In this dramatized View Point authored by By Jarga Kebba Gigo Activist and Transformer you will find the authors views on corruption and how the Barrow administration can curb the menace. And he was also able to draw many caparisons between the two former Presidents and the incumbent President Adama Barrow. Relax and enjoy the piece.
Actor one: Good morning Mr. President – Ecomig is guaranteeing an aspect of your security, but when will you prioritize our security with actions, not just words?
President: I have people working day and night for your security. They are arresting marijuana folks, at least more than corrupt officials. They are arresting thieves, even if you are not happy with the percentage. How is the crime and corruption rate compare to Jammeh?
Actor one: Now I am beginning to see your problem. You are comparing yourself with Jammeh on abuse and Jawara on mass corruption that is why your bar is too low. It is about time you compete with acceptable standards and the best around the world, not the worst in Africa.
President: So tell me your suggestions
Actor one: We need a culture of cameras to fight crimes, especially corruption; to improve our character, at least in public places. Imagine how cameras could have helped us fought Jammeh ? You have kicked out one Jammeh, but you have unleashed many Jammehs on our streets? You may be better than Jammeh in some aspects, but seem worse than him in some aspects. How many people have been prosecuted for corruption since you took office? Please do not tell us the Corrupt Gambians since Jawara repented overnight, when you took office. The crime ratio is scary.
President: So you really think Cameras can help reduce crimes and corruption? (open eyes and gestures)
Actor One: When we say, we need a culture of cameras, we mean helping all or most Gambians embrace cameras. Not all corruption can be tackled through audits. If you organize monthly development dinners with business folks, writers, and politicians, you can welcome and pitch your ideas on how the business community can help. Crimes often affect the business folks than private working citizens. Rather questionable bantaba state house talks, It should not be hard to sell a dinner ticket for D1000 or more; then convince one business man to invest one million dollars or one thousand business folks to pledge $1000 each towards a camera business. You can offer tax break for such a company until it recovers investment.
President: So who will buy cameras, you think Gambians will buy body cameras to save themselves from bribe asking officials?
Actor One: Absolutely! Body cameras are as low as $20 and we may be able to order in bulk and sell it cheaper, if your tax folks are not on our necks. We can sell the idea and benefits of cameras in many different ways to the rich and trying poor. Beside curbing problems and building character, it can raise possible investment than the so called ‘good governance’ you point on.
President: Investment! We certainly need investment, and all what can bring and secure investments.
Actor One: The problem is your funny agreements, acknowledgements, and promises without timely actions. Having it on our NDP or vaguely promising them on rallies is not enough. We need actions and you know engaging the business community on such is vital. The size of the Gambia makes it one of the easiest places to have the most cameras per square meter in the world. It would have been nice to have a camera factory or brand to help the rest of Africa curb crimes, reduce corruption, and raise investment opportunities – it can be our thanks to ECOMIG and the world.
President: Everybody knows I am lot less corrupt than Jammeh.
Actor One: Again, you are in that mindset with Jammeh. Our concern is Mass corruption than the corruption Jammeh was involved in. Your administration is sadly very similar to that of the Jawara you wrongly praised for votes. If you do not stop praising Jawara for votes, we may ascertain you lose votes to those concern with the truth. Jawara was an enabler of mass corruption and other bad character beyond late. Of course, Jawara has his good sides, so does Bush, Jammeh, Trump, and many other largely questionable folks. So giving Jawara an overall pass is a blatant indifference to the other side of the truth, the importance of character, and the responsibility of a president as a guide, more than a watchman who promotes guilty folks for political reasons.
President: You may be partially factual, but Jawara still have lot of fans and it is politically intelligent to try to tap to those votes.
Actor One: ‘Political’ intelligence is sometimes at odds with truth and real intelligence. There are ways to tap to the questionable Jawara fans through re-education and actions than questionable words. Even Jammeh still have fans, but how terrible will it be to talk about only one of his sides to win votes? The truthful Gambians will turn against anyone who praises Jawara or Jammeh then and now, ignoring or denying their other sides. I hope the Truthful Lord will change you or punish you for trying to distort our history.
President: You are accusing me of distorting the history of a person or the history of the Gambia? I thought our discussion was supposed to be only on cameras?
Actor one: When God’s cameras are revealed beyond what the TRRC is revealing, everyone will know Jawara is not the saint or ideal leader you guys want us to believe. May be you are scared of a culture of cameras, but I remind you fear, greed, and arrogance are the enemies of humankind than Satan, Jawara, Jammeh, Barrow or anyone. So we will urge you, the business community, Gambians abroad, and anyone who can help us make the Gambia the best we can possibly help make it. Gambians abroad please send as much body cameras as you can.
President: So how about the privacy issue?
Actor one: Fear again. Focus on the good cameras can do. Public space demands public responsibility than personal rights. Private space is where privacy rights can thrive over so called public responsibility. Do not fear the people or you may not be able to convince them where we will gladly help. By giving tax and insurance break to vehicles and businesses with enough cameras just for five years, or by giving 25% of fine proceedings through private cameras, the number of Cameras government will buy may decrease. Ghana is reportedly ‘fighting crime with additional 8000 cctv cameras’…, ‘8000’ seems small but additional seems impressive compare to the Gambia.
President: How about if I lose too many employees or accused of surveillance?
Actor One: warn employees ahead, and people will learn quickly if you bravely ask the media to do them like they wrongly do to marijuana sellers. As long as you open the door and encourage people to have more cameras than government, it will be like the public monitoring the government and public than claims of government surveillance. Again, be careful of fear – thinking and hiring thinkers can help you overcome fear.
President: Money is another thing we simply do not have. Your ideas are futuristic and prevention leaning, we somehow think cure oriented leaning and being late on cameras, reducing cruelty on marijuana users, etc are ok?
Actor one: Excuses won’t get you anywhere. You seem to have friends who want to help you build ’60 mosques’, but not cameras to secure the Gambia? Trucks for MPS, salary raise for workers, etc but not cameras to improve service? Infrastructure without good character may not be as great you may think. Even institutions like KMC may be willing to chip in on camera projects and addressing. I heard they bought trucks for trash collection, but imagine how cameras can help on reducing littering? ch.99: ‘Those who contribute to crimes , corruption, and other evil with actions or inaction beyond mizghalazaratin will see’, the reverse is also true. Measure the infrastructural changes but also the character through you and your regime. Ch.103 demands more than paying tax between us. Mr. President, every second you delay is a Gamble against Gambians, whom Jawara, Jammeh, and you claim to love, but do you honestly think Jawara, Jammeh, or you were the most loving, intelligent, truthful, and kind one towards the citizens ? You, Gambians, and I are chosen for a test. Feel free to invite our show for ideas or answers to questions you may have.