Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yaya Jammeh's latest toys, three BMW X6 Limousines

Yaya Jammeh just bought not one or two but three of these MBW X6 limousines at US $ 350,000 a piece for a total sum of US $ 1,050,000 courtesy of the Gambian tax payer who is not only one the most taxed human being alive but is also among the poorest humans on earth.  The average Gambian lives on a dollar a day.

With reference to the Unity Rally that the opposition held today, one critical observation, a valid one at that, was that human right abuses were not emphasized by the speakers.  Whereas that might be the case, economic mismanagement and high level corruption, which were highlighted, are equally important issues and must be part of the campaign against the regime.  All of these issues are inextricably linked and, therefore, cannot be compartmentalized. Gambia's problems must be seen in its totality and addressed in a comprehensive manner.  We must be able to walk and chew all at once.

Let's put this in context with agriculture that employs 70% of Gambians and it is the single biggest foreign exchange earner.  Despite successive poor harvest and persistent decline in farmer income, the regime plans to maintain the same level of farm gate producer price as last year's price.  The farmer is not only faced with unfavorable marketing arrangements for his primary product, he must make do with the same level of prices which farm inputs prices have gone up from last year.  Despite these mountains of problems the rural dweller faces, the budget allocation for the Office of the President in the 2014 will be three times the size of the entire Agriculture Ministry. There is something fundamentally wrong both fiscally and morally when the state's priority is Yaya Jammeh and everything else is religated below the line.