Political Corruption in the Gambia
Ever since the birth of the new Gambia, everything is dictated by the political leaders and people ruling in the government sectors. Apparently, we are a democratic country, but whosoever comes into the power tries to misuse that power for his/her personal gains, for acquiring wealth and luxury. The common people, as always, find themselves in a state of deprivation.
In the Gambia, the gap between the haves and have-nots is so huge that it becomes a clear example of corruption in the country where one section of society acquires richness and wealth and on the other hand the majority of the masses remain below the poverty line. This is the reason why the country’s economy is facing a decline, yet government is giving us false figures of economic growth. This is without any visible economic recovery measures in place
If we are a responsible citizen of our country, we should understand that this corruption is eating into our nation’s economic growth like a termite and is giving rise to crime in our society. If the majority section of our society will continue to live in deprivation and poverty and will not find any employment opportunity, the crime rate will never come down. The influx of. Backway returnees without any prior arrangement for them to be place into meaningful programmes will also give rise to crime and criminal activities. Poverty will destroy people’s ethics and morals and would result in an increase in hatred amongst the people. It is high time for us to address this issue and fight it in order to pave way for the holistic growth of our country. The constant political division between Barrow and the UDP is hindering developmental efforts.
The parliament should pass strict laws against the anti-social elements of our society, regardless of the fact that whether such people are within the political system of our country or outside it. There should be an equal treatment for all. An effective ant-corruption legislation should have been in place since 2016 but because the former coalition government wanted to have a taste of what is like to abuse power and corruption hence their coming power was triggered by greed. If one were to think and evaluate the causes behind corruption, then it could be countless.
However, the most glaring reason responsible for the vicious spread of corruption, I believe, is the people’s non-serious attitude towards the governmental rules and laws and the sheer inertia of government towards those who spread evil in society. It appears that the ones who are employed to put an end to corruption have themselves become complicit in the crime and are encouraging it, this is in the heart of government, eg was the high amount of travel and per-diems paid to top government official on un-necessary travels. Yet another important reason behind corruption is the non-transparency of bureaucratic and governmental functions. In particular, the institutions that are run under the government show moral laxity and brush under the carpet serious issues, the D35m stolen by the first lady’s foundation was of the cases the government neglected, the President’s financial expenses not accounted for. The money that should be used for the upliftment of poor people is gobbled up by the politicians themselves. Even worse, the people who are not affluent and cannot bribe the people in power are not able to get their work done and hence their files are fated to meet the dust instead of stimulating action. Clearly, any growing economy would come falling down when corrupt officials hold the reign of a country.
The government hasn’t come up with any austerity measures to revive the economic instead they were happy receiving support aid from the IMF and EU which will further increase the national debt. The barrow has failed to stabilise the economy as promised, spending is higher than ever before, even agriculture which was supposed to be better n boost the economy wasn’t given the required attention as youth employment and health. Until today the government couldn’t tell Gambia where the missing millions are, they claimed Jammeh took during the impasse, and what was left or where they start from.
The situation has become very tense and unless the general public takes proactive measures and becomes vigilant, the corruption cannot be uprooted from our society. So, come let’s join hands and fight against corruption. The two biggest problem n obstacle to peace and progress is the UDP and BYM, a combination of the two equals to APRC