Gambia: Are Diasporan Gambian Groups Funding Dictator Yahya Jammeh’s Government By Default?


Are diasporan Gambian groups funding dictator Yahya Jammeh’s government by default? Well, it is public knowledge that the judiciary in The Gambia, is not independent, and therefore any fundraising drive spearheaded by diasporan groups to finance legal aid expenses for victims of Jammeh’s rogue regime amounts to funding a corrupt judicial system, in my humble opinion. Funding activists back home—be it the opposition, Civil Society, or Youth Groups, must be prioritized in the spirit of not falling into Jammeh’s gutter judiciary and Independent Electoral Commission. Get that folks!

Despite repeated forewarnings coming from Jammeh that he owns the judiciary, the IEC, the government and the country, and her people, the gullible diasporan groups are eager to raise funds to combat Jammeh in his own dominated criminalized zone. The government controlled establishments that you time and time branded as an extension of the State House, have been consuming your hard earned dollars, pounds and Euros over the years. Is anyone reading between the lines? 

The question that comes to mind is: When shall our diasporan activists designed a sensible mechanism that would stipulate the conditions for homebased funding, especially when it comes to helping victims of Jammeh’s crimes? Since the courts belong to Jammeh, why wasting funds raised through the public to legitimize a rogue judiciary by hiring lawyers to represent litigants, who will never receive justice as long as the deranged Kanilai despot is presiding over the affairs of this country.

For example, the magistrate presiding over the Kartong youths case, was handpicked by Jammeh to deny bail to the accused persons. I guess our activists are aware of Jammeh’s meddling into the affairs of the judiciary? The offense in question is bailable, but the accused persons’ right to bail have been flagrantly violated. They have been remanded in prison.

In order to beat Jammeh at his own game, diasporan groups should use such funds to provide food for the families of the detained youths, than funding fake court cases. Serving time in The Gambia today is nothing new. One out of ten Gambians, have either been arrested or jailed under Jammeh’s watch.

The danger associated with hiring a lawyer is that; Jammeh would be tempted to reactivate his terror machine by arresting folks just for the sake of raising funds for his bankrupt regime. Jammeh is now convinced that anyone he arrests in the opposition, would be funded by the exiled diasporan community. That’s the naked reality.

It is imperative to note that the Jammeh regime is faced with acute cash shortages, especially foreign exchange. Imagine, Gambian groups wiring huge chunk of dollar, pound, and Euro to fund frivolous court cases each time Jammeh arrests someone associated with the opposition? Think about it folks… Are you sensing what I am smelling here? It stinks right, to borrow Abdoulie Savage’s expression. Jammeh is economically pimping our unsuspecting diasporan groups…

There should be a consensus reached by diasporan groups not to fund legal cases brought against our law abiding citizens by Jammeh’s rogue police and the NIA. Funding flawed elections should also be “a no, no!”

Empowering communities committed to meaningful political change economically should be the way forward and not wasting public raised funds on ventures that would only enhance Jammeh, his corrupt judiciary and IEC economically. Jammeh is using such funds to pay his mercenaries judges, magistrates and upkeep the judiciary at the expense of legal fees financed by those opposing him.

It should also be noted that Jammeh is aware of the fact that diasporan Gambian groups freak out each time he (Jammeh) arrest their loved ones or members of the opposition. Freedom is never free. It should be fought for. Gambians will never secure their freedoms by allowing Jammeh to dictate the political pace and narrative. Quit being reactionaries and procrastinators; and make Jammeh to run for his money. Period!

Raising funds for victims of Jammeh political crimes is not that bad in my opinion, but such funds should be directed to the needy and not the corrupt judiciary and the IEC. 

Meanwhile, Jammeh has ordered for the release of the Kartong youths from custody based on reports reaching us. The international media has played a huge role towards exposing the story.  Jammeh has decided to let them go for now. Jammeh needs your dollars. Keep that in mind. Do not fund Jammeh’s judiciary, and IEC. We rest our case!

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