|Babilli Mansa, Nasurul Deen Jammeh|
|Official corruption in full display|
Transparency International is nonpartisan nongovernmental organization that started publishing the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of countries in 1995, a year after Jammeh and his gang seized power in Banjul.
The first CPI contained only 41 countries, a figure that grew over time to 180 countries.
Gambia was not part of the exercise until 2004 when it was perceived as the 90th most corrupt country out of 145 countries surveyed. The Jammeh regime was ranked higher than countries like Benin, Mali and Senegal and thus more corrupt but ranked lower and thus less corrupt than Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi.
In 2005, Gambia slid to 103rd position out of 153 countries even though more countries were added to the list but still less corrupt than Eritrea, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Still Senegal, together with Algeria, Malawi and Mozambique, were deemed to be less corrupt.
From 2006 to 2008, The Gambia saw its ranking plummet from 121 to 143 to 158 while countries like Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Liberia and Benin that were more corrupt had improved to position up the scale to become less corrupt than The Gambia.
Something strange and unusual happened in 2009. The Gambia actually improved its CPI by being ranked 106th out of 180 countries. That year, The Gambia shared the 106 position with Argentina, Benin and Gabon, ahead of Algeria, Djibouti and Egypt but behind Senegal, Zambia and Madagascar.
In 2010, further improvement in Gambia’s position took place with a ranking of 91 out of 178 countries. In 2011 there was further improvement to 77 place in the scale.
But in 2012, the level of corruption spiked, relegating The Gambia to 105 position out of 180 countries ahead of Mali, Ethiopia and Niger but behind Senegal, Tanzania and Algeria.
In 2013, Gambia’s position deteriorated further to 127 out of 175 countries, making it less corrupt than Lebanon, Mali, Madagascar and Cote d’Ivoire but more so than Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Gabon.
We will allow folks to have the CPI stare you in the face before you decide whether the “soldiers with a difference”, as they called themselves back in 1994, have fulfilled their promise to, at least, reduce the scourge of corruption.
Even in the absence of CPI during the 30-year administration of Sir Dawda Jawara, it is safe to say that the regime of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh Nasirul Deen Babilli Mansa.