Harrowing revelations about a financial genocide are coming out of the Janneh Commission of Inquiry set up to look into the financial dealings of the former president and his close associates. The revelations have it that monies were siphoned from almost every section of government. But the worst, by far – at least in my opinion – is the amount of money taken away from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation.
Gambians work hard all their lives serving their country and receiving a salary that is nothing to write home about. All this while, their salaries are deducted under the pretext that it will be kept so that when they retire, this will be paid back to them so they can survive after retirement. It is disheartening to learn that those amounts were being withdrawn and used for different purpose at the detriment of Gambian workers.
I call this financial genocide because the losses it will cause the ordinary Gambian can lead to very unpleasant consequences. When people retire, many find it difficult to cope with ‘after work’ life, which is boring and mostly unproductive. These people find it difficult to feed their families which may cause malnutrition among their children (the future of our country), and other related problems. Add to that, the fact that they will now find out that a few of their countrymen had embezzled the funds they were keeping for a rainy day like this. This can cause stress, trauma and even mental illness! We may face a drastic increase in patients with mental disorder in the next decade or so.
To avoid this, or at least minimize its devastating consequences, a plan should be put together immediately to ensure that those funds are recovered, or find a way of refilling the coffers of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation. This should be a top priority as our elderly folks deserve better from their government than looting.
Now we come to what I think should be done to the people responsible for this great heist, for, that is what this is; a heist. All the people who participated in this cruel theft should be prosecuted and made to face the full force of the law. The excuse of being under duress or fear should not be accepted at all. We have seen people with conscience stand their grounds and nothing happened to them. So those who fell on this like vultures were simply protecting their individual selfish interest.
Finally, we must ensure that proper institutions are put in place to ensure that nothing like this ever happens in this country ever again. There must be tools that can enforce proper financial procedures and the following of due diligence to safeguard our country. Remember, as Karl Max said, man is a selfish animal. Anytime man thinks that he can get away with something, he will go for it. Therefore, proper mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that unscrupulous men and women do not play with our economy.
Have a Good Day Mr President….
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen