Thursday, June 19, 2014
Yaya : The fish that rots from the head
If the Gambia Civil Service were a company, Yaya Jammeh would be both the Chairman of the Board and CEO, Secretary General Sabally the Chief Operating Officer and the Ministers, the line managers.
The Chairman and CEO provides the leadership and guidance, the COO makes things happen by ensuring company policies are implimented accordingly at the line manager level and the line managers translate company policies into actual programs or products.
What CEO Jammeh tried and succeeded in doing, from the unset of his regime, was to separate himself from the entire Gambia enterprise, pretending to be anything but the head of the team. Thus, when he admonishes his line managers, accuses them of corruption and ultimately sends them off to jail, he wants us all to believe that he's doing so from the neutral position of say, a CEO Emeritus who came out of retirement to instill discipline before he retires again to his holiday resort of Kanilai.
Pretending to be an Emeritus CEO doesn't make him one because dictators, by their very disposition and controlling nature, like to always be in charge. Jammeh is no different. He has developed the reputation of being a control freak of legendary proportions. Despite his reputation, the Gambian dictator has managed to blame everybody but himself for the dysfunction that engulfs Gambian society.
Not to speak of the hypocrisy that permeate a society that seem to mimic the chief hypocrite of them all - Yaya Jammeh - who is threatening his line managers with seizing their vehicles if they are found to be unnumbered. Who introduced unnumbered and unregistered death vehicles that ply the highways, byways, and lurking in every street corner to zip innocent Gambians away to their deaths by Jammeh's death squads. Gambia did not know of unnumbered vehicles until they were introduced to us by the military and security forces of Yaya Jammeh. Now, he pretends this to be a new scourge being spread by his line managers.
Rampant corruption was one of the reasons Jammeh advanced for seizing power in 1994. Today, twenty years later, the Gambia has slid 20 positions down Transparency International's corruption scale. The situation does not seem to be getting any better. Instead it is getting worse, with the expansion of the drug trade threatening the very sovereignty of the country. Corruption is at a new level never seen before in the country's history, yet Jammeh is giving his line managers up until December this year to change their attitude.
It is because of the unsustainable level of corruption of the Jammeh regime that has decimated and bankrupted every single one of these once thriving parastatal group of companies. Managing Directors of the Gambia Ports Authority and other agencies are being prodded by the CEO to operate at a higher profit margin. Simply breaking even is not good enough. They must run a profitable operation to subsidize Jammeh's extravagant lifestyle.
Attitudinal change in the midst of the promiscuous and irresponsible behavior that Jammeh seemed to have succeeded in promoting in The Gambia will be extremely difficult when the Chairman and CEO shows up for work at 3PM because he stayed up all night with a group of his "comfort women" in the style of his former and late friend, Muamar Qaddafi. Jammeh dislikes work so much so that he reduced the workweek from five days to four, in a country where its citizens live on a dollar a day.
Jammeh, the Chairman and CEO is the last man in the office and the first one out. Maybe he should start exercising self discipline by acting responsibly, and by assuming his fare share of blame for the country's economic melt-down and the weakening of its social fabric. Unfortunately, it is late because the rot has already started in the head of the fish. It is only time before the rot infests the rest of the body.