convoy of expensive and top of the range cars. While his children are going abroad to study but tax payers' children are in failing schools and poorly resourced university. His wives wallow in glory of top fashion clothes and the tax payers' wives and mothers take gratitude in ordinary clothes. While he travel in charter flights while they could not even afford three square meals. Is this the Barrow we voted for on 16 December 2016. Barrow surrounded himself with people who even barred us to see him at statehouse. The people who were once his enemy are now his close friends and confidants while his best friends at the time of struggle are sidelined and regarded as enemies. This is ultimate betrayal and it is manifestation of ingratitude and condescension. What an irony, our hero has kick us in the face and embrace our enemies. Alas , we appeal to our maker to help set the record straight by heaping ignominy and disgrace on the the one who betray us. He did not stop there, he started threatening us with his new found power. He said he has the state security apparatus at his disposal and can unleash it on us at his whim. The same state apparatus that killed his comrades in struggle, that left so many widows and orphans, who tortured and banished so may Gambians into exile for many years.
Where is the Barrow who looked humble and bashful, who shunted self glorification and arrogance. Is it so dark now we cannot recognise this Barrow who is boasting that he will stage an infrastructural development that will dwarf all what his predecessors did, all by himself. It's like he inherited so much money in Mankamankunda that he can do all these development single handedly. It begs belief how quickly power transform a humble man into the most supercilious and haughty man. A man who usurp team glory and see only his individual effort in utter disrespect to team spirit. And his wife I nicknamed "kandooto" a bird that make the most ugliest sound and can hardly fly and greedy for power, a lady Macbeth type. That woman will one day submerge Barrow into a sea of ignominy. Our parliament need to do it's work with diligence and new impetus. Their rejection of the preposterous and wasteful SAB was laudable. Albeit they have to be more vigilant and see national interest before party interest. They should scrutinise FATOUMATA BARROW FOUNDATION because it has attached to its activities, political overtures that can bring disrepute to our nation. If that foundation is accuse of money laundering, the ugly repercussions can impinge on the country's image. Paying such a colossal amount of money into a foundation's accounts from a dubious sources expose our country and banking system to some international stare. MPs should, with a mindset of an auditor to scrutinise the budgets to ensure no budgetary shenanigans exist. Our country has become more indebted in the last two years and public borrowing has reach a crescendo of 54%, please read this article from Yerro Jallow from his 17 December article on Freedom newspaper "The whole world is asking how the country’s debt has escalated from (“Total public debt for 2018 is estimated at 121.3 percent of the old GDP compared to 129.2 percent in the same period in 2017. In 2018, domestic debt accounts for 53.8 percent of the old GDP, compared to 60.1 percent in the previous year, whilst external debt constitutes 67.5 percent of the old GDP compared to 69.2 percent a year ago. As at end September 2018, the stock of domestic debt stood at D29.6 billion (40.5 percent of GDP), 1.8 percent increase from a year earlier when it stood at D28.1 billion. Short-term debt instruments accounted for 88 percent of the domestic debt stock making government vulnerable to increases in interest rates and rollover risks. Treasury Bills account for about 53 percent of the domestic debt”, 2019 Budget Speech)"
1. Instead of addressing these doomsday and almost existential financial scenario; while we face chronic budgetary problems; our economy almost in Intensive Care Unit, with external support as the only hope for regaining our financial health, Barrow is busy politicking; bent on self perpetuation and self glorification. Barrow seem to want to have his cake and eat it. He resigned from UDP yet wants to control the leadership of that party by remote control. He is seething with anger why the UDP congress went ahead an chose a flag bearer to his chagrin. Thus we can sense anger in his speech in Basse, with prodigious claims of setting development records, scoffing at perceived saboteurs.
He made threats to his own ministers and cabinet including Ousainou Darboe. Although inconsequential since the congress verdict cannot be reversed as for now, rather the true character of Barrow we never knew, is now in boomerang. You don't acknowledge other ministers and ignore your vice President, your political godfather in such a public gathering. It shows the man is drunken with power, uncouth, undiplomatic and unpresidential. Either he was hypocritical when he made that statement or he is hypocritical now by his selective amnesia, as his own saying goes, " when did it become so dark that we cannot recognise each other.
To conclude, I love Barrow, I don't hate him, I love my country and want it to move forward in the right development trajectory. For 53 years we wallow in poverty and paucity of basic amenities of life. We thought Barrow stand a chance to usher in a new Gambia that put hard work, responsibility, transparency, good governance, prudence in resource management as the epistles of its development goals. What we seing is predominately laclustre with little transformative impacts. Commmison of enquiry are expensive and does not seem to be value for money.
The constitutional Review Commission is still housed in the most expensive accommodation with some members paid astronomical sums, paid in hard currency according grapevine. What a waste milling machinery is this government.
Salam alla manittabal huda. To end..... Just as prophet said..la eeman liman la amanallahu, we pray our country find a leaders who will wipe our tears of 22 year terror. Lamin Darboe Kombo Gunjur
Editor’s note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Gunjur News Online.