Thursday, December 7

Barrow Blames Democracy For Unpunished Corruption, Hints Moves To E-system For Transparency

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President Barrow says one of the ways his government will eliminate corruption is to migrate to an E. system on public financial transactions. Barrow was responding to question by Eye Africa TV about his government’s involvement in a series of massive bribery scandals. The latest in the line was bribery scheme unearthed at the Fisheries department by Malagen, a Gambian online outlet.

In the snippet of the Eye Africa TV interview, Barrow could be seen and heard saying “How do we eliminate corruption? You migrate to the E. system“. According to Adama Barrow, the on-camera bribery scheme that splashed the Fisheries ministry is an isolated case. He said his government is looking into the matter as his policies and plans revolves around eliminate corruption. “It’s unfortunate but we have set up an enquiry“.

The bribery scandal President Adama Barrow is referring to is the one in which Bamba Banja, a top official of the ministry of Fisheries could be heard on tape, confirming on a phone conversation, to have received bribes. Bamba Banja has since been sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of a police investigation.

We’ve suspend the man concern. The man who’s accuse. We are now investigating. After the investigations, then reports comes that the time we’ll decide what to do“, the president added.

Yet President Barrow seems to blame the recurrence of unpunished corruption scandals on “democracy“. According to the Gambian president, his government finds it difficult to act to punish corrupt officials because of the safeguards of democracy. “You know in a democracy is not easy. If democracy was easy nobody will be encouraged to respect democracy. It is because is difficult. If it’s dictatorship you can go and arrest people, jail them, you do that. But now you cannot do that. What you do is you follow due process“, President Adama Barrow argued.

Corruption and bribery scandals have regularly hit officials of the government of President Adama Barrow. One of such cases directly involved President Adama Barrow’s wife, Madam Fatoumatta Bah Barrow, after bank transfer documents unveiled a mysterious bank transaction amounting to a little over $750,000 that originated from Hong Kong via the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to Guaranty Trust Bank, London Branch to Novo Banko in Lisbon before being lodged into the account of the First Lady’s Fatoumata Bah Barrow’s Foundation (FaBB) at the Guaranty Trust Bank in Banjul.

The FatuNetwork recently unveiled that the transfer was made by a Chinese energy company named TBEA that is now said to have won the bidding for a transmission and distribution project under NAWEC, Gambia’s public utility company.