(JollofNews) – Without needing to think hard or far, the truth is right under your nose. For more than 20 years Yaya Jammeh keeps recycling assorted brands of deception.
Certainly were Jammeh not one big fool to think he is able to escape scrutiny by curiously attentive observers then majority of Gambians can be counted bigger fools in their own rights in believing his imaginary development talks.
From independence to republic status there are no leaps in the economic advancement of Gambia indicating a nation relying on tourism and peanut sale can become superpower overnight. Even after knowing that is impossible, whatever keeps Jammeh promising Gambians the contrary leaves more lingering doubts. The truth no honest and reasonable person can deny is that even if Gambia had all resources at hand (unfortunately the resources are not there) it is impossible to attain such development under Yaya Jammeh presidency due to good reasons.
It is pure wishful thinking for anyone to imagine Gambia becoming superpower world class economy while Yaya Jammeh remains squandering public resources to feed his rampantly corrupt and lavish looting life.
Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail
Taking Yaya Jammeh and his entire gang of looters to serious task, will they be honest enough in producing one page of documentation as national development plan. If they are genuinely serious about development of Gambia at least planning is one vital fact of matters that cannot be out of the equation. All we know is that Jammeh plays the pipes and dances to the drum. Everyone around him simply sits and each watching on. Nobody cares about planning. Jammeh only makes loud pronouncements while everyone takes everything for granted. Nobody cares to ask critical questions. In short, there is no documented realistic plan. Jammeh has the magic command of “let it be” and the rest try pleasing him by committing resources without feasibility study. Based on no priority ranking of needs they end up with concrete walls and other cosmetic structures calling that development.
It is a typical case of failing to plan which by extension means planning to fail. Granted there are lose notes of documentation then the regime must provide public access to such material for competent critical scrutiny by all concerned stakeholders. Remember Gambia is still a nation and cannot be reduced to private estate of Yaya Jammeh as he claims. On account of that truth, documentation on any planned development must not be relayed by word of mouth as we know Jammeh to be doing. The regulator has to be subjected to same regulations. Public access to all planned development is full rights of everyone that cannot be denied.
State of lawlessness is biggest loophole that permits Jammeh and his cohorts to dodge away from critical public scrutiny. From 22 July 1994 first pillar of governance dismantled by the junta is the legal system. Knowing fully well that in the absence of properly constituted laws and without respect for such, there are no controls over his gross mismanagement, Jammeh enjoys unlawful ways more. Much more he survives on disorder and chaos. Gambia has since July 1994 become completely lawless. People in the judiciary past and present know that for a fact. It does not bother them especially when their payroll is not threatened.
Yaya Jammeh came to power using the most unlawful means. He knows what it means keeping the laws properly functioning. With proper legal due process in place, Jammeh could not have gone this far. Disrespect of the laws is serving his best hidden agenda leaving the entire population at worst pains enduring a relentless tyrant. The absence of a good functioning judiciary in Gambia for more than 20 years is perfectly designed to suit tyranny and misrule.
As it stands now, Jammeh so illegally grabs all public resources to build his illicit personal wealth. With all highly read and supposedly knowledgeable legal persons walking the corridors none of them care to challenge endless economic crimes committed by Yaya Jammeh now putting the whole nation on the verge of total collapse. Think of it and figure out how matters would have been different if the population were free to challenge Jammeh under proper legal dispensation.
National development is not about the president getting rich by use of illegal means. There are serious legal loopholes that need fixing. This will ensure that all resources and raw money acquired by Yaya just because he is chief custodian of public resources get recovered immediately. Current legal system is not permitting that to happen. Therefore, it is impossible to keep one person get rich at the expense of public resources yet expecting that nation become economic superpower of world class standard. Jammeh as president is not regulated by the nation’s legal system preventing him from taking undue advantage. Although the constitution does not give such sweeping powers Jammeh at all times conducts in sharp contravention to civilise laws.
Poor Performance Of Economy And Finance Systems
Regular daily meals are no longer what Gambian families enjoy due to acute shortage in foodstuff and money to pay for it.
Connection between national poverty levels and personal wealth of President Yaya Jammeh is clearly visible. By his crude mentality that whoever is president owns everything in the nation Jammeh controls all public resources without observing boundaries.
Here is how Gambian economy and finance engines stopped working in the longest time since. Jammeh does not have business background. He is no technician to know how the economic engine propels. For Jammeh his ambition to be seen rich is so blinding he does not care how much damage that is doing to the national economy and financial system. Had Jammeh been business person of excelling prudence he would have created the enabling economic and financial environment for healthier competition.
Due to his wild ambition for amassing personal wealth Jammmeh prefers monopoly of most unhealthy nature. That is reason one reason why he has gone into printing new bank notes as way of laying heavy hands on the cash flow. Going into so many businesses is just another manifest of monopoly. Jammeh is not looking at systemic national development but only his aggressive personal amassing of private wealth. Any poor like Gambia nation that is subjected to gross economic and financial abuse by the president cannot develop as world class superpower standard.
We don’t need thin statistical details to realise that finance and economic system of Gambia cannot sustain type of development you call superpower nation by world class standards. Jammeh is grossly abusing his political powers to destroy Gambian economy and financial systems.
Economic infrastructure and the enabling financial environment are far from setting in place for systematic development. It is therefore unrealistic and big day dream for anyone to expect Gambia will ever develop under Yaya Jammeh as president. Talking about becoming superpower is fools’ paradise by any figment of imagination.
It came up clear that the entire regime is operating without being established. There are no policies and no checks and balances in governance. Each time Jammeh talks about transformation of Gambia from one of the poorest to becoming superpower he is challenged about lack of policy and with no development planning at hand. How on this planet can a poor nation like Gambia transform into economic superpower without resources and in total absence of policy instruments?
Destroying Vital Human Capital
Seasoned public sector workers are no longer required in running the affairs of government. Jammeh plays his meddling hand in all branches of government. The entire civil service workers become petrified by what is known as Jammeh’s electric broom of hire and fire.
Culture of fear systematically undermines productivity by alarming proportion. Rather than paying attention to do the work right, people are set against each other as spies. Some very unproductive persons roam about everywhere doing nothing but playing secret agent to implicate hard working individuals.
There are no succession plans to let workflow progression from experienced persons to facilitate grooming new intakes. Everyone is aware that you don’t need competence to survive but what they call loyalty to the president.
Being trained for specialised functional roles is no guarantee for job security. In short the country’s human capital is not engaged productively. What that degenerated into is large scale counter productivity and vast waste of human capital while the economy sinks deeper day by day.
There is total lack of motivation even for those very capable and willing persons. Overall assessment of the human capital situation of Gambia under Yaya Jammeh since July 1994 is nothing but group of people with individual interest lacking all manner of team spirit. Pursuit of selfish interest is predominant even among those seen to be playing lip service as loyal to the regime or their chief patron Jammeh.
In the absence of concerted systematic team work, group of individuals have little prospects spinning the economic engine to bring about basic development. Playing with public time and resources is the simplest way of putting the picture of Gambia’s development reality to be seen clear. Everything is so disorganised and nobody talks about correcting the multiple wrongs that characterise informality at peak of matters.
To stimulate economic growth requires adequate injection of not just money and material. A stable competent and highly motivated workforce make key inputs that cannot be taken for granted. Since July 1994 when Jammeh along his junta cohorts forcefully came to power by staging military coup, human capital structure of Gambia is reduced to mere name.
Greedy And Selfish
When as chief custodian of public resources President Yaya Jammeh swallows the whole cake, there will be nothing left for others. In the look of what everyone is seeing Jammeh made no secret about his feeling that Gambia belongs to him alone. That is how he musters courage to fill his deep pockets with public money and grossly abusing vital shared resources.
If that is not greed and selfishness, let the wiser in society tell the rest what then. Jammeh has the notion that occupying the temporal position of presidency opens all doors for squandering public resources. By that mentality, a president has to be rich before leaving public office. In the case of Jammeh he wants to die misruling.
Taking all public resources and squandering money as president is no development for the nation. With the scale of abuse, greed and selfishness seen in the ways Jammeh as president, it is impossible to bring about development anybody wishes calling economic superpower standard.
Jammeh is abusing public resources including revenue collected from tax payers. Loans and grants agreed in the name of poor Gambians end up as private funding for Jammeh. Such is the scale of greed and selfishness everyone is watching president of the republic manifest without remorse. Since public funds are diverted to keep the president richer that is seriously undermining development to negative proportion.
From top bottom or bottom up all boil down to greed and selfishness. While all genuine Gambians are thinking of national development Yaya Jammeh and his cohorts are busy about personal wealth building. They are exploiting the occupation of public office for personal gains. By simplest definition that is what Transparency International (www.transparency.org) refers to as corruption. When people responsible for custody and distribution of public resources prefer to serve themselves more than the lion share of the beef, there will only remain bones for rest of the population to lick if any marrows. In extreme situation like the case of Gambia under Yaya Jammeh for 20 years full scale corruption the national cake is all eaten up by one man. He still wants to be seen as richest man pretending to forget he came to power with nothing in his pocket.
Hating other people for what they possess is a cruel nature in some people. When people with that type of mentality occupy public position, they choose to put full weight of personal dishonesty for everyone else to suffer. What many people have drawn as valid conclusion is that president of Gambia Yaya Jammeh hates to see any other person progress. To an extent, he wants to cripple everyone and remain last man standing in plenty of riches watching the population poor. It is dangerous and unsafe to have such people handle public position especially being president with full control over shared public resources. They can be counterproductive and that is where it is impossible to develop whole nation with such people in control of public resources.
Building concrete structures as white elephant projects can be that baffling to least sophisticated observers. Beneath what Jammeh wants Gambians to recognise as concrete development, there is hell fire. Most of what Yaya Jammeh wants Gambians to see as development is nothing but fake. It is all deception and nothing sustainable. Without Yaya Jammeh, Gambian people already cultivated real taste for good life. On top of that they want peace and not trouble 24/7. Above all, any development that is not responding to felt-needs of a nation’s population is largely imposed for gaining political capital. Imagine out of the blue, that president Jammeh announcing to build special structures for each of the 5 district commissioners.
This is not how a nation is developed. Jammeh must stop playing and give up the seat he robbed on 22 July 1994. Behind all the structures in the name of fake development the reality is so that anyone who is appointed as Divisional Commissioner (so-called governor) will feel like being comforted enough and be more loyal servant for perpetuation of junta AFPRC rogue regime. How can government put up 1 million Dalasi for a design work calling on students to compete??? More than 20 years looting, shooting, and gross mismanagement of public resources is not nation building. Let Yaya tell the population where all the money comes from. Temporal occupation of any political office must not be so badly exploited. The most proper course of action is for Yaya Jammeh stepping down to prevent Gambia from further ruin.
A more responsible government will allocate public resources by priority ranking of felt-needs in consultation with the population. It is bad leadership to implement projects as surprise to the population without due consultation knowing they are principal stakeholders in whose good names all loans and development grants are received by a sitting government. Development is not about buying flashy cars for the president and misusing public funds for personal riches.
In the case of Gambia there is no realistic development. Public resources are grossly misused by the president without due stakeholder consultation. District commissioners and local councils are exploiting the population to satisfy a president who only wants everything for his personal gains. Given what is at stake, Gambia will never develop or progress under Yaya Jammeh presidency no matter how long he stays in political power. What he could not do in 20 years, he will not do in next 40 years. Gambia is not on the road to becoming economic superpower of world class ranking. It a joke nobody should buy into. Let Yaya Jammeh stop playing lip service for pure political ambition. He has no development agenda for Gambia. Gambians are waiting in vain only for another hot air balloon effect to blow more dust. To prove he has realistic development agenda for Gambia, let Jammeh and his government provide plans based on sound feasibility study for competent public scrutiny. Stakeholder consultation is crucial to any public projects and development programmes. In matters of national development, stakeholders must be consulted.