Despite damaging revelations coming from the Janneh Commission linking Mamburay Njie to aiding and abetting the exiled dictator Yahya Jammeh to steal millions of Qatari grant meant for the impoverished Gambian state, including other alleged financial crimes associated with the former Jammeh enabler, that never prevented Gambia’s rookie President Adama Barrow from appointing Njie to serve as his Finance Minister. Mr. Njie is a witness to the Suharata Janneh led Commission of Inquiry currently investigating the financial activities of dictator Jammeh’s past government.
Njie has been named in one of the most scandalous financial crimes, which has ever rocked the twenty two years Jammeh misrule. For example, the government of Qatar provided a grant of $4 million dollars to the Government of the Gambia, and her people, but Jammeh decided to pocket the funds with the help of his former enablers in the system. Mr. Njie was Finance Minister at the material time. Njie was among the Jammeh enablers, who cosigned the dubious bank account in which the Qatar grant was deposited. Jammeh also appended his signature on that fictitious bank account. The funds were later diverted. Jammeh uses some part of those funds to purchase an aircraft. The evidence of which is before the Janneh Commission for all to see.
The Janneh Commission also found that Mr. Njie was complicit in aiding Jammeh to cash-out over one million Euros from the fictitious Qatari Account. It was not within Njie’s scope of work or duties to partake in the opening of the said account. In fact, he has admitted before the Commission that his actions were outside the law, and yet President Barrow has appointed him Finance Minister.
Njie replaces Amadou Sanneh, who has been recycled to head the Trade Ministry. Sanneh has left behind a virtually bankrupt Finance Ministry. Quid pro quo was the order of the day during his watch as Finance Minister. Contracts were hardly tendered for public bidding. Single sourcing was the common practice at the Ministry.
Gambia’s debt has reached an alarming proportion. IMF says Gambia’s debt ratio has become unsustainable. The new regime has resorted to worsening the situation by hiring such a tainted and disgraced character Mamburay Njie.
It is only in the Gambia that public officials who aided and abetted a dictator to empty our financial coffers would be rewarded. Njie’s appointment confirms Barrow’s lack of seriousness and commitment to combating official graft.
The Janneh Commission is yet to complete its Inquiry into Jammeh’s past financial activities. Now, Barrow is tampering with a high profile witness in the person of Mamburay Njie. Njie is under investigations. He is yet to be cleared by the Commission.
Under normal circumstances, all former Jammeh officials should have been placed under administrative leave pending the outcome of the Janneh Commission. The likes of Chief Protocol Officer Alhagie Ousman Ceesay, Mamburay Njie, Nuha Touray, and others are still employed by the regime.
Mr. Barrow’s decision to appoint Mamburay Njie Finance Minister amounts to interfering with the Commission’s witnesses. Some analysts opined that Mamburay is prune to manipulation and could be exploited by Mr. Barrow to do his political bidding.
So far, based on Mr. Njie’s own testimony before the Janneh Commission, he was part of a Presidential inauguration task force during Jammeh’s rule. Millions of dalasis were squandered during that bogus inauguration. Njie overstepped his bounds as a Finance Minister at the time to allow himself to be used by Jammeh to engage in such alleged financial crimes.
By this dispatch, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other donor partners are being alerted about the leadership infamy taking place in the Gambia—with the reckless appointment of such a phony and dubious charlatan in the person of Mamburay Njie. Mr. Njie has no place in the new government. No serious government should associate itself with such an economic hack. He was Jammeh’s economic pimp. Mr. Barrow has rehired him to do what he is good at doing:cooking up numbers and wrecking treasuries.