Thursday, February 26, 2015

Zineb Jammeh joins social media after snubbing Gambians for 15 years

The news that Zineb Suma Jammeh, wife of Gambia's dictator, has opened Facebook and Twitter accounts may have came as a surprise to many but not to those who have been keenly following Gambian politics.

When her husband seized power illegally in 1994 from a democratically elected government, he was barely 29 years old and a bachelor who, obviously never managed a household budget much less manage a country.

To help gain the acceptance of Gambians, Jammeh quickly became a Muslim (the Gambia is 90% Muslim) and married a Gambian whom he divorced because Jammeh did not like the idea of her mingling with Gambians.  His Gambian wife immediately became a security risk.

To address this problem, Jammeh married Zineb a Guinean-Moroccan in 1999. The marriage was officially consummated not in Banjul but in Rabat, Morocco, a move considered by many Gambians (not to speak of Gambian women) as contemptuous.  Jammeh wanted a partner that can perform all the functions of a First Lady without having to mingle with the locals.

The First Lady never mingled with Gambians.  She has consciously insulated herself from the problems of the country since 1999.  She has never been seen with Gambians anywhere when she travels abroad.  Traveling is an incessant habit of hers.  She hardly stays more than a week in The Gambia but will spend a couple of months at her Potomac, Maryland $3.5 million mansion.

The Washington Embassy staff are limited to Dulles Airport protocol duties.  Moroccans take charge from there onward until she's ready to travel back.  No Gambian Embassy staff has ever entered the Mansion to the best of our knowledge even though it was bought with our money.

Faced with a mounting international campaign, the regime decided to mount a public relations campaign by first floating a bogus reconciliation or amnesty program for Gambian dissidents abroad which has failed miserably because only two known Gambians took up the offer.

The Zineb Jammeh's social media push is an attempt to resuscitate a regime whose popularity has recently taken a nosedive following an intensive campaign in social media and through streets protests in Washington, Paris and New York.   This is a lady who has shown Gambians contempt by refusing to relate to and associate with anything Gambian and the problems they face daily.

Gambians are being tortured by her husband, bodies of Gambian-Americans and others have been in the Banjul mortuary for over two months.  Her husband has refused to release the bodies to their families for proper burial.  Parents and relatives, including a child of 14 years are currently being detained in undisclosed locations by her husband, and this lady has refused to lift a finger to plead for their release.

Zineb Jammeh despises Gambian culture by refusing to learn a local language or even to simply attempt at learning a local language.  So why would her opening Facebook and Twitter account be anything but a media campaign to stem a tide that threatens to consume a regime that has lost the confidence of Gambians, the international community including the development partners.

I personally have no interest in her social media activities.  Our focus has been and continues to be rid Gambia of her husband - Yaya Jamus Junkung Jammeh.  Yaya and Zineb are cancerous growth in our country that must be excised from the body politic of The Gambia.