As The Gambia government is completely bankrupt and dead broke—with no or little solid cash available at the National Treasury Department, the regime has reactivated its forced policy to compel impoverished citizens and the business community to pay bogus taxes to the inept Jammeh establishment, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) is working with local municipalities and the NIA to arrest folks, who are indebted to the politically controlled Tax administration. All kind of phony taxes are being crafted to exploit law abiding citizens just for the sake of maintaining the dying Jammeh status quo. The regime lacks budget to operate and it is now banking on its citizens to raise money through exorbitant taxes to pay salaries, maintain the collapsed healthcare, educational system, and the failed energy sector.
According to a source, who reached us yesterday, the bankrupt Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has introduced an environmental tax, even though the Municipality couldn’t fulfill its set mandate to the taxpayers. There is trash all over the KMC locality.
It’s the Council’s duty to keep the municipality clean, but under Mayor Yankuba Colley’s watch, the KMC is one of the dirtiest localities in the country. Collected tax funds meant for maintaining proper environmental sanitation for the municipality are being diverted by corrupt Council officials for their own personal gains. Some part of the collected funds is also used to finance APRC political activities.
“Not sure if you are aware but KMC are going around shops demanding payment for environmental Tax. Threaten them with summon if they don’t pay. No one seems to know what this tax is for and how comes all of sudden shops are asking to pay this bogus tax. My source said she refused to pay,” said our informant.
According to the Banjul based Point Newspaper “GRA’s Commissioner of Customs Alieu Ceesay said although it is not their wish to put anybody or business in problem, the law is very clear that failure to pay tax is a crime and, as such, there are penalties attached.”
“So it is important for people to comply in paying tax,as without revenue national development cannot take place,” the paper quoted Mr. Ceesay as having said.
The Gambia has reached a point of “survival of the fittest.” The regime is blaming its failure and gross incompetence to her poor citizens and law abiding businessmen. Jammeh is determined to send many people to jail this year. He is also going to take over people’s businesses and private properties just for the sake of trying to recover tax arrears the alleged defaulters owed to the state.
The private sector, which is generally referred to as the main engine of national economic growth, has been killed by the country’s biggest tax evader Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh owns almost ninety percent of the dead economy. He pays no taxes on his businesses. Yet, the corrupt dictator has the audacity to blame citizens and the private sector for the country’s economic problems.
The GRA’s leadership might end up being thrown under bus by Jammeh. Jammeh is an economic scavenger. He is only after making money for himself, his family and close loyalists, who are helping him to consolidate himself into power.
If the regime’s forced taxation scheme method fails, Jammeh would use his NIA to arrest the Directorate of the GRA and blame them for failing to deliver. There is no money in the market. Businesses are closing due to lack of clientele. GRA’s tax collection ratio has declined dramatically overtime. And the greedy and corrupt Yahya Jammeh cannot comprehend or accept the recent decline in revenue collection in the market.
Gambia’s economic crisis has reached an alarming proportion. What’s happening in today’s Gambia is similar to the Great Economic Depression Era. There is no sector in that country which is productive. All institutions are falling apart.
Even though the regime in Banjul has made an undertaking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it would no longer meddle into the country’s Foreign Exchange trade, competent sources within the State House said Jammeh is running the banks and he determines the exchange rate no matter what. For now, Jammeh will desist from pegging the exchange rate for the dollar and the pound, but he will soon resume his foreign currency manipulation, one official told me yesterday. “His primary focus now is the GR. He is desperately scavenging for funds,” the official added.
Sadly, the regime has not been doing a fine job, when it comes to initiating sound economic policies. It is too dependent on domestic taxation and borrowing to a point that the very private sector, that’s helping to maintain the regime financially has also crumbled. Now every sector is virtually at the receiving end.
In a worst case scenario, national revolt would hit The Gambia. That’s the only recipe at the disposal of citizens to change things around. Elections would only further complicate matters because Jammeh is not the type who can lead that country to overcome the current economic challenges. Jammeh is a liability to The Gambia and her people.
Coup too is imminent in Banjul! National security analysts have predicted a possible game changer within Jammeh’s politicized army. The army command is closely following developments within the establishment, and it is a question of when it would summon its courage to restore sanity in the country. The regime in place has proven to be incompetent to steer the affairs of the state. We rest our case!