Friday, April 12, 2024

Veteran Gambian Politician Lamin Waa Juwara Dies At 79

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By: Sarjo Brito

Lamin Waa Juwara, former leader of the National Democratic Action Movement and veteran Gambian politician has died, his family has confirmed. The Niamina Dankunku native, known to many as Mbarodi was 79. 

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“I announce, with a heavy heart and great sadness, the passing of my uncle and stepfather Lamin Waa Juwara (Mbarodi). The Gambia has lost a great politician who sacrificed everything for his country and Niamina has lost a true son. May Allah grant him Jannah.”

The career politician was born in the country’s Central River Region in 1943. His political career began in 1977 when he contested the Sabach Sanjal Parliamentary seat as an independent candidate in the first republic. 

He lost to former Vice President Saikou Sabally. Juwara staged a return in 1992, contesting in his native Niamina Dankunku where he won his first National Assembly bid. He served as a National Assembly member until 1994 when Jammeh came to power. 

The fiery politician formed the then National Democratic Action Movement and led coalition talks which gave birth to the opposition National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD). 

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After the collapse of the coalition, Waa Juwara decided to join Jammeh’s APRC. Under Jammeh, Waa served as Minister for Local Governments and Lands. He would later be dismissed by Jammeh and jailed for six months. 

Lamin Waa Juwara’s falling out with the former authoritarian ruler was fully documented during his appearance before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission where he gave detailed allegation of torture meted on him by former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh. 

Sometimes described by his critics as a Jammeh enabler for joining the APRC, Waa Juwara has always defended his decision, insisting it was part of a bigger plan to unseat the former Gambian President.

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