Dear Editor, 

Please allow me space to respond to Mr Ousainou Mbenga’s article titled ” WHO DECIDED, GAMBIA OR THE “TACTICAL COALITION”?

Mr Mbenga’s dissatisfaction with the current government especially with the slow process of economic and constitutional reforms  is well known and documented.  However, it is well established fact that this regime has taken over from 22 years of military dictatorship characterized by gross human rights violations and economic deterioration. We cannot expect this regime to fix every single problem overnight. There are genuine concerns expressed by many about lack of progress or slow pace in ensuring that justice and rule of law are pursue for the victims. 

However, there are also so many unsubstantiated claims and ridiculous allegations designed to ensure that this regime fails so that these so called freedom fighters can embark on their political expediency to pursue a political goal.  Mr Mbenga’s baseless allegation of tribal nepotism is inherently a designed political strategy to sow seeds of discord among Gambian people. Every reasonable person in the country knows that this regime is the most diverse administration that ever exist in the country. So why is Mr Mbenga and his cohorts accusing the government of tribal preferential treatment or nepotism? 

The desperate job seekers and self proclaimed victims will continue to undermine the very ideal of democracy and rule of law we fought for. Those who truly believe in democracy, selfless sacrifice and rule of law truly understand that this regime has set the stage for economic, political and constitutional reforms. This are evidenced by various economic, and constitutional reforms agendas initiated and in process of review and discussion in public domain. Already Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been set up and currently there is a commission looking at financial activities of former president Jammeh. There are talks underway on constitutional reforms or possible formation of a new constitution that would include term limit and other necessary reforms . These are all brilliant ideas or initiatives which will build the foundation for strong democracy and economic development in the near future. We have fought hard 22 long years for our previous government to have these reforms agendas but we have never succeeded to have the government even entertained these ideas. So why the negativism and baseless propaganda designed to promote individual political interest ?

In Mr Mbenga’s article, he claimed that ” our only guarantee to genuine liberation hinges on our unwavering determination for social justice, meaningful peace and a political strategy for economic prosperity. These lofty ideals are best attainable through the application of SCIENCE”. 

I also believe that ideals of social justice, meaningful peace and economic prosperity are great ideas which are bedrocks of any genuine democracy. My question to Mr Mbenga is that ; how can science help Gambian people to have social justice, meaningful peace and a political strategy for economic prosperity? I believe that Mr Mbenga’s suggestion to apply Science to achieve these lofty ideals is baseless and nonsensical suggestion as far as social justice and meaningful peace are concerned. We can utilize science to enhance our productivity and economic advancement but not as a political strategy. Science is not a political strategy. Attainment of social justice and meaningful peace can only be realized through democracy and rule of law which this government has already prioritized as the most important pillars for our peaceful co-existence and democratic sustainability as a nation. 

Mr Mbenga’s outlandish claims of destabilizing reasons such as ” undermining of coalition agreement ,retaining the architects of APRC apparatus, questionable financial interactions with Foreign donors and  no mention of term limit for the presidency “, are all false narratives designed for false political activism and propaganda. These reasons are not destabilizing factors when already there are political, economic and constitutional reforms being initiated and discussed in many departments or ministries to push these agendas as legislations. It is therefore erroneous and deception to embark on such false claims for political expediency. There was no undermining of coalition agreement since there was no signed agreement displayed in pubic domain. The Gambian people have voted for coalition independent candidate based on the constitutional provision of five years term. This was what The Gambia has decided. 

Thank you. 

Maxs

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