… a society that has for its religion hypocrisy and materialism coupled with love of human praise, insatiable desire to be known, and blaming God for their own faults deserves what it gets. Such a society is Gambia and Gambians get what they deserve – Jammeh- a despot.
Some writers on the online newspapers write to show how much command they have of the English language and how highly educated they are. Some write because they have sensed that change is inevitable in the Gambia, and when change arrives to the shores of the Gambian, they want to be recognized and remembered as persons who have been active in the “struggle.” And then there are the true warriors who are motivated by love of country. I salute brothers: Pa Nderry Mbai, Mathew Jallow, Baba Galleh Jallow Mr. Ousainou Mbenga, and sister Fatou Jaw Manneh and a host of others who I do not know their names, for the great work they do to educate Gambians. I will make an appeal to these persons at the end of this article. Of the persons I have listed, I only know Mr. Mbenga, and he cannot tell you who the Gambian Outsider is. I have never met the others in person. Below you will find paragraphs on various topics. Each paragraph can be the basis of a full article. For lack of enough time to write about all the things happening in the Gambia, I choose this method:
- Fatou Bensouda: If the report is true that Ms. Bensouda told a reporter that she has asked “her team” to look into the political arrest going on in the Gambia, then Ms. Bensouda is being disingenuous if such duties are not assigned to her. Ms. Bensouda is a public employee who is hired to do a job. She has no authority whatsoever to choose what job to do and where to do it. Her work is funded by the IEC. She can delegate some duties to employees under her, but she has no authority to order “her team” to look into what is happening in the Gambia without that mandate coming from those who hired her. In other words, she cannot begin an investigation that has not been assigned to her. If research indicates that such assignment was never given to her then she is flat out lying.
- Edward Singhateh: Mr. Mathew Jallow has written a very good article on him. To fill in the interstices of that well written article, how many cases did Edward win when he was in practice? I mean cases beginning from indictment to verdict. If anyone will take the time to look into the record, you will notice that Edward was good at getting bail for his clients. This was certainly a good thing to those clients. The issue is that Edward was not relying on knowledge or skill but name recognition- a close friend of the despot, and the prosecutors and judges know who he is.
- Madam Justice: The madam said a few weeks ago that one does not know the meaning or value of freedom until he or she loses it. I have wondered what freedom she was talking about. How in the world could she talk about freedom when she consistently disregards The Gambian Constitution that she swore to uphold. Gambians will know freedom when she actually starts to obey the Constitution. Until then she has no business lecturing others about freedom.
The Case Against Darboe and Co: Most of what has been written about the case has been ill-informed. The question presented is whether the law that the government invoked to charge Darboe and Co is constitutional? If the law is constitutional, the accused still have all of the other constitutional rights provided by the constitution to accuse persons. On the other hand, if the law is unconstitutional, the case should and must be thrown out. This is the question that the Supreme Court must settle. Of course, if the Court makes a decision, it must be grounded on law. The Court’s decision must not be solely based on what other courts around the world have said about such matters. What other courts may have said about similar matters may be persuasive but it is not binding on the Court. Whatever decision the Court makes, it cannot be repugnant to the Gambian Constitution. This will avoid the Court from interpreting the Constitution arbitrarily.
The arrest of Mr. Darboe and Co was not illegal. Persons can be arrested for all kinds of reasons. The illegality comes in from the proceedings in the courts. Let me please make this clear. In Criminal Procedure, the two major procedural problems are those of apprehension and trial of suspected persons: “The essentials of a criminal proceeding are: (1) to bring the accused before or within the power of the tribunal [court]; (2) a preliminary investigation to insure that the crime is one which should be prosecuted; (3) notice to the accused of the offense charged, (4) opportunity to prepare for trial, procure witnesses, and make needed investigations, (5) a speedy trial, (6) a fair trial before an impartial tribunal, and (7) one review of the case as a whole by a suitable appellate tribunal … “ Now use the seven points to evaluate what is happening with Darbo and Co.
- Mr. Halifah Sallah: Mr. Mathew Jallow not long ago wrote a very insightful piece on Mr. Sallah. I highly recommend it. It is a must read. Again to fill in the interstices of that piece, Mr. Sallah from his writings and actions over the years has demonstrated that he is an elitist. He presents himself as highly educated and only his thoughts and ideas matter. He may be highly educated but he does not have a monopoly on all ideas on issues affecting The Gambia. To be highly educated is to reach the highest level in your field of studies. To be well educated is not only to reach a higher level of education, but to also demonstrate the intellectual virtues. Here is one definition of Intellectual Virtues: The intellectual virtues are character traits necessary for right action and correct thinking. They include a sense of justice, perseverance, empathy, integrity, intellectual courage, confidence in reason and autonomy. His ability to judge a situation and act prudently is questionable. He has fumbled opportunity after opportunity. The current situation in the Gambia is a prime example. Where he needed to step up on day or at least day two, if day one was too early for him, he once again does what he does best; fumbled the ball. Without actually saying it publicly because of the disapproval that may come from the masses, Mr. Sallah’s conduct seems to demonstrative that he sees an opportunity for him and his party in the arrests of Darboe and Co, hence his silence. It is as if Darboe’s lost is his gain. A leader of people must stand up for what is right regardless of the situation. The action of the Despot in the last twenty or so years has made clear that what is happening to Darboe and Co could happen to any political figure. This fact alone should make any political leader step up and speak up. If Mr. Sallah gains popularity and votes because of what is happening to Darboe and Co, then he will be a thief and a robber. His gains will then be ill-gotten and tainted, because it would be at the expense of persons who took a stand for truth and justice. Mr. Sallah would rather have the people lead and he follows. That the is characteristic of a hired shepherd and not the “Good Shepherd.” The good shepherd lays his life for the sheep. The good shepherd walk in front of the sheep so that when the wolves show up, he defends the sheep because he is in front of the sheep and not behind the sheep. In his latest posting on Freedom Newspaper and his speech at the CSO meeting in Dakar, Mr. Sallah kept talking about “material condition” without saying what the phrase means. He also kept talking about “No one knows at this moment which Gambian can lead the whole of the Gambia to bring about change in election.” We may not know that person but you are definitely not it. Electoral reform is a start but Gambia’s problems are much bigger than electoral reforms. The last time I checked, electoral laws do not reform themselves. Leaders are needed who would initiate electoral reforms. Isn’t that what Darboe and Co have been trying to do? There are enough speeches and writings of Mr. Sallah to evaluate him.
- To My Fellow Knights: We are with you. I am a member of the Knights of Columbus. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Fear not, for you have built your houses on a Rock and not on the sand. We are with you. If need be, we will fight the good fight, we will finish the race, and forever keep the faith. You know in the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
- To Mr. PaNderry, Mr. Mathew Jallow, Mr. Baba Galleh Jallow, Mr. Ousainou Mbenga, Ms. Fatou Jaw Manneh, I appeal to you guys to start focusing on the National Assembly. Let it be known that whenever the Despot uses the National Assembly to pass a law, no matter how unconstitutional that law may be, it is almost impossible to convince the international community to act against Jammeh based on that law. It is high time to start scrutinizing and criticizing the National Assembly consistently. Some of what is happening in the Gambia could have been somehow averted if there were principled persons at the National Assembly. If the Despot cannot be defeated in an election, it is time to try and elect National Assembly members who can stand up to the Despot and challenge him parliamentarily. I do not mean that the Despot should be let off the hook, but to equally take on the National Assembly. The National Assembly is the only branch of the government that has a chance to derail the Despot’s agenda.
- The death of Mr. Sandeng is the casting of the dice on the Despot. Rain is needed to moisten the ground so that the ground becomes fertile. A rain is also needed for democracy to grow only that the rain needed for democracy to grow is not rain of water but blood. That blood is Mr. Sandeng’s blood. The blood of Mr. Sandeng is like that of Daida or Koro Ceesay, or the youth of April 10 and the like. The death of those persons is a great lost. His death was the casting of the dice on the Despot’s fate. I am not putting a timeline on when the Despot will be gone, but there is no turning back. It is finished. If you look at the history of democracy you will see that of all places where democracy has taken root, people have lost their lives while exercising their fundamental rights.
- By Gambian Outsider: