Hello Mr. President… What are we going to do about the Pensioners…?

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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 It is disheartening to learn that those amounts were being withdrawn and used for different purpose at the detriment of Gambian workers.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

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  1. The fundamental question one needs to ask is what are the consequences of corruption? All these millions stolen by these unscrupulous Gambians has some devastating effects on the social structures of the Gambia. The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, where every day is a desperate struggle for survival for more than half of the population. These monies could have been spent on education, health care, housing as well as building the infrastructure. Instead the country is deprived off this needed socioeconomic development for 22 long years by the very people sworn in to manage our economy for the collective interest of all. I was a very active advocate for change of government and would like to see justice prevail. There should be no mercy for anyone guilty of any economic crime. They must be stripped off all their assets and send to jail for more than 20 years with hard labour. These crimes constitute murder – how many Gambians died because of lack of well-trained doctors or proper medicines or yet still how many children dropped out of school for not paying their school fees, or how many students graduated from high school, who cannot spell their own names as a result of lack of investment in training teachers.

    We as a nation has been set back for well over half a century by few people who were able to hire good teachers for their children or even send them for further education to western universities. There is no excuses whatsoever. These people are guilty as hell. We have seen the likes of Dr. Seedat Jobe and Mamburay Njie who said no to Jammeh’s nonsense. Thus, there is no excuse whatsoever. A tooth for a tooth should be the way forward or else we will be worse than Nigeria as the author rightly put it.

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