Gambia’s Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe has weighed in the recent alleged corruption allegations leveled against the sacked Interior Minister Mai Fatty. Mr. Darboe told a town hall meeting in Washington DC, on Saturday, attended by the Gambian Community in the DC Metropolitan area, that those spreading what he called the “UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS” against Mr. Fatty are not only out to soil the reputation of the former Interior Minister, but the entire administration of President Adama Barrow. Mr. Darboe therefore categorically rejected such allegations against Mr. Fatty.
“I never thought that Gambians can be so malicious. I never thought that Gambians can be so mischievous. Just sit up and concord stories on your own and publish them; and give them some credence. I could not never imagined that anybody could do that. I want to say that the Barrow administration operates in a very transparent manner. And when it comes to investments, we have almost four institutions that examine investments. We have GIEPA and the Ministry of Trade. I do not think one can penetrate all these institutions for bribe and corruption,” Mr. Darboe remarked.
The Kairo News reported the story last week. It alleged that the sacked Interior Minister allegedly received a bribe of D15 million dalasi from Semelex, a Belgian bio metric company interested in running Gambia’s passport and ID Card technology. The paper has since apologized to Mai Fatty after retracting its original reportage on the story.
Both Mai Fatty and Semlex have also debunked the allegations. They denied the existence of such an alleged bribery which transpired between Semlex and Mai Fatty.
Speaking for the first time since the story hits the newsstand, Foreign Minister Darboe said the allegations against Mr. Fatty are not only false, but malicious.
“I want to say that those terrible allegations against Mr. Mai Fatty are malicious, mischievous and there is no iota of truth in them. These are people, who are just bent on tarnishing not Mai Fatty, but the administration of President Adama Barrow; because if a Minister is found wanting; if any Minister is found wanting; it is the Barrow administration that is found wanting. So, I think it is geared towards that. I want to appeal to us Gambians, to be really honest to ourselves and not to be despiteful of people, to the extent that you can go up and make up stories against people,” Darboe added.
In his speech at the townhall meeting Mr. Darboe challenged Gambians in the diaspora to return home and contribute their quota to national development. He said Gambia’s doors are open for investment, as the country is marching towards democratic reforms and institutional development.
The UDP leader noted that almost all the sectors of national development are currently undergoing reformation. He cited the judiciary, legislative branch, and the Executive, among other sectors of national development being revamped by the new government. He said the Supreme Court has been fully staffed with four Gambian judges and two non-Gambians. He added that government’s goal is to have Gambian nationals to man the bench in years ahead.
Regarding the University of the Gambia, he said Gambian educationists overseas should return home and help revamp the University. He said the education sector needs the contribution of professionals overseas.
Mr. Darboe noted that Gambia’s major developmental challenges today is the energy sector. He assured the gathering that efforts are underway to find a lasting solution to fix Gambia’s power outages. He underscored the importance of energy in national development. He said all hands would be put on deck to resolve the power crisis befalling the impoverished West African nation.