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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kasa Jaata- Gambia needs Political, Media Reform

Regardless of international intervention, the Gambia needs a reform in the way and manner in which politics and politicians as well as the media situation are been handled in the country, said Dudu Kasa Jaata, a vocal political activist in The Gambia.
The verbal politician made these remarks in a three paper statement reacting to the Gambia government’s refusal to accept the EU’s 17-Points Dossier earlier this year, which touched on media and political reforms amongst others.

In his statement Kasa Asked, why would the EU poke its nose in our business? Saying After all, the primary beneficiaries of any positive democratic reforms in the Gambia are for the government and its people, but not the EU. “With or without the EU’s intervention, President Jammeh and his administration need to make reforms for the interest of the public as well as to preserve the peace and stability of the country,” he added.

If the EU can truly refuse to compromise universal values, such as good governances and human rights in its dealing with countries in Europe, who is the Gambia government not be challenged to rise up? After all, the EU is the biggest foreign donor to the country. The European Union community is currently sponsoring a wide range of life changing projects worth million of dalasi in the Gambia, he noted.
He added that the EU is directly complementing Government’s effort in development saying  “For the period 2008-2013,  70.6 million (D 3258 million) is allocated to the Gambia, thanks to the EU, a good number of villages have access to clean water and food aid through that money, so how dare President Jammeh describe such gestures as chicken change? Should he not at least show some degree of gratefulness to the EU? Why did he choose to bite the finger that feeds him?”
In his recommendations he said, a government, democratic or otherwise, needs to have in place institutions and structures that would ensure transparency and accountability, Independent press, but not  arbitrarily closing down of media houses which is seen happening in the Gambia.
For Kasa, the government and her leaders should start acting the 21st century way of governing rather that acting the crude way in which it is nowadays.
The Gambia government over the past months has engaged in a wild controversy, ranging from the killing of the nine death raw inmates, closer of media houses, arrests and detention as well as the detention of an Islamic Scholar in the name of Imam Baba Leigh, which left his family members as well as Gambians in dilemma.
“The public is outraged, and there is fear not just over what has happened to Imam but also because, apparently, every member of the public is a potential victim to what has become a vicious cycle,” he decried.
“Jammeh and his administration should turn a new page in its dispensation of national affairs; the regime in fact appears to be having an insatiable desire of creating one controversy upon another. In all, it is very clear that the interest of Gambians is rarely served and collective approach to decision making in the government is almost lacking. The thinking and interest of one man only matters,” Jaata said.

By Abdoulie Nget

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