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The 40 Million Dalasi Media Slush Fund, an improper use of public funds.  Gambia For All (GFA) Party regrets the government decision

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Bakary Bunja DABO, Secretary General and Party Leader Gambia For All

The revelation that the government of President Adama Barrow has decided to allocate forty million Dalasi of the country’s scarce resources to a select group of Gambian media outlets to, as it were, promote government agenda, is an unacceptable misuse of public funds that is of great concern to the Gambia For All (GFA) party and the Gambian public at large.

It is perplexing that the government, with its control of the publicly funded Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) felt it necessary to bypass this national broadcaster, thereby depriving it of resources it could use to train personnel and buy essential equipment that would make them more competitive in the media landscape. Consequently, one is compelled to ask the question, what is the government’s motive doing this? One cannot escape the conclusion that the motive is to “buy” the concerned media outlets to slant publications and editorials in the government’s favour.

Forty million Dalasi can do a lot of good in addressing our country’s dilapidated infrastructure and healthcare system, not to mention the dysfunctional ferry services. The assertion that a tender for the said allocation was approved by the controversial GPPA, is really a “red herring” designed to divert public attention from possible regulatory query. 

It will be recalled, rather ominously, that under the regime of ousted dictator Yaya Jammeh, a similar contract was signed with a regional Pan African Magazine to enhance the image of President Jammeh, and promote his government’s agenda. This revelation at the Janneh Commission shocked Gambians and was roundly condemned. Thisdecision by the Barrow government further fuels the allegation that President Barrow is not only taking pages out of Jammeh’s play book, but he is adopting Jammeh’s whole book as his operational manual. 

No reasonable well-meaning Gambian will approve this act, and GFA strongly condemns it for lack of proper accounting of public funds, and for contravening all principles of good governance.  Those involved in enabling the transaction should be held to account, while those in receipt of the funds should seriously examine their involvement because they too carry a heavy burden of potential ethical misconduct. 

We hope and expect that all parties concerned will do the honourable thing, which is to return the funds that rightfully belong to the public, and take steps to restore credibility to the sacred profession of journalism.

GFA Communications

Ma-Jonka House


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