Gambia’s economic crisis has reached a boiling point, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The government of dictator Yahya Jammeh couldn’t pay the salaries of workers in the month of January. The regime is now resorting to paying workers’ salaries in form of piecemeal. In other words, workers no longer receive their full monthly salary. They are paid half of what they earn for the month. The salary cuts started in January, according to competent Finance Ministry sources.
Government Ministers, National Assembly Members, Security Chiefs, including the lowest worker in the government received half salary for the month of January, our source intimated. The workers were told that there is no sufficient budget in stock to pay full salaries. In order to avoid workers going home without salaries, the regime strategized an economic game plan by making a piecemeal salary payments, our source added.
“I have been working in this government for a long period of time. This is the first time that I have been paid half salary. My salary has been cut to half. The reason being: The government said there is no money to cater for salaries. My monthly salary is not enough to feed me and my family. Now they have cut my salary to half. This means I will be unable to pay my rent and feed my family. Yahya Jammeh should step down in the interest of peace. He cannot run this country. Everyone is upset by the salary cuts,” said a top security chief in the army.
“Ministers have also been affected by the salary cuts. A Minister confided to me, that all his colleagues are complaining. This is the price of dictatorship. As your paper rightly reported Jammeh might end up shutting down the government. There is no cash in this country. If you closely analyze Jammeh’s actions, you can see that he has started eliminating some of the Ministries he formed. None of the Ministries are viable nowadays. It is better we restore ties with the European, the Commonwealth and other western financial institution than living in isolation. If the current economic trend continues, salaries would not be paid next month. What’s happening now is just the tip of the iceberg,” the security chief lamented.
A Medical Doctor at the Francis Small Teaching Hospital said: “We work very hard for our money. The government is now paying us in half. This is unacceptable. If Yahya Jammeh, and his wife are not paid in half, why are they paying us in piecemeal? I will quit.. There is no point working without salaries. The situation is very hopeless. I don’t see things improving in the short term. There is no point staying here. I am leaving.”
Meanwhile, prior to Yahya Jammeh travelling to Ethiopia last night, communication briefly went blackout before it was restored. No one here seems to know what’s going on. There is heighten security alert across the country.
Written By A Staff Writer, Banjul