Saturday, November 5, 2016
Bank customers to pay 15% tax on all foreign currency transactions effective immediately
Beneficiaries of diaspora remittances will see a 15% reduction in the amounts they receive which will go to financing the reelection campaign of Yaya Jammeh. This transaction tax adds to the cost of remitting money to the Gambia and to the cost of doing business in The Gambia, in general,
This decision signals the start of Jammeh's election campaign. The revenue generated will go to finance Jammeh's re-election campaign.
The use of public funds to finance his election campaign is consistent with this year's Human Rights Watch's report on The Gambia that cites this issue as one of the problems that must be addressed before the 1st December presidential elections. If the problem persists, HRW recommends that sanctions be applied by Gambian's development partners.
Another development that has just occured and which is pertinent to the upcoming elections is that our sources are reporting that a large consignment of new bank notes has just arrived and has been escorted by Central Bank officials. Concurrent with the arrival of the consignment was the instruction to all APRC National Assemble members that they should all report to their respective constituencies to wait for further instructions. The reason for this move is unclear at this moment.
After putting himself out of circulation for nearly 4 months, Jammeh emerged from a self-imposed exile to announce, for the umpteenth time, that his government is finally going to commence building the Laminkoto - Passimas road project. He announced the downgrading of the project from a basalt to a laterite road for the lame reason that Senegal could close the border again thus delaying the project because the basalt is available only in neighboring Senegal - a veiled reference to the three-month border closure early this year.
The Laminkoto road project has been promised the people of Wuli on the far northeastern region of the least accessible parts of the country since 1980 during the administration of Sir Dawda Jawara - a promise revived on numerous occasions and only during election time by Jammeh.
Although he preemptively denied that the project was an electioneering gimmick designed to get voters in the Wuli-Sandu area to vote for him, that did not prevent him from offloading his venom on the opposition. For all intents and purposes and as far as Yaya Jammeh is concerned, the election season has started, the opposition must, therefore, take note.