Monday, March 27

Citizens are denied right to access information – Mariama Danso

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By: Mustapha Jarju 

Co-Founder and Program Manager of Fact Check Gambia Mariama Danso said there is a lot of work that the civil society organization needs to do because citizens’ right to access information is being denied by the state.

Mariama Danso made this remark on Wednesday during the panelist discussion on the findings of CEPRASS Round9 Survey in 2022 elections and local governance which was held at the OIC Conference Centre in Bijilo.

She pointed out that lack of citizens’ access to information takes anything they see on the line which causes misinformation and becomes a problem because communication is bridged between the central government and the citizen.

“Any information they come across on any platform they take it with hope because they are not getting information from the right sources, and they don’t feel that they will be given the information when they ask,” she stressed.

According to her, the findings of the latest Afro Barometer Survey 2022 said, people, don’t trust the Government to provide them with information, therefore, anything they see on the sideline they take as good information, as a result, the country is faced with disinformation and misinformation. 

“We have to fight to combat this but at our level as a civil society we cannot do it alone, this is a course for concern and is alarming, and the government has to seriously look into it to provide information to the citizenry because it is their right to be provided with such information.”  

Meanwhile, Yankuba Manjang, Coordinator Election Watch Committee of the Gambia who is also a panelist said, the part that he found comfort in the CEPRASS Afro Barometer Survey 2022 is that 81% of Gambians support the election as the best to change any administration which he found very comforting as an election observer.

“The voter turnout in the last presidential election was huge, parliamentary has snidely declined and with the local government elections currently we have seen people are not very much interested,” he said.

Manjang continued that, as many people are in for the Mable system and considering the parliamentary and Presidential elections they have seen the Marble is working for us and is still effective.