Monday, June 17, 2024

Essa Njie: ‘All these political parties are the same in terms of misappropriation of public funds’

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

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Essa Njie, popular political commentator and lecturer at the University of The Gambia, has said all political parties in the Gambia are the same “in terms of misappropriation of public funds”, saying they “should have condemned” parliament’s decision of buying cars that are each worth over 2 million dalasis but instead “they are keeping quiet because their parliamentarians are affected”.

The political Science lecturer argued that the political parties in the country should take a share of the blame since the National Assembly Members are from political parties who have a responsibility to talk to their members. He emphasized that political parties have to be blamed, and the buying of these cars has equally affected the trust many have in the parties.

“At the end of the day, you cannot blame only the parliamentarians for this, but the political parties as well. All these political parties are the same in terms of misappropriation of public funds. It will be difficult for people to even trust these political parties because, on the side of the opposition regarding this issue, they cannot say certain things about President Barrow,” Njie explained in an interview with LSTV 1.

Njie further argued that the United Democratic Party (UDP), the biggest opposition political party in the country, and others should have condemned parliament’s act.

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“All these political parties, including the UDP, the biggest opposition party that has been vocal against corruption and other issues about this government, are keeping quiet on this. They are not talking about it. They should have condemned this, but they are keeping quiet because their parliamentarians are affected. If they hadn’t been affected, they would have come out. Other parties are like that too,” Njie commented.

The National Assembly of the Gambia has purchased 2023 model Toyota Prado vehicles worth over 2 million dalasis each. Half of the cost of these vehicles will be paid by the taxpayers’ money, something that many political analysts and commentators argued should not be done.

It is not apparent how much the parliamentarians will pay for the purchase of these vehicles. Some sources believe MPs will pay only 30% and the rest will be paid by taxpayers.

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