Ousainou J. Sawaneh
In yet another edition of the Interview, we sat with honorable Fatoumatta K. Jawara, the National Assembly Member for Tallinding Constituency who said that being in the former government is just like going to hell. Hon. Jawara is the female youth president of the UDP before becoming MP for Tallinding. Jawara talked about many issues about the UDP primary election, how she was motivated to join politics, her political agenda and many other things. Please read on
DailyNews: I am very pleased to have you in The Interview and who is Honorable Fatoumatta K. Jawara?
Hon. FK. Jawara: Thank you very much Mr. Sawaneh. My name is Honorable Fatoumatta K. Jawara a NAM for Tallinding constituency and am also the female youth president of the united democratic party. I started my education at Campama Primary School from there I went to Greater Banjul Junior school and from there to Kotu Senior Secondary School where in I obtain my certificate. I later further my education in the Gambia Home Economy. I also attended MDI for a couple of two months doing my certificate in Business Management in just two month of the course I got involve in a problem and I could not continue.
DailyNews: What exactly inspired you to join politics?
Hon. FK. Jawara: What exactly inspired me to join politics is that, during my early school days. I saw a UDP convoy they were having meeting around the Greater Banjul area, and then I decided to stop and see what’s on the ground, when I listen to the various speakers together with the party leader. I then became motivated from then I started moving with themfew years later I started moving with the women groups, in which I was encourage by the leadership that I should fully participate in politics, which was my early school days. Then after my senior school I then registered as a member of the party. I was encourage and they nominated to stand as ward councilor which I narrowly lose to the then ruling party. Then I was elected by the party as the female youth president which I hold for the period of six years and I was elected again, after that election I got involved in a peaceful protest were I, Solo and my colleagues were arrested and taking to various detention centers but we were later release after the former president lose the election to Mr. Adama Barrow.
DailyNews: What motivated you to take part in that protest?
Hon. FK. Jawara: As we say it in Mandinka the famous slogan we use “supplication to the Prophet will not separate us with Yahya Jammeh”, which we belief that we cannot win Yahya Jammeh through Ballot box, because anytime we went to the polls he will be declare as the winner even if he was not. Then we decided to do peaceful protest so that we can have electoral reforms. The then election is not always free and fair and the environment was not conducive. You can be a contestant with the Jammeh regime while the soldiers, Alkalos, Chiefs, the Governors with the militants will be contesting with you, therefore you will be an individual which is unfair. A politician is a politician. You cannot be in uniform and you want take part in politics. We all know that the political environment was not conducive that’s why did that protest as Gambians but as UDP militants.
DailyNews: How did you see that local government election in which you contest in 2008?
Hon. FK. Jawara: How I see that election was that many of the voters came from Foni. And bye then Foni use to be no oppose, so they will refer their voters card here and those people will vote for APRC which lead to my loses.
DailyNews: Now that you are a parliamentarian what is your political Agenda?
Hon. FK. Jawara: My political agenda is rule of law and democracy that goes with responsibility, but when we say democracy is not that we should be making noise and shouting on the street or using abusive language on others. When we say democracy we have to link it with responsibility because there are a people who scarifiestheir life’s for the us the Gambia people to have our independent from that dictator. We shouldn’t be making noise; this is our country when we develop it we are doing it for ourselves. We are here for the past 22 years and we have seen people who are educated they never intervene in politics even when the election is coming they will fly out of the country until after the elections and they will come back again. We know the genuine Gambians who are still to see that this country move forward but some people don’t make a good use of their education to develop this country but whatever the government say they will be criticizing and they will be against the government. The president is also a human being, he might make a mistake but to rectify someone doesn’t mean that you will abuse him or using abusive language. We know how we were feeling for the past 22 years. So we need to be careful not to use bad words against our elders, and those elders scarifies their life’s including the president, because by the time he was contesting he might be killed or victimize by anyone. We have seen many peoplewho are talking now during the political impasse they were keeping silent and during our detention they don’t even attain our court, and some people their family members were detain and those people are rescue by the politicians. We all know what was happing in the past 22 years but many people were keeping silence, but now those are the people making noise all over the country. Is not bad to make noise but should be based on something. People should be responsible not make noise. Let’s rectify our mistakes rather than saying words in the social media that will bring problem in this beloved country.
DailyNews: Honorable as a member in the 2015 peaceful protesters, what are doing to see that peace prevail in this country?
Hon. FK. Jawara: As a parliamentarian when the Human right and Truth Reconciliation Reparation Commission was tabled I was the first person to support the bill because I want reconciliation and I also want justice to prevail for the victims of Jammeh. The ones who have survive after the problem they really need proper medical attention including myself. I think not only the government but the people should not forget us. What we have gone through is very serious from then we didn’t have a proper medical checkup.I think the government should look in to that. A person like me am working and earning something to support myself, but somebody who didn’t have formal education orhe or she is a farmer, how can that person help him or herself to get medical attention. Thanks to Allah that some of the victims have sponsor from the victim center to go for medical treatment in Senegal. But even Senegal is not enough because Senegal is just like the Gambia. I went there for medical checkup but they said everything is normal and they didn’t see any sickness, I know what I am feeling and life is more important so the government should do something for the people who are victimize by Jammeh.
Daily News: What is your say on the UDP primaries in the KMC area?
Hon. FK. Jawara:Everyone knows that the primary election was free, fair and transparent. We the UDP parliamentarians are trying very hard and we are talking to our supporters on the ground to come together to support the elected candidate. All the people who apply under the UDP are genuine Gambians and they have the right to apply and I know none of them will go against the policy of the party and stand as an independent candidate. I thank all of them for taking the result in good faith, and I believe that none of them will go against the will of the party. I thank Talib Ahmed Bensouda for his victory and I also thank the rest of the four candidates for accepting defeat, Mustapha Touray, Magidi Touray, Buramanding Jaiteh and Baddi Alpha Jaiteh, they were law abiding during the process of the election.
Daily News: What will you like to say about the new democracy?
Hon. FK. Jawara:I am very happy that Gambia have democracy now,even if we are poor, but there is a saying that poor in independent is better than rich in slavery. Nobody will enslave anyone in this country now. You will go to work thinking that maybe some people will come for me or they will come and arrest me. I know how I was feeling when I was in prison and how my children were feeling. I am not praying that to happen to anyone. We need to support this democracy, by how? Gambians need to come out and see these the people sue call the Jammeh jungularswho were maltreating people and killing beloved brothers and sistersof this mother land. The jungulars should reveal everything that they were doing in this country. We don’t want to see those killers on the streets, we don’t want to see them in uniform and they don’t have place in this government. We don’t need criminals in uniforms. The government should weed them out, and the people who are victimize are crying both day and night and we don’t want to see those people.As part of democracy people need to be sensitized so that they will know what to do and what no to do.
Daily News: How different is the current government from this previous one?
Hon. FK. Jawara:Being in the former government is just like going to hell. We all know what happen even the dead people are consider as Yahya Jammeh’s enemy, we see people who are Gambians they died outside the country they denied the deceased to be buried here, we have seen that. Nobody will expect such things to happen again in this country. Everyone is free to say or to write what he or she wants to say as far as it didn’t affect others. The noise some Gambians are doing, I don’t blame them because most of them don’t use to enjoy the beauty of democracy. This is the first time, but as time goes on people will understand and they will change their man.
DailyNews: What is your message to your constituency in terms of reconciliation?
Hon. FK. Jawara:My message to my constituency and the Gambia at large is that we should come together and develop the country. Politics is over we should not forget what we have gone through in the past 22 years and we should not see that those who are in the APRC party are our enemies or other parties are our enemies, this is the way some people are seeing things. Most of the people regret of being APRC supporters. We should not consider them as our enemies but they are Gambians like any of us.If they want to take part in the development of this country we should bring them on board. I think that is more important.
DailyNews: How did you feel one year since the defeat of the dictator?
Hon. FK. Jawara:I feel very happy that even if we are poor, we don’t have anything, we are not enslave now and everybody is free to move freely without recorder following you in our office. And the violation of human right will never happen in this country again “In Sha Allah”.
DailyNews: What such of legacy are you planning to leave behind before leaving office?
Hon. FK. Jawara:The legacy I want to leave is that to see that Tallinding is develop, to see that all the women’s are engage in to somethingand to see that the market is change. And to make sure the government helps in extending of the small German clinic so that it also have Mortuary and a delivery ward there, which Tallinding is lacking for the past 22 years.
DailyNews: What message do you have to the President Mr. Adama Barrow?
Hon. FK. Jawara:I am congratulating and thanking him for being the president of the Gambia, and am also praying for him serve his term and finish in peace without going to the commission ofinquiry and I thank the coalition leaders for coming together to fight out the former dictator president, without them we might die in the prison. Am once again praying to the president for all he is doing and May Allah protect him and guide him from anything that can course harm.
DailyNews: Thank you very much madam honorable for your time?
Hon. FK. Jawara:Thank you Mr. Sawaneh for the wonderful job and am very happy for having me.Á