"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
Those are not my words, neither that of Alhagie Mamady Kurang but that of an English novelist, George Orwell. It was said some six decades ago, but it is more relevant now than it was then.
If you doubt the above quote just ask Mr Alhagie Mamady Kurang, the erstwhile Secretary of the Janneh Commission. He keenly observed with dismay the Commission going off track and chiefly and probably solely the lead Counsel Amie Bensouda flouting their terms and objectives for her business interest. When he outed Mrs Bensouda to the Commission chairman and copied the powers that be, he was immediately sent packing for making “unsubstantiated” allegations by the Justice Minister which has the blessing of the Presidency of course.
The lightning speed that the Justice Ministry came to that conclusion is unbelievable considering that they have tons of files preceding this one gathering dust without being dealt with.
Born Amie Drammeh with roots in a sleepy Niumi village of Bakendik. Her journey into the mafia started when she married a first-generation Maghreb Moor-Gambian. Unlike her married peers, who chose to have double barrel surnames, she dumped Drammeh for Bensouda probably for acceptance and to fit well within the elite mafia.
She has a plan to control or have controlling influence of all major industries in the country. To achieve this, she and her family set up multiple companies from real estate to insurance to construction.
Next stop is to have corrupt politicians in their pockets so they can that get a large chunk of government contracts. She is acting tough, the kitten at the commission behaving as if she was a ‘Sef La’ who stood up to Jammeh.
The truth is, as evidence began to emerge, she was a conformist who collaborated with Jammeh and his agents and disposed state assets for a token just to get her obscene legal fees.
During the Mayoral campaign, her son Talib was boasting about how he is running multiple successful businesses. His mum perhaps provided the capital as she bleeds our parastatals as their retained lawyer. Talib was also heard on numerous times saying he does not want to do this (vying for public office) but was made to do it thereby taking a huge pay cut. It makes you wonder why would Talib leave a ‘successful business’ with all the financial rewards attached to take up a thankless, highly scrutinised, less paying public-sector job. The answer is Amie Bensouda. She is grooming him for bigger things ahead, time will tell. And, if she succeeded, God forbid, our country will be under the control of brown mafias from the east.
Back to Mr Kurang, he must have known that Mrs Bensouda is untouchable yet he went ahead with his petition. I assumed he did out of principles. Most people would have shut their mouths and enjoyed their fat salaries.
The Mafia is too powerful and to take on any member, you either need strong backing from upstairs or the public on your side. You see, public opinion matters a lot to politicians. The difference between a technocrat and a Politician is that the former does what is right whilst the latter does what is popular. The reason he didn’t get much backing from the public is that people are growing tired of this commission.
Message to Baa:
Mr Baa Tambedou there is an old Mandinka adage which goes like this “Kou Meringho Kou Leka Dabulajay”. Whatever one does, no matter how good the cause is you should inject urgency into it. The longer it takes, the likelier something popping up to undo all the good works done.
You keep prolonging this commission for no reason other than to fatten the bank balances of the mafia. Paying the mafia millions to recover millions, doesn’t make sense to me. In case you don’t know, people’s interest in this commission is waning. The sooner they wrap up the better for everybody before another scandal surface and rock the commission.
By Saul Sarr
A keen follower of Gambian politics