By: Landing Ceesay
The leader of opposition Citizens’ Alliance (CA) party Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, said the Gambia since independence lacks strategies to fight corruption.
“It is not about who is corrupt and who is not corrupt. What is lacking in this country [The Gambia] since 1965, is a comprehensive strategy to fight corruption. You cannot pay people less than the value of their labour, and still expect them to work rightly without being corrupt,” Dr. Ceesay stated.
While speaking to Kerr Fatou in an exclusive interview on corruption, Dr. Ceesay, said the cost of living in the Gambia is very high nowadays yet salaries are stagnant. He said state money should be invested on state institutions and sectors to minimize corruption and corrupt practices in the country.
“We should come up with a minimum wage in this country to minimize or even eradicate corruption. Every person in Gambia deserves to live in a dignity, we should provide the civil servants with good salaries to motivate them but also, we need to educate them about corruption,” Citizen Alliance leader stated.
Dr. Ceesay believes that many people are engage in corruption without knowing what they are doing is a corrupt practice.
“We have seen civil servants constructing buildings that you really know that their salaries cannot give them the house they are building. Probably they even know that what they are doing is a corrupt practice.”
“We need to do life style auditing to audit our civil servants, we need to come up with a strong strategy that ensures these three things, to provide incentives for our workers to make sure that we pay them a living wage to motivate them to work harder. To educate our people about corruption and come up with disciplinary actions so that if you are found wanting you will be punished for people to know that it is wrong to be corrupt,” Dr. Ceesay said.
Dr. Ceesay who also doubles as a political science lecturer at the University of the Gambia said he has not seen Barrow government fighting corruption but rather encouraging corruption and corrupt practices.
“Corruption has become rampant under Barrow government than before; we have seen vehicles given to the National Assembly and they said it is from an anonymous donor. We have seen contracts been signed that we don’t know how they were signed. We have seen Tourism Development reserved lands along the Bartil Harding highway been sold we don’t know why they are sold. That’s why I said corruption is more rampant under Barrow government than before,” he said.
“Barrow government should establish ant-corruption commission so that people will know they are serious about fighting corruption. That’s not happening that’s why I said they are not serious about fighting corruption in the Gambia but encouraging it,”
Dr. Ceesay, said corruption has been happening under both Jawara and Jammeh’s regimes, but the way and manner it is taking place under Barrow is mind-blowing.
“If there are strategies put in place by both Jawara, Jammeh and Barrow to fight corruption, it would have been eradicated by now. But the country lacks strategies to fight corruption that’s still existing in the Gambia,” he said.
“There are no beds, no medicines and materials at the hospitals because of corruption, there are no materials at our schools because of corruption, our teachers, our securities and our nurses are being paid bad salaries because of corruption. Tax payer’s money is not going where it should because of corruption,”
Dr. Ceesay added that the Gambia should have strategies and a very strong institutions to fight corruption and prevent impunity in the country.