Former Gambian President Report Card – July 1994 – December 2016

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PERIOD OF REPORTING

Term: END OF TERM OF OFFICE DECEMBER 2016

Period : JULY 1994 TO DECEMBER 2016

  1. PERSONAL DETAILS

Name: YAHYA ABDUL AZIZ JEMUS JUNKUNG JAMMEH

Age : 51 YEARS

Marital status : MARRIED WITH 2 CHILDREN

Number of years in the position : 22 years

  1. RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PERSON

Relationship : President Citizen Relationship

  1. CHARACTERISCTICS OF THE PERSON (give illustrations if possible)

3.1 NAME 3 GOOD QUALITIES ABOUT THE PERSON 

3.1.1 LOVES AND CARES FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY

His wife Zeinab, the children Mariam and Muhammad and his mother Asombi Bojang matter most in his life.    He cherishes them.  Only the best and most expensive will do for them – health care, schools, clothes, food and holidays abroad.  He cannot bear to be separated from his children.  When Zeinab took them away in retaliation for him marrying a second wife, he agreed to divorce, Alima Sallah, (the 2nd wife) so that he could be reunited with his children.  Since 1995, his mother has been on pilgrimage several times.

3.1.2 GENEROUS

Gives lavishly to all – children, adults, religious leaders, students, marabouts, muscians, artists, illusionists, wrestlers, footballers.

Muslims:   He gives lorry loads of sugar, rice, milk, and other condiments during the Holy month of Ramadan, for the Eid Festivals he gives bulls, sheep and monetary gifts and the during the traditional Eid el Fitr (Koriteh) greetings at state house the Muslim religious leaders receive a huge financial handshake.  He has paid for thousands of Muslims to perform the Hajj and given money for building  mosques.

Christians : He has given provisions for Christmas and monetary gifts for Lent.  He has also paid for hundreds of Christians to go to Rome.

Educational institutions : Prize monies for grandaunts  from Gambia College, University of The Gambia, schools and Quranic institutions included high financial incentives, computers and other items.  For recitations of the Holy Quran he gives cash prizes ranging from 500,000  to 1, 000,000 million Dalasis.  Jammeh paid the counterpart contribution to GAMWORKS for the renovation of Gambia High School, his alma mater.

Footballers: Received 1, 000,000 Dalasis cash and a plots of land each.

Others: Musicians, artists, traditional communicators receive large sums of money, houses and luxury cars.

Friday charity:   People come from all over the country to receive gifts of foodstuff and money from the President.  Some even spend Thursday night at July 22nd Square just to get their share of the bounty.

3.1.3 LOVES FARMING:

Farming activities: Crop, horticultural and livestock  production and small ruminants production.

Land acquisition: He has acquired at times forcibly, large tracts of arable land from all over the country for his vast farming activities.  See link to Lands acquired 

Free Labour: Staff of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, Parastatals, Private Sector organisations and communities work on Jammeh’s farms. Jammeh who also spends his holidays working on Kanilai Farms also seeks help from the «Bai Faals » of the Mouride sect to clear virgin lands and with harvesting.

3.2 NAME 3 WEAKNESSES ABOUT THE PERSON

 3.2.1 UNTRUTHFUL:

  «Yahya Jammeh is allergic to the truth».  This is how an APRC Parliamentarian described him to me.  After 22 years of observing Jammeh’s the man cannot be more aptly described.  Yahya Jammeh is incapable of speaking the truth, does not like to hear the truth nor listen to the truth.  For him there is only one version of the truth and that is his version.

Several events and incidents point to Jammeh’s untrutfulness.  Some examples are his change statement from ‘Four Years to For Years’ during his first public appearance when he made a statement of how long he would stay in office.  He promised not to run for the 2002 Presidential elections if the electricity blackout situation continued.  Even though blackouts persisted he contested and won, purchased  used generators, passing them off as new.   Gambians are still paying Jammeh for he claimed the funds used for purchasing the genertor were his.

His-story: Jammeh sees things only from his viewpoint.  There is only one side to a story and that is the side narrated by Jammeh, it is his-story.  The story cannot be interpreted, corrected, modified, questioned or explained.

Actions against those who question or contradict his-story:

Mistreatment of Journalists and media houses :   Journalists and media houses who have attempted to give balanced reporting have been harshly punished through one or a multiplicity of actions directed  against their persons or properties.  The closure of Citizen Radio, Sud FM, the Independent Newspaper  and Teranga Radio Stations (intermittently) and;  arson attacks on the premises and persons of Radio 1 FM and Indpendent Newspapers;  deportations of non Gambian media persons notably – Kenneth Best, Proprietor and Managing Director of the Observer Newspaper; arbitrary arrests and detentions of journalists; death threats; physical assaults and torture of journalists; abduction and disappearance Chief Manneh; harassment; and the assassination of Deyda Hydara, Proprietor and Founder of the Point Newspaper.(2004).

His acquisition of the Daily Observer has not provided any immunity for the management or journalists working for the paper.  Sheriff Bojang, Nenneh Macdaul Gaye, Saja Taal, Dida Halake, Pa Malick Faye, Lamin Dibba and Momodou Sabally handpicked and appointed by Jammeh himself were soon dismissed.      Staff of the Daily Observer where routinely questioned, detained and the abduction and disappearance of Chief Manneh took place while he was a staff of the Daily Observer.

Jammeh relentlessly pursues any one who contradicts his story.  Deyda Hydara was killed for writing his weekly Good Morning Mr. President. Ndey Tapha Sosseh, president of the GPU, targeted for standing up against statements made by Jammeh in reference to Deyda Hydara.  She was out of the country at the time and Jammeh has not forgiven her for not being punished.

In 2009, the GPU six – Sarata Jabbi   (vice president), Pa Modou Faal (treasurer), Emil Touray (secretary general), and the heads of the Media houses Sam Sarr of Foroya, Pap Saine and Babucarr Sawaneh of the, Point Newspaper which published the GPU president’s rejoinder were arrested, detained and charged with sedition.  The six were sentenced to two year jail terms and each fined USD20000.  Worldwide condemnation of this case resulted in a Presidential pardon six months into their prison term.

His relentless pursuit of Ndey Tapha Sosseh includes a 2nd charge for treason in 2011 as coordinator of the CCG, refusal of her passport renewal, putting her on an international Wanted Persons List and has made several attempts to extradite her from Mali.  Reprisals have been taken against her mother.

Lansana Jobarteh was arrested and charged in 2013 for broadcasting without a license and for attending UDP rallies in diverse places.

Anger against Online media : Several failed attempts by Jammeh to block access to Gambian on line media  outlets – Banjul Focus, Freedom Newspaper, Jollof News, Gainako, Kairo, Fatu Network  and Maafanta to name a few as well as other social media angered him excessively as he did not want the other side of the story to be told.  These outlets were doing an excellent job educating and informing Gambians and the world about what was happening in The Gambia.  In 2007, Fatou Jaw Manneh who was in The Gambia to attend her father’s funeral was arrested, detained and charged with sedition.  She was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with hard labour or pay a fine of 250,000 Dalasis (US$12,000) in lieu of imprisonment. She paid with support from the GPU and family and left the country.

Legislation: Draconian media laws have been passed as a deterrent or “punishment” of those engaged in “treacherous campaigns” and “unpatriotic behavior.”  The 2013 amendments to the 2009 Information and Communications Act allow for penalties against those who spread “false news against the government or public officials” online. The law imposes a jail term of 15 years and or a fine of three million dalasi ($85,714).  

A mass exodus of self exiled Gambian journalists and others working abroad include Baba Galleh Jallow, Yorro Jallow, D.A Jawo, Dr Ebrima Ceesay, Buya Jammeh, Modou Nyang, Kemo Cham, Sherrif Bojang Junior et al. 

Self censorship by the press in fear of repercussions has eroded the vibrancy of the free press. 

Control of information/Lack of access to information :  Journalists from independent news outlets are routinely denied access to public information and official events at certain venues by government officials and security agents.

Traditional Media:  Griots, poets and singers who do not sing Jammeh’s praises or narrate his-story   are excluded from all public functions. Singing Jammeh’s praises has huge financial benefits not only for Gambians but for non-Gambians too.  He had publicly proclaimed that he would deal with anyone that attempted to sing his praises.  Now, not only does he shower praise singers with huge sums of money and luxurious gifts but also organises annual international events to legitimize such praise singing.  Being Jammeh’s griot (Efrey Mbye) does guarantee immunity from his persecution. 

Exterminator: Jammeh exterminates anyone or anything that questions his-story or reminds him about ommissions. His boast that he came into power without killing a fly was soon nullified when in November 1994 in a surprise attack on Fajara Barracks his men killed Lt. Bassirou Barrow, Lt. Abdoulie Dot Faal and Warrant Officer Nyang and others.

Some other security agents killed  by state agents include Daba Marenah, former head of the NIA and  lieutenant (Lt.) Ebou Lowe, 2nd Lt. Alieu Ceesay, Warrant Officer, Alpha Bah and Staff Sergeant Manlafi Corr (2006); Tumbul Tamba, Musa Jammeh and Sergeant Elo Jallow.

Ousman Koro Sisay the first Minister of Finance under the Jammeh regime was the first civilian to be  assasinated in 1994.  Other civilian killings include but are not limited to the 14 students who died on the April 10 and 11, 2000 mercilessly gunned down by security agents as they staged a peaceful protest demanding for their rights to education in a safe and secure environment;  Kanyiba Kanyi, UDP member (2006);  Momodou Lamin Nyassi, Ndongo Mboob and Buba Sanyang (2006), and Mercy Jammeh, Haruna Jammeh and Jisacha Kujabi, (2005) as well as the 44 Ghanaian migrants.                                                                            

Impunity: The total disregard for the ECOWAS Courts decisions in the cases of Deyda Hydara, Chief Ebrima Manneh and Musa Saidykan shows the lack of accountability to his people and to a total lack of respect for commitments made to regional and international protocols and conventions.

Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) are equally at risk from Jammeh’s efforts to exterminate all forms of opposition to him. Since coming into office he has threatened to «kill and bury them six feet deep and nothing would come out of it» or that he «would send them to his hotel at Mile 2» (meaning the Central Prison) where they would not see the light of day and no one would know where they were.  The late Satang Jobarteh, Emmanuel Joof, Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang Sissoho to name a few have been charged arrested on trumped up charges, taken to court and detained because of Jammeh’s stance against HRD.

Many young, bright and passionate journalists and HRDs have had to flee the country to seek refuge.  Determined and resilient they work in regional media and human rights organiations, have set up private online radio and newspaper outlets which provide a platform for people to tell their story.  Without these media outlets it would be very difficult to tell the true story of what is happening in The Gambia of today.

It is thanks to these media outlets as well as the quick and easy access to the election results on the 1st December 2016, through telephone and Internet Communication networks that eliminated any chances of tampering with the data.

Expulsion of Diplomats: Jammeh claimed in 2007 that he had found a succesful cure for HIV /AIDS, yet he consistently refuses any offer for a scientific investigation.  Fadzai Gwaradzimba, the U.N. Resident Coordinator of The Gambia was given 48 hours to leave the country for her criticism of Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS cure; Min Whee Khan the UNICEF country Representative was given 24 hours to leave the country in 2010 for questioning Government provided data on education financing; And, Bharat Joshi, the deputy UK ambassaor to The Gambia was expelled for attending an opposition party meeting in 2001. 

3.2.2 BULLY

Bullying Tactics

Yahya Jammeh has applied bullying tactics throughout his presidency to maintain his stronghold over the people of The Gambia. He has a defensive false sense of himself and always trys to keep this inflated sense at all costs.

Jammeh has used a a variety of psychological, physical, sexual and spiritual methods to control and keep the population of The Gambia in check. He has used fear, insecurity, disgrace,  humiliation and discomfort, even spirituality, as measures to bully Gambians.

Grandiosity : To satisfy his inflated ego he has amassed titles of Sheik, Doctor, Professor, Babili Mansa which must be used when addressing him.  Those who did not do so fall foul of Yahya.  

Self Importance : He needs to feel good about himself and needs a supportive cast of other people to convince him that « indeed he is the greatest and the best ». Some are so enamoured by him and many people have been carried away by his claims of his unparralled love of country; his protection of the Islamic faith and Islamic values; his overt altruism in wanting to help others at all times and his remarkable achievement in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.  Some wish that he could stay in office for «nine hundred and ninety nine years. Others that he stays until his son Muhammad  grows up and is old enough to take over the Presidency, while others want him to be crowned king.

Omnipotence : He uses his position as President, his power and his money to create a cast of loyal followers.  What many of them fail to realize or refuse to acknowledge is that they are  merely players «pre-selected and enlisted as the best person to play a role» on Jammeh’s stage.   At the the end of the performance they are changed and there is always someone willing and waiting in the wings took over his or her part. Yahya Jammeh is the script writer, the director, the producer and the critic.  If things don’t go according to his story line he responds with anger.   He wants to «get even and to bring about the downfall of the person».

Lamin Jobarteh, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice ; Njogu Bah and Momodou Sabally former Secretary General’s, Lang Tombong Tamba, former CDS; Essa Badjie, former Inspector General of Police and  Pa Harry Jammeh, Solicitor General are examples of Jammeh’s pre-selected cast who were given roles to play and whose contracts ended in acrimony.  

Politicization of Government : Jammeh has hijacked the three arms of government – the executive, the judiciary and the legislature and made them into components of the APRC.  Any person who wants to work in any arm of government and survive in the position especially at the highest levels has to be a Yahya Jammeh loyalist and openly demonstrate this by wearing APRC party colour (green) and insignia.

The politicization of government is not only external but internal. Systematic politicization of government is evident in the merging of the position of Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service with the position of Minister of Presidential affairs.  The complexity of carrying out the two functions which have very distinct differences has resulted in a very confused set up made even more confusing by the very rapid changes in persons occupying this very important position.  In his last term in office (2012-2016) Jammeh has appointed nine persons – Madi Jatta, Njogou Bah, Abdoulie Sallah, Momodou Aki Bayo, Kalilou Bayo, Dodou Bammy Jagne, Momodou Sabally, Lamin Nyabally and Sulayman Samba-to this critical position.  The two positions were delinked at the end of 2015 when Yam Bamba Secka was appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs while Sulayman Samba retained the position of SG.  She was removed shortly after. 

Hiring and Firing : Using his ‘electric broom’ threats to fire people from their jobs or using his powers to employ whom he wills from ‘1.5 million Gambians’ has created uncertainity about tenure of office in the minds of many people.  Many public servants report to work without being sure that they would still be in employment the next day.  Summary dismissals have resulted in many losing the pensions that they worked for.  This uncertainty has led to a dysfunctional system for many are too scared to take decisions that could be held against them.

Pre 1994 the Gambia Civil Service was reputed to be among the best in the sub-region.  Today it is a civil service only in name for Jammeh is the service.  No one knows who is who anymore or who is occupying what position.  It is here today and gone tomorrow.

Degrading and humiliating behaviour : All sectors of Gambian society ranging from cabinet ministers, judges, lawyers, public officials, religious leaders, politicians paticularly opposition members, the general public are all at risk from being subjected to one form of abuse or another.

Public officials : In 1994 Pa Cham, MD, Gambia Ports Authority, Abu Denton, Accountant General, Alieu Mboge, MD, National Trading Cooperation, Ousainou Njie, MD, Gambia Commercial and Development Bank were put in the back of a lorry and paraded through the streets of Banjul before detaining them.  

Some public officials (Abdoulie Conteh former Mayor of KMCl, Alhajie Jobe, MD of NAWEC and Tennegba Jaiteh on behalf of her husband) have under publicised television broadcasts apologised to Jammeh for crimes that they did not commit.  He pompously accepts the apology giving the impression that the person is at fault and that public interests and considerations come first.   

Public officials walk or run before his convoy, dance and sing for him ; and suffer verbal abuse.  

Arrests and Detentions :

Charges of “sedition”, “libel” and “treason” “abuse of office” and economic crimes are used ad lib on claims by the accusers that they are acting on ‘orders from above’. Persons arrested and detained are kept in detention for more than the prescribed period of 72 hours before being charged.

Public officials :  Sana Sabally, Sadibu Hydara, Baba Jobe, Majority Leader in the National Assembly, Lamin Jobarteh, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Sirrah Wally Ndow, former Minister of Energy, Ousman Jammeh, Njogu Bah and Momodou Sabally former Secretary Generals and Head of the Public Service and many more close allies have have been subjected to this treatment.

Cabinet Ministers : Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh, former Minister of state for Information and founder of the Coalition for Change, The Gambia (CCG), was charged with CCG members, Matthew Jallow, Ndey Tapha Sosseh and Famara Demba of the CCG for the printing of T-Shirts with the slogan «End to Dictatorship Now ».. The three of them could not be tried as they were outside the jurisdiction of The Gambia.  However, Dr. Janneh was tried found guilty as charged and sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour in January 17 2012.  The printers of the t-shirts Modou Keita, Ebrima Jallow, and Michael Ucheh Thomas were each sentenced to three years with hard labour for sedition.  The four were arrested in June 2011.  Dr. Janneh’s life sentence was commuted in September 2012 on presidential pardon.  Michael Ucheh died in prison and Keita and Jallow were both released after Janneh was released.

Security Officers: The top brass of the police (13 Badgie, Essa Badgie and Tamsir Jasseh, Former Inspector General’s of Police (IGPs) and Modou Gaye, former Deputy IGP) the military (Lang Tombong Tamba Former CDS of the Armed Forces, the navy (Alieu Sarr) and the intelligence services (Daba Marenah, Lamin Bo Badjie, Foday Barry (former heads of the NIA,  Ngorr Secka Deputy Director General NIA), Kawsu Camara alias Bombardier and other heads  of the ‘Jugglers’ a team within the military directly answerable to President Jammeh  have been arrested and detained on a variety of charges.  Putting fear into the lower ranks.   Many security officers are on the run for fear of being arrested or for refusing to be used to testify falsely against a senior officer.  Alledged coup plots 1994, 2006 and 2015 provides an excuse for arresting and detaining security officers.  Lang Tombong Tamba and Tamsir Jasseh former IGP and 10 military officers were imprisoned for their alledged roles in a 2006 coup plot. More recently six officers were imprisoned for their alledged roles in the 30th December 2014 attacks on State House. Prison sentences range from 20 years and above to life imprisonment or death sentences.

Opposition parties : The leadership of GPDP, GMC, NCP, PDOIS, PPP, NRP and the UDP have all suffered individually and severally from abuses of one form or another under the Jammeh regime.

The UDP leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has just been granted bail following his sentence to three years for holding an unlawful protest.  Arrested and detained on several occassions on a variety of charges including murder.  Several senior members and militants of the UDP have also been arrested, detained and sentenced.  Some of these inlcude Mariam Denton, Femi Peters ; Modou Shngle Nyassi ; Ebrima Solo Sandeng, Dodou Kassa Jatta, Amadou Sanneh, Malang Fatty, Alhagie Sambou Fatty, Fatoumata Jawara, Fatou Camara, Nogoi Njie, Juguna Suso and Fatoumatta Darbo.

Solo Sandeng’s political activism finally resulted in his death.  Arrested and detained along with 8 others in 2013 for organizing a political rally he was again arrested in 2016 for organizing a protest march for changes in the electoral laws. Another UDP protestor Solo Koroma died in detention

Other individivuals and organisations that suffer from state repression:

Civil Society Organisations are threatened with deregistration and their members harrassed and detained.  Examples are the arrest and detention of Momodou Ousman Saho, alias Dumo Saho, Ebrima Barrow and Ebrima Yarboe – with three others on treason charges.  After spending more than four years in prison, they were acquitted and discharged on a no case to answer.  The arrest and detention of Dr Isatou Touray, Executive Director, GAMCOTRAP and Amie Bojang Sissoho, Programme Coordinator for economic crimes in 2011.  They were remanded in custody for eight days in the Mile 2 Prison.  After a protracted trial, they were freed in November 2012.   Mohammed Sillah, the Amnesty International Coordinator, The Gambia was subjected to several spates of arrest and the office had to finally close down.   Internal interference in the affairs of the Pro-Poor Advocacy Group in 2009 and the expulsion of Sylvia Wachuku King the Action Aid Director and threatened closure of Action Aid the Gambia for providing legal aid to rural communities.

Religious Leaders : A number of religious leaders have also been arrested, detained, held incommunicado and tortured for speaking out against Jammeh or for not adhering to instructions to conduct Eid prayers on days designated by Jammeh.  These include Imam Touray of Brikama, Imam Baba Leigh, of Kanifing South Mosque, Imam Bakawsu Fofana, Alhaji Ismaila Manjang, Imam Moheideen Hydara of Brikama, Imam Sheik Omar Kolley of Jabang Borehole, Alhaji Ousman Sawaneh of Kanifing South Mosque and Imam Gassama, Darsilimai, Lower Fulladu West in the Central River Region.

Business Men and Investors : Mam Sait Njie, Banta Kaira, Lie Joof and Kebba Touray have been arrested and detained and their assets seized by the state.  Investors Alimenta (1999) and Carnegie (2006) were expelled from the country and their assets seized.  The investors took their case to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and in both cases The Gambia had in an out of court settlement.

Lawyers : Veteran lawyers Antouman Gaye, Ousman Sillah, have been detained.  An attempt was made on Sillah’s life but he escaped.  He is currently out of the country.  Others are subjected to commissions of enquiry other forms of harrassment.

Communities : Community members are abducted in broad daylight by armed men never to be seen again. State sponsored witch hunts in 2009 terrified communities and robbed people of their dignity as they were forced to drink potions and make confessions.  Hundreds of people mostly from the Fonis were subjected to this treatment from which at least two people died and others suffered other health problemsHundreds of people fled to neighbouring Senegal.  The witch hunt also targetted any person other person that Jammeh wanted to humiliate.

Children : Children have been killed or maimed as they rush to pick up the biscuits thrown by Jammeh from his speeding motorcade.  Jammeh and his team pay no attention to the damage that they have caused.  The children of the poor grovel to pick his broken biscuits while his own children are living a life of luxury.

The Dead : Jammeh has no respect for the dead.  He disparaged the dead Deyda Hydara and denied the bodies of Kukoi Samba Sanyang and Buba Baldeh burial in The Gambia.  He refused to hand over the bodies of Njagga Jagne and Bubacarrr Sanneh for burial.

Holding the people of The Gambia to Ransom : Jammeh’s volte face in first conceding defeat on the announcement of the presidentialelection result on 2nd December 2016 and then retracting this concession on the 9th December 2016 clearly illuminates his the true character.  He says one thing when he really means another.  The conciliatory Jammeh was just a facade.  The true Jammeh was to emerge a week later.

In usual Jammeh style he bames eveyone but himself. The IEC chairman and all other actors were blamed for his retraction.  Again it is ‘his-story’ and the game must be played according to his rules and not according to those in the electoral code, the Constitution of the Gambia the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.  His script is once again being played by the willing Balla Garba Jahumpa, Edward Gomez, Emmanuel Fangbele and Saul Badjie ready to enable Jammeh defy the wishes of the people of The Gambia.

In spite of calls from all sectors of Gambian society including some of his own, regional and global world leaders asking him to hand over to President elect Adama Barrow, Jammeh is determined to stay on «for years».  For Jammeh, the people of The Gambia cannot decide.  Only he, as has been the case since 1994, can decide.

He cannot stand to see his power base ebb before his very eyes, he cannot accept that he can no longer bully Gambians.  He cannot stand to see the joy on people’s faces, people free from fear and servitude.  He cannot bear to see the streets without his face on billboards.  Neither can he stand to see people wear T-shirts with the message ‘The Gambia has Decided’.

Jammeh, has directly challenged the ECOWAS Committee set up to mediate and negotiate for a smooth transition of power.  He is dismissive of their decision to uphold the Dec. 1 election results as totally illegal as he is dismissive of all decisions taken by ECOWAS pertaining to The Gambia.   It is now time to stop Jammeh.  He must take responsibility for his own actions.

3.3.3: TAKES THINGS THAT DONT BELONG TO HIM

When Jammeh took over the country his buzz words were Probity, Accountability and Transparency.  These words have no meaning as he takes things the belongings of the nation and other people, converting them to his own.  He has declared that his descendqnts «will never be poor », an extraordinary statement from a person who had no wealth in 1994.  He claims his money ‘comes from Allah’s bank’.  This is a deliberate ploy by Jammeh so that he will not be held accountable for money that falls like ‘manna from heaven’.

During an electricity crisis Jammeh took a generator from the Ocean Bay Hotel a government owned hotel for his private use.  This was made known by Andrew Sylva, Managing Director of the SSHFC when testifying before an Anti-Corruption Commission in 2004.  For this statement he was arrested and detained, charged with perjury and taken to court.

He has taken over homes seized by the Commissions of Enquiry such as the homes of Bakary Dabo, former vice president and Baba Jobe, former Majority Leader and given them to his mother and other family members.  He unlawfully seized the Batakunko area claiming that it belonged to his mother, destroying valuable homes and businesses belonging to the rightful owners.  He has seized expensive vehicles from Gambians abroad.

Jammeh’s numerous assets include his home in Kanilai, a zoo with all sorts of exotic species, Sindola hotel, petrol stations, businesses including KGI, several real estate properties especially in the new housing estates (Yarambamba, Brusubi, Paradise Suites, Brufut Heights) and many compounds in the Greater Banjul Area. He owns thousands of heads of cattle and other livestock ; unmeasured tracts of arable land and farming equipment, several commercial farms and the abbatoir at Abuko.  He has a fleet of taxis and buses and very expensive, luxury cars.

Jammeh throws lavish parties, international festivals (Futampap and cultural weeks), musical jamborees and beauty pageants during which he gives cash and other gifts and to participants.  All monetary gifts are in cash.  Outside The Gambia he has properties in New York, Morocco and Europe.

48% of Gambians still live below the poverty line.  He has monopolised small and medium sized businesses (butcher, baker, transporter, animal husbandary, horticulture, vegetable gardening etc.) denying self employment opportunities. Lack of jobs and helplessness has driven many young people to attempt the deadly, illegal route to Europe leading in a loss of lives and loss of human resources.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

All indications are that Jammeh is not the right person to steer the affairs of The Gambia forward.  His untruthfulness, bullying and corruption have disrupted the country he has dominated over the past 22 years and wants to continue doing so ad infintitum.  He has demonstrated that he is only interested in himself, his immediate family and does not care about whom and what he destroys to maintain this domination.  He has not demonstrated any ethical or moral leadership.  Jammeh must go as Gambians have decided that they cannot take anymore of Jammeh.

Signed :  Adelaide Sosseh

Assessor

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