Kandeh’s “Cheap” Allegations 

Courtesy of SMBC Gambia – Editor’s Note below

(Madi Jobarteh too has a rather “strange” piece below)

Gambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ousainou Darboe has hit-hard at opposition leader Mama Kandeh for accusing ministers in the country’s unity government of corruption.

Kandeh, 52, sparked tension between his supporters and that of the government claiming ministers in President Adama Barrow’s administration were pocketing foreign aid and loans.

“No one has to make irresponsible statements to gain cheap popularity. In fact, he [Kandeh] was a supporter of one of Africa’s most corrupt regime [APRC],” Darboe said.

“We spent our lives fighting that regime and their corruption. We made substantiated allegations against Jammeh and we challenged him to take us to court if he disputes them.”

Government officials have frowned on Kandeh’s allegation. Kandeh was questioned by the police and his party, GDC, later denied a permit to hold a rally.

Since coming to power, Barrow’s government has received more than $120 million in support from the EU, World Bank, IMF and its development partners.

Kandeh said the burden to prove the allegations is not up to him but for the police, whom he accused of perjury to open a probe into the matter.


Editor’s Note:

The burden is upon he who makes an allegation against another to provide the evidence. Otherwise the allegation will be defamatory slander – the victims do not have to prove anything as long as the words can objectively have a defamatory meaning. They don’t have to prove their innocence – it is for Mama Kandeh to prove them guilty. I wonder whether Barrow’s Cabinet Ministers may not be able to sue Mama Kandeh individually – without an iota of substantiation Mama Kandeh’s allegations would be deemed “malicious” and lose any protection provided by public interest immunity. “Dida is a thief – my uncle says so” is neither evidence nor substantiation. The police can open a probe without concrete evidence – but the allegations must have substance to provide “reasonable suspicion” for them to do so; and it is up to Mama Kandeh to substantiate what appears to be “wild allegations”. Of course, Mama Kandeh could have gone to news outlets such as Freedom Newspaper with the evidence – if he feared that the police would not investigate. But he didn’t and he seems to just have blurted out the allegations on the spur of the moment – which is not worthy of an Opposition Leader, nor in the public interest of maintaining peace (and this could be why the police spoke to Mama – where does the “police perjury” point arises is a mystery to me).

Dida Halake


Madi Jobarthe Says …

Mama Kandeh and Adama Barrow: TELL


By Madi Jobarteh

In a democracy, politicians do not necessarily say or do the rights things when there is no risk or benefit to what they say or do. In order words, if there is no cost to their popularity and political existence then they could easily fail to do the right thing or even misinform and mislead, as they liked. Politicians misbehave, either by lying or being corrupt in order to gain cheap popularity because they know there is no one to check them.

But when citizens are vigilant and prepared to hold politicians to account by either rewarding them for their good deeds or punishing them for their bad deeds, then this is time when politicians become honourable men and women and do the right. In the Gambia, the culture of holding politicians to account for what they do or say is almost non-existent hence it is common to hear and see our politicians spread misinformation, mislead, contradict or underperform or corrupt. In this New Gambia, we have to stop this and ensure that there is strong culture of accountability.

Therefore, since two weeks ago, it has been reported that Mama Kandeh of GDC said the Government of Adama Barrow has contracted loans only for the ministers to share those funds among themselves. This is a very serious allegation! Since he made this comment, Mama Kandeh himself has not come forward yet to present facts to back up his claim. On the other hand, Barrow has also not come out to refute these claims. What is clear however is that since January Barrow’s government has indeed contracted several loans and obtained as many grants of millions of dollars.

Secondly, rightly or wrongly there have also been reports on social media of some ministers buying multimillion dalasi homes, while others are said to have transported several people to Mecca for the Hajj. Therefore is Mama Kandeh telling the truth or he is not telling the truth?

First of all, the statements Mama Kandeh made are not illegal and therefore no one can take him to court for that. The police cannot question him for his political statements against his political adversaries. But the fact is that those statements must not be left unanswered. This is because those statements cut on both ways. On one hand they serve to raise the profile and image of Mama Kandeh, fairly or unfairly at the expense of the Government. Consequently, the statements generate public dissatisfaction in the Government, as some people may perceive Barrow as corrupt or inept. On the other hand too, the statements harm Mama Kandeh simply because of his failure to give evidence. Many would see him as a propagandist who only wants to damage his adversaries for his own political gains. Hence these statements, if left unanswered do not augur well for both Mama Kandeh and Adama Barrow.

Since no one can take Mama Kandeh to court for these very serious comments, yet there is a bigger court to which we must take both Mama Kandeh and Adama Barrow. That is the Court of the Gambian People, which sits in our homes, in the streets, at work places, in the markets, farms and indeed social media all across the Gambia and abroad.

Therefore, We the People of the Gambia as the judges must demand that Mama Kandeh provides evidence or he will pay dearly for these comments. Secondly, we must also demand that Barrow refute the claims in the interest of his own integrity and as a duty he owes to the people of the Gambia. His Government must not treat these statements of Mama Kandeh as foolish talk and therefore refuse to respond. No. Barrow must respond to them so as to recover the confidence and trust of Gambians incase anyone has lost some faith in his Government because of these serious allegations. Barrow’s response would therefore serve to strengthen his leadership by maintaining and expanding the faith of the people in him if he could convincingly refute these allegations.

As a Government, Barrow has a duty to clear any allegations that have been levied against his Government especially if such allegations come from a high profile opposition figure. That way he would have exposed the accuser and help Gambians to know who are the true and honest leaders of the people. It is for this same reason that Mama Kandeh must also give evidence so that he helps Gambians to know the character and kind of President and Government we have. Thus both of them will do great service to the Gambia if they speak up. In any case we must make sure that either Mama Kandeh or Adama Barrow, whoever is wrong to pay a severe price!

Our role as citizens is to ensure that the truth comes out for the health and strength of our country. Thus we must begin to engage in a social accountability process where we insist that politicians do not just release words into the air, but back their theories with hard evidence. If anyone fails to do that, Gambians would therefore know that such a politician is a dishonest joker who does not worth our votes and support.

I wish to therefore play my citizenship role by demanding that Mama Kandeh provides proof to the general public as to where, when and how the Government of Adama Barrow has diverted loans into personal pockets. At the same time, I demand that Adama Barrow respond to these serious allegations by accounting for all the loans and grants that his Government has received so far. Both men owe Gambians this responsibility.

We must not allow our leaders to act or fail to act as they like when the issues are indeed life and death matter for citizens. When loans are stolen that means mothers and children die at hospitals while electricity and water supply will not get to most of our communities. Corruption is a serious allegation and anyone who alleges must have strong evidence. The Government, against whom the allegation is made must also come out to clear its name.

Adama Barrow and Mama Kandeh, the ball is therefore your courts. Tell us the truth! If Adama Barrow and Mama Kandeh fail to respond, I suggest that Gambians stage a peaceful demonstration against both of them. We must not allow both Mama Kandeh and Adama Barrow to leave us in limbo, not knowing what is true or false about a matter that is of legitimate public interest.

We must not allow ever again empty talk by the opposition or failure of the Government to respond to opposition allegations. Our politicians must not have it both ways. Let us remember that Yaya Jammeh had made such empty talk that ‘his money’ was from “Allah’s Bank” and we did not we did not take him to the people’s court. We are now getting to know that he was in fact stealing our money. Let us not repeat that anymore.

Adama Barrow and Mama Kandeh: Set the truth free in order to free yourselves!

God Bless The Gambia.


GDC: Kandeh is an honest man

Kandeh made the allegations and it is the duty of the government to clarify to the public by showing evidence that no money was embezzled …” MCCham

Written by Sam Phatey on August 22, 2017

A senior official of the Gambia Democratic Congress said Tuesday that his party leader Mama Kandeh reserves the right to accuse the government of wrongdoing, dismissing the country’s Foreign Minister description of Kandeh as “irresponsible.”

Ousainou Darboe said Mr. Kandeh’s allegation of corruption against coalition ministers was “irresponsible,” and in turn accused Kandeh was trying to seek “cheap popularity.”

“I want to clarify that Hon. Mama Kandeh is an honest and genuine politician, who is fighting for the rights of Gambians. He has the right to accuse the government of any wrongdoing, especially in cases involving misuse of government resources such as embezzlement of public funds,” said GDC youth mobilizer, MC Cham Jr.

Kandeh made the allegations and it is the duty of the government to clarify to the public by showing evidence that no money was embezzled before accusing Hon. Mama Kandeh of making irresponsible remarks against them.”

Darboe has denied Kandeh’s accusations. Kandeh was questioned by the police and his party denied a permit to hold a rally in Brikama shortly after.

Darboe, apparently annoyed by Kandeh’s attack defended his colleagues reminding that Mr. Kandeh backed one of Africa’s most corrupt regimes and served as an MP for ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s APRC party.

Kandeh had said he was expelled from the defeated ruling party because he disagreed with Jammeh’s position on some matters.

“Hon. Kandeh was elected by the people of Jimara Constituency to represent them at the National Assembly under the then ruling party APRC but he was not appointed by Yahya Jammeh. When he saw the wrong direction that Yahya Jammeh was leading the country to, he challenged him and he was expelled from the ruling APRC party,” Cham retorted.

Cham challenged Darboe’s decision to appoint several former high-ranking Jammeh officials, including a former minister and the ex-speaker as ambassadors.

Abdoulie Bojang had served as one of Jammeh’s longest-serving Speaker of the House helping pass legislations that curtailed democracy and suppressed opposition voices.

Darboe’s party has accepted several key APRC figures, including Suku Singhateh, who was in the National Assembly when the Jammeh-backed parliament voted to hold the country to ransom.

“If Mama Kandeh supported Jammeh, how about former Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Sedat Jobe, Former Speaker Abdoulie Bojang, Former APRC Executive Member Hon. Suku Singhateh or Secretary General Dawda Fadera,” Cham asked.

The Barrow administration has, however, been opened to criticism but its response to Kandeh by denying his party a permit got critics of the government and opposition militants to accuse them of reverting to the tactics of the former regime to suppress dissent.





Farimang Manneh I have read darboe’s interview but I hear notting like that you are saying all I hear was about aprc evil party and its supporter but no tribal language be carful god hate seitan and it followers like you there Paradise is hell fare


Bangally Sumareh If Darboe just said Abdoulie Bojang is clean man that any government can work with, but to say only clean jola is an insult to jola community, in fact the leaders like Darboe should careful not to mention the things like that in public, we have all condemned yaya jammeh for things Darboe in his interview.


Gambia: Open Letter To Lawyer Ousainou Darboe


August 23, 2017

(JollofNews) – Reference is drawn from the publication on the SMBC News Written by Sam Phatey on August 20, 2017. It is in that regards I write to register my total dissatisfaction as per the statement you made against the Jolas with the intention of portraying the noble Jola tribe at a bad viewpoint of light.

“Amongst those who are among the prominent Jolas in the country, Bojang is the only person with a clean record. The rest, he said, have committed human rights abuses, crimes against the state and rained havoc on the economy”. Lawyer Darboe.

Your aforesaid statement above is mathematically calculated and wrongly executed which when not handled correctly might lead to tribal conflict.  As a political leader you need to possess good communication skills that will reunite people despite of their political ideology.

Labeling the Jolas as the only tribe that rained havoc in The Gambia is baseless on tantamount to tribal conflict. The question maybe that one asked ought to be did Jammeh only employed the Jolas during his 22years rule?

Who were the Ministers of Works, Health, Basic and Secondary, Higher Education Research Science and Technology, Tourism, Trade and the Secretary General and Head of Civil Service?

Who were the Inspector General of Police, Director of GID and GFRS?

Who were the Managing Directors of GRA and SSSHFC? Etc.

Just to name a few these figure shows a clear testimony that the Jolas were the list privileged people to occupy the key positions in the Jammeh’s lead administration.  The last time I checked there was no Jolas Minister in the Barrrow lead administration. This leadership style is undemocratic, unconstitutional because in true democratic setting citizens should be treated equally despite of their tribe, religion, gender, age, demographic and political ideology.

It is arguable that the negative effects of tribalism permeate all African countries. Millions have been killed, maimed or displaced in civil wars in sub-Sahara Africa over the past 50 years, mostly because of tribal agitation. Most of us are living witnesses to the carnage that occurred in Rwanda and is still going on in Somalia. These countries have fallen into the abyss mainly because of tribalism. (The Point, 2010)

Tribalism in Africa has been a major stumbling block to democracy as well as socio-economic development. It affects every sphere of development, from social economic, political to educational spheres. In political spheres, tribalism persists since it provides an avenue via which state goodies and favors trickle down from those in power to their tribesmen. Therefore, loyalty to tribe is given ever greater relevance than loyalty to the country.

Barrow is the presidents of the Republic of The Gambia in which none of the Jolas deny therefore his administration has to engage the Jolas and all other tribes for them to fell that yes they are recognized by the barrow lead administration. But if they are marginalized they will fell that they are not part and parcel of the new Gambia. The Gambia belongs to The Gambian’s both those home and abroad. In rebuilding a new Gambia we dream all regions need to be represented well and treated equally despite of political ideology. In a place where trust does not exist, love, respect and solidarity are also absent. The lack of trust destroys family, country, as well as social, cultural, and economic life.

Politics is over let’s heal the wounds and work together for a better Gambia. The real trick to good governance is to place the needs of the masses above everything else; to lead not just with words but with action. Actions define priorities. It’s the only way politicians can successfully bring us the long sought dividend of democracy.

“We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing well. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed.” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 48)

Note: I belong to both the Noble Mandinka and the Jola tribe, tribalism have no room in the smiling coast.   “People who sow seeds of discord by preaching tribalism, racism and religious misunderstanding should find another place to go.” Mwai Kinaki.

Finally I’m expressing my right of freedom of speech and expression” and my “right of academic freedom”, which are expressly guaranteed by Section 25 (1) (A) and Section 25(1) (B) respectively, of The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution.


Saidina Alieu Jarjou

Blogger/ Activist


 Ousainou Darboe

recommended ex-Speaker

Bojang’s appointment

Written by Sam Phatey on August 20, 2017

Gambia’s Foreign Secretary Ousainou Darboe has admitted to recommending the appointment of an ex-House Speaker to avoid the exclusion of tribesmen of the country’s former ruler.

Darboe, 69, supported the appointment of Abdoulie Bojang as the country’s Ambassador to South Africa sparking an outcry.

Activists and even some supporters of the coalition government accuse Bojang of being part of former President Yahya Jammeh’s top enablers helping him to stay in power.

Gambia’s parliament voted to extend Jammeh’s rule declaring a state of emergency in the days leading to a political deadlock that nearly slipped the country into a civil war.

“You cannot exclude the Jolas in the government. They did not have any position in the cabinet. It is important to appoint one of them as a member of the government in a capacity that is appreciable,” Darboe said.

Former Speaker Bojang was not implicated in any human rights abuses and he has been lobbying during the impasse to get Legislators to distance themselves not to vote for the state of emergency to extend Jammeh’s mandate, according to Mr. Darboe.

Darboe says Bojang’s appointment was not inappropriate and to avoid the practice of the former regime, it was important to appoint anyone without regard for their political affiliations.

Whiles Darboe’s explanation may win over some critics of Bojang’s appointment, those opposing the political figurehead said there are many other prominent Jolas that have not worked for Jammeh.

But according to Darboe, amongst those who are among the prominent Jolas in the country, Bojang is the only person with a clean record. The rest, he said, have committed human rights abuses, crimes against the state and rained havoc on the economy.

Jammeh had only given appointments to those supporting his party and accused of giving priority to his tribesmen. Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has vowed his government will different.

Jammeh was defeated in last year’s elections. Although he initially conceded defeat, he later rejected the results citing “unacceptable abnormalities.” West African troops forced him to flee to Equatorial Guinea.