Effective Accountability Is What Is Required

Once again the Government has come out with a heavyweight press release yet we know from the past nothing comes out these so-called reviews and investigations. The mess in this country is created, caused and perpetrated by none other than the Government itself. Hence the Government must be held responsible to clean its mess.

Kamalo is a virgin forest area necessary for the ecosystem of this country. Therefore it is utterly irresponsible for the Government to fail in not only preserving and protecting it but also to allow its destruction by allowing developers to invade this area.

Therefore this press release is utterly unforgivable and unfortunate because in the first place the Government should not have allowed a single mangrove stick to be removed from this area. Therefore this press release is nothing until it is followed by effective accountability. For that matter, I call on all citizens and environmentalists to demand the following:

1. No development should take place in Kamalo at all.

2. All developments built there should be demolished and the debris removed and the area restored back to its original state at the cost of the developers.

3. Government Officials who were responsible for the allocation of land in Kamalo must be investigated and prosecuted.

4. All state land allocations across the country must be reviewed and all illegal allocations confiscated and perpetrators brought to Justice.

5. The long ignored Land Commission should be instituted immediately and given its full independence and resources to do its work.

6. All land allocations within the TDA and reserved lands must be investigated and wrongful allocations cancelled and perpetrators prosecuted.

7. A law must be created to regulate estate developers and housing estates to protect the environment and prevent land grabbing.

This country does not belong to one person’s father alone. It belongs to all Gambians, equally. Hence people cannot just take it that because they occupy public office and hold a big title therefore they can singlehandedly bastardize our laws and plunder our public resources just like that.

The issue of state lands is particularly critical because of the glaring corruption in its allocation by the Ministry of Lands. While the Ministry would illegally allocate state lands to ministers, public officials, friends and family there are state institutions that are renting in private properties.

For example, how could the home ministry of a country, the Ministry of Interior be renting and not housed on state lands. It is like renting a house in your own home! This shows the blatant sense of irresponsibility, corruption and incompetence of the Government to allow state institutions to be renting thereby taking public resources to give to private individuals and denying our hospitals and schools among other public services much needed resources.

This press release and the Ministry of Lands should be watched carefully and closely!

For the Gambia Our Homeland

(Madi Jobarteh)

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