Friday, March 6, 2015

Gambia: Anti-Corruption Commission should start with Yaya Jammeh

Dictator Jammeh
Last Friday, the Gambian dictator informed the National Assembly that the Anti-Corruption Commission established in 2012 will be fully functional soon to start seating.

Why it is taking almost three years for the Commission to be established and fully functional is unclear.  The dictator did reveal that in 2015, 7 commissioners and an Executive Secretary to the Commission will be appointed.

Jammeh's $3.5 million mansion with protesters

Jammeh concluded that corruption "makes a country sickly and less attractive as an investment destination." He also suggested that corruption "limits access to much needed services, stifles efficiency and eats away public resources." Therefore Jammeh concluded that he will "not waiver in the fight against corruption.

Yaya Jammeh and his wife Zineb Suma Jammeh should be the first to be probed by the Anti-Corruption Commission.  The couple must account to the Commission and the Gambian people of their ill-gotten wealth that include but, of course, not limited to, their $3.5 million Potomac mansion outside Washington DC.  The mansion may be the most visible of Jammeh's wealth but there are numerous others spread across the world - from Paris to Rabat to Conakry.

The number of landed properties in Banjul alone under the name of Jammeh is mind bugling.  The outright confiscation of rural agricultural land, not to mention the entire African Union Village built on agricultural land owned by Brufut residents, must be probed by the Commission.

Of course, it is wishful thinking on our part that Jammeh will probe himself even though he's the most corrupt individual the Gambia has ever seen.  It should, therefore, the task of a successor government to thoroughly probe him and his family.