Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Gambia’s Gibril Faal Awarded OBE for Strides in International Development

September 13, 2014
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Gibril Faal founder of RemitAid and Chair of AFFORD

 Founder of RemitAid and Chair of AFFORD: Gibril Faal

Mr. Gibril Faal a business adviser and founder of RemitAid have been awarded Order of the British Empire according to a press release by the British High Commission in Banjul. The award is the most populous order of chivalry in the British and commonwealth systems. Mr. Faal who is also the Chair of the Diaspora organization African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) is given the award because of his services to international development. Gibril Faal is a multidisciplinary practitioner with an eclectic professional background. He has under his belt management consultancy and university lecturing for over 15years. He was also one of the pioneers of social enterprise business support delivery in the U.K.

Mr. Faal is currently the Director of GK-Partners a U.K based consultancy firm whose services includes Access to Finance, Access to Sustainable Property, Access to Social Markets, Multiple Bottom line Business Planning and Management, Social Marketing Evaluations and Corporate Ethical Compliance. He has worked to extend and enhance the role Diasporans play in African Development. He has also advised governments, diplomats, policymakers and academics around the world.

Mr Gibril Faal who continues to inspire migrants around the globe was educated at Gambia High School and his first job was a trainee clerk of court at the supreme court of The Gambia. From a modest background he rose to acquire a combined honors degree in law, finance and management and postgraduate degrees in both Environment Sciences and Development Studies from universities in London. Gibril has been a leading innovator on how to improve the economic and development impacts of diaspora and migrant remittances. His famous quote on migrants is “we are not peddlers of problems, we are merchants of solutions”

Mr. Faal was nominated for the OBE award by the U.K Department for International Development.

THREE GAMBIANS JAILED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING IN MANCHESTER

September 12, 2014
Reads :7623
OUSMAN JAMMEH

OUSMAN JAMMEH

SALOU JENG

SALOUM JENG

BABOUCARR NJIE

BABOUCARR NJIE

Three Gambians street dealers who peddled cannabis in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, United Kingdom have been locked up. The men were caught and hauled before a judge as part of Operation Mandera, a long-running police campaign to clean up Manchester city centre. Officers spent the last 18 months targeting Piccadilly Gardens and surrounding streets to rid the plaza of drugs and booze-related disorder. All the three Gambians, from Salford, north Manchester and Tameside were sentenced at Manchester Crown court on Monday 6th September 2014.

Saloum Jeng, 39, of Broadbent Avenue, Dukinfield, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to nine counts of supplying drugs and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Baboucarr Njie, 33, of Norton Street, Broughton, admitted possession with intent to supply drugs and was sentenced to 12 months.

Ousman Jammeh, 37, of Hilton Street North, Salford, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession with intent to supply drugs and was sentenced to eight months.

As part of the operation, officers also worked with partners on longer-term ways to tackle crime in the area, including environmental improvements. Earlier this year the Manchester Evening News launched a campaign to clean up and transform Piccadilly Gardens. As a result the council agreed to improve street lighting around the Plaza following complaints that visitors and commuters feel unsafe after dark. Inspector Phil Spurgeon, the city centre lead for neighbourhood policing in Piccadilly Gardens, said: “The city centre neighbourhood policing team have worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to tackle anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in and around Piccadilly Gardens”.

“These sentences underline our commitment to tackle the long-standing issue of street drug dealing in the Piccadilly Gardens. We particularly welcome the issuing of CRASBOs, as well as custodial sentences, which should give the affected community some respite”, he further added.

“I would like to thank the people of Manchester who continue to provide us with information in order to help in our fight against drug dealing. We remain committed to rooting this problem out and today’s result should serve as a warning to those who continue to deal drugs on our streets”, concluded Inspector Spurgeon.

After a Long Legal Wrangle, Foroyaa’s Bai Mass Kah is Free at Last

September 10, 2014
Reads :1625
Bai Mass Kah

Bai Mass Kah

Mr.Bai Mass Kah an employee of Foroyaa newspaper who was tried for sedition was on Tuesday 9th of September 2014 acquitted and discharged after a long legal wrangle. It was on Wednesday 27th of November 2013 that Bai Mass Kah was arraigned before a court of law after being held for 13 days at the notorious NIA and various police stations within the Greater Banjul area without charge.

Mr. Kah was later charged for uttering a statement against the photo of the president of the Gambia. According to the particulars of offence, Bai Mass Kah told an AFPRC supporter who was pasting the photo of president Jammeh on a car that “why not you paste the photo of the president on the sky”. The prosecution indicated that he committed an offense by uttering such a statement as it could lead to hatred, disaffection and disrespect on the person of the president.

The Foroyaa employee pleaded not guilty to the charges and went through a trial that lasted for 10 months.In delivering her judgement magistrate Aji Amie Jagne ruled that  the statement said to be uttered by Bai Mass Kah does not amount to sedition as it could not bring hatred, disaffection and disrespect to the person of the president. She also hinted that what the charge sheet stated was a far cry from the evidence of the witnesses of the prosecution. As such she decided to acquit and discharge Bai Mass Kah.

The government of the Gambia is criticized by rights groups for suppressing divergent views and prosecuting political opponents based on very flimsy charges. The independent media houses operate on a very hostile environment and has to employ self censorship to avoid meaningless legal battles. But the acquittal and discharge of Bai Mass Kah shows that some magistrates and judges especially native ones have conscience and would not bend the law to  nourish the ego of the country’s dictator.

GAMBIA’S LION, PRESIDENT JAMMEH, HAS ACQUIRED A NEW JEWEL FOR HIS ABATTOIR

September 10, 2014
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HELEN MAROUN-JAMMEH'S NEW JEWEL

HELEN MAROUN-JAMMEH’S NEW JEWEL

BAROKA JAMMEH-GAMBIA'S LION

BAROKA JAMMEH-GAMBIA’S LION

Anyone remembers “The Lion and The Jewel” by Wole Soyinka? Well, here is its synopsis: The main theme of the play reflects contrasts, old versus young and culture versus change. The story revolts around Sidi-the village belle and her thespian ‘relationship’ with Lakunle, the school teacher. Lakunle is wooing Sidi but snubs to pay the dowry which he deemed as archaic. Soyinka craftily contrasts Lakunle with Baroka, the lion, who is the village chief. Sidi considers Lakunle as a misfit with a verbose mouth and Baroka as a challenge.

In the Gambian imitation of ‘The Lion and The Jewel’, Bala Gaye 2, a Senegalese wrestler is Lakunle, Hele Maroun, a beauty queen and niece to Gambia’s legendary tycoon-Paul Maroun is Sidi and of course Jammeh steps in for Baroka. Oop…Oop…Baroka! Woaw! Hope he is not going to officiate that as one of his many titles. Let see how it goes…His Excellency Dr Professor Alhagie Nasiru Deen Baroka Babili Mansa President of the second Republic of the Gambia Yahya AJJ Jammeh. Burry Batchily, Bala Gaye’s first wife unlike Sadiku refused to acknowledge her husband’s marriage to Helen Maroun which makes it hard for Bala to fulfil his marital obligation with the Banjul Belle.

Sensing a rift between the young couple, Jammeh wasted no time in warming his way into unsuspecting Helen’s heart and mind. First he hired her to manage his Muslim Shop which was under KGI. The Muslim Shop, which also oversees Jammeh’s butchery outlets, was initially ran by Wareh Njie, the ex-wife of former ADC Bajinka. When Helen took over the management of the shop, he bought her a new PAJERO to cruise her from the shop to Jammeh’s slaughter house. A source who is privy to all Jammeh’s underworld deals informed Kibaaro News that Jammeh told Helen “You are not this boy’s class. You are a Presidential wife material and not a wrestler’s wife”. Bad boy Jammeh or 50 Cent as his crew fondly dubs him lavishes Helen with heavy purse to spend as and when she likes.

Since their new found love blooms, President Jammeh snubs Bala Gaye 2, his onetime friend. The source went on to add that he does not invite Bala anymore to any of his programmes in which Bala has always been a special guest accentuating an overzealous protection of his new jewel. Imam Fatty what does Islam teaches about a married man going after another man’s wife?

Wareh Njie now heads KGI. Jammeh is said to have paid off all her debts with First International bank, a new car and $10,000 to start with a clean slate as Managing Director of KGI. She is a buddy to Sabally’s wife and both were employees of FIB.

Halifa Sallah Confronts Banjul Central NAM to Stop Day Dreaming and Face Reality

September 9, 2014
Reads :2797
Why should a man of your calibre put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation?-Halifa Sallah

Why would a man of your calibre put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation?-Halifa Sallah

I was misquoted by Halifa Sallah and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe – Abdoulie Saine NAM for Banjul Central

The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul central Hon.Abdoulie Saine was crying baby in a national assembly session that he was misquoted by Halifa Sallah and lawyer Ousainou Darbo when he suggested president Babilimansa to be crowned King of the Gambia. Mr. Saine in his rambling said, what he suggested was a constitutional monarch and not absolute monarchy. This has led to Halifa Sallah confronting the NAM for Banjul central in an open letter. In the letter Mr. Sallah questioned the rationale of Mr.Saine’s agument. The politician cum sociologist battled the fumbling Mr.Saine that by suggesting that the Gambia revert to constitutional monarchy Mr.Saine wants to live almost five decades behind time and would be out of step with both modern civilization and the constitution he has sworn to defend. Below is the full text of the open letter addressed to Hon.Abdoulie Saine of Banjul Central:

Posterity compels me to address this letter to you questioning why a man of your calibre would put a debate on Kingship on the historical agenda at this juncture of human civilisation and further drag me into it. I hope in initiating this debate you have alerted your mind to Section 112 of the Constitution which states: “all members shall regard themselves as servants of the people of The Gambia desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or alienate themselves from the people, and shall discharge their duties and functions in the interest of the nation as a whole and in doing so, shall be influenced by the dictates of conscience and the national interest”

I hope the dictates of conscience, sense of duty to people and the national interest will guide the spirit of this debate. First and foremost, I must remind you that you were elected and further took oath to uphold and defend a Constitution which states under Section 1 and 2 that :

“The Gambia is a Sovereign Republic“ “The Sovereignty of The Gambia resides in the people of The Gambia from whom all organs of government derive their authority and in whose name and for whose welfare and prosperity the powers of government are to be exercised in accordance with this Constitution “ You have sworn to uphold and defend a Republic under which authority to govern is connected with dependent on and determined by the sovereign will of the people Now you are arguing for Gambia to become a constitutional monarchy. What is a constitutional Monarchy?

What is constitutional Monarchy? Gambians who know their history know what constitutional monarchy means and would not be calling for a return to it which would amount to a retrogressive step towards a defunct era. One has to read the 1965 Constitution to know the nature and characteristics of constitutional monarchy. The Gambia was a constitutional monarchy in 1965. This is why Section 62 of the 1965 Constitution stated: “The Executive authority of the Gambia is vested in her Majesty” In order to exercise executive power, Section 29 provided for the office of governor general “…who shall be appointed by her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure and who shall be her majesty’s representative in the Gambia” Section 60 empowered the Governor General to .”… at anytime prorogue or dissolve parliament .” Section 66 stated that “ the function of Cabinet shall be to advise the Governor General in the Government of the Gambia “ Now who did the governor owed allegiance and obedience to? Was it the Gambian people? Not at all. His oath of office reads:

“ I do swear ( or solemnly affirm) that i will well and truly serve her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, in the office of the Governor General of The Gambia.”

Hence under a monarchy sovereignty resides in the monarch who cannot be removed from office. A Monarch is not a representative of a people. A monarch is not elected. The throne is inherited by their children and grand children on the basis of blood line until they are overthrown as had happened in France in 1789 or defeated and given ceremonial roles as is the case in many countries in Europe. In fact threat of an Arab spring made the monarchs in Morocco and Jordan to make concessions to move towards constitutional monarchy through devolution of more power to representative institutions. The progressive route established by the history of human kind is to move from absolute monarchies to constitutional monarchies which comes with devolution of power to representative institutions and then to Republics which hands over all power to the people. The Gambian people went to a referendum in 1970 and voted in favor of a Republic instead of retaining constitutional monarchy. The Gambian people fully asserted, without ambiguity or equivocation that in a land of equals no one is fit to lead without the consent of the others. This is why elections are periodically held to elect a president, members of the National Assembly and Members of Councils.

Such representatives are considered servants of the people and not their lords. Hence a Gambian who is fully conscious that sovereignty resides in him or her would not consider himself or herself a lesser being than those who occupy positions of representation, on the contrary, one would see them as equals who by virtue of choice are in fact servants of all. Hence if the member for Banjul Central would want Gambia to return to the past he has his right to propagate his vision. He should however realise that he would be living almost five decades behind time and would be out of step with both modern civilisation and the constitution he has sworn to defend.

My advice to him in particular and all Gambians in general is to shelve this fruitless debate. I have told people in the countryside that when a person stands in the middle of the crowd to argue in broad day light that the moon was shining in the sky and not the sun all should pass and leave him or her alone. In short, every Gambian has witnessed that the president goes to vote during Presidential, National Assembly and council elections. He takes only one ballot token and cast it for the candidate of his choice in secret. Has he ever demanded for more than one ballot token or all to be given to him to cast because he is president? This confirms that the president is equal to all in terms of citizenship and has only one vote which cannot make any one president. No Gambian could ever see another Gambian political figure as a superior being by birth. Gambia has become a Republic as a result of political evolution of her people. This is the verdict of history and it is irrevocable

WHO IS THIS VILLAGE BELLE?

September 9, 2014
Reads :4707
MAMY ADAMA JALLOW

MAMY ADAMA JALLOW

To her friends and family she is Mamy Adama Jallow. But who is really Mamy Adama Jallow and what is she all about? She first came into the Gambian diaspora nonconformists’ limelight during the recently ended DC demonstrations. Many allegedly dubbed her a Jammeh Spy. She disappeared with the dust of the demonstrations as they found refuge in and blend with uncleansed clusters of DC.

“She is weird”, they said but a close associate of Mamy disagreed. He revealed, “Let just say she is somebody who is very troubled and needs help real bad”. He screened a vivid picture of the troubled beauty in captivating high definition colours. Others described her as a jail bird that flies in and out of jail for felonies such as credit cards frauds, shoplifting, drugs and others crimes.

“A troubled person like her is often exploited by others. She is desperate for acceptance and craves for a sense of belonging. I see her more of a victim than a perpetrator. Calling her a spy is giving her a credit she does not deserve. It is just like a janitor calling himself a cleaning engineer. Her coming to the demonstration was more of trying to fit in than spying”, the associate further, added.

During the DC demonstrations, she was reported to be loitering between the two camps of President Jammeh and the demonstrators. In facts, many strongly believed she was the one providing President and his henchmen up to date information about the demonstration and demonstrators. A little bird had it that she advised Fatou Camara’s assailants when to strike her. She was in the Jammeh’s hotel for more than four hours and when confronted by Banka Manneh, she said she was using the toilet casting more doubt on her already perfect imperfect conduct.

Currently, she is reported to be in police detention for more than three weeks. It is not yet known by her associates what lands her into police net this time, however, it is highly speculated that she is in for either drugs or shoplifting as she battles with drug addiction and alcoholic cravings. She is young with potential and therefore needs help to put herself together and take control of her life again. Kibaaro will do all it can to help her walk out of the current mess she is in.

ARMED ROBBERS STRIKE AT GT BANK, BAKAU BRANCH

September 6, 2014
Reads :5412

IGP SONKO

IGP SONKO

Shortly after Friday prayers, staff and some customers of GT Bank-Bakau Branch were momentarily held hostage by a gang of three heavily armed men dressed in haftans and wearing mask on their faces.  The armed robbers are reported to storm the bank with their weapons. Both unsuspecting and panic-stricken staff and customers within the premises were rudely ordered and roughly herded to a corner by the robbers. One of them took sentry at the entrance to wade off any unwelcome guest, the second robber threatened to kill anyone who attempts to raise an alarm or make a phone call while the third escorted the vault custodian to surrender all the monies in the safe.

According to information reaching Fatu Radio’s desk, the shaken lady handed him a couple of bags. He threatened to kill her if she fails to handover all the bags to him. As he shoved his gun on her but, she screamed in panic and the armed robber ran with the bags he collected. It is not yet confirmed how much money and in which currency is taken by the robbers but we are reliably informed that the police were quick in recovering D200, 000 after apprehending the three robbers and their taxi driver. A police informant who solicited anonymity disclosed to our investigative team that they first arrested the driver at a crash scene.

“When the police arrived at the accident scene after receiving information about the crash, they noticed an unusual behaviour about the driver. He was arrested and taken to the police station for further questioning”, our police source revealed.

It was during the police interrogation that the driver told them he was hired by the armed robbers and strictly instructed to cover his vehicle’s number plate to avoid any leads to him after their operation. Unfortunately for him, he crashed after fleeing hurriedly from the bank in panic. He led the police to where he dropped them and two of them who are allegedly said to be Gambia nationals were immediately arrested and detained at the Serious Crime Unit at the Police Headquarters in Banjul. Their third colleague, who was later arrested, is said to be deported from the UK.

It may interest you to note both President Jammeh and Amadou Samba-Chairman of the bank are its major shareholders. While some are speculating that President Jammeh might have a hand in the robbery, others maintain that the police only did a magnificent job in this robbery because they know President Jammeh owns half of the bank’s shares.

“How come the police are able  to do such a tremendous job in this robbery within a space of few hours while the murders of Ousman Koro Ceesay  and Deyda Hydara still remain unresolved?”, another source queries angrily.