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 Our pie is stolen
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Posted - 26 Nov 2022 :  23:46:59  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Our pie is stolen
By Mustapha-Swandi K Darboe

Budgeting in this country is a hoax. They pass the budget, the finance ministry spends state resources as they see fit. In the end, they come back to the lawmakers to legalise the illegal expenditure through an SAP.

And sometimes, they just come the following year to inform them about it. This is a yearly occurrence as though budget is not a law which must not be VIOLATED.

Then, NOA audit of the government’s financial statements—which lags by 1 or 2 years— comes to the Assembly floor with usual soundbites from lawmakers. The media reports it. They get famous for it. That is it!

The following year, the finance ministry that spent the money anyhow comes to them and they approve another one.
Being lousy and giving soundbites to the media is not what sets one person from another. Principles do.

From 2017 to now, what lawmakers have done is doubled down in accumulating one excessive privilege to another: whether that is being given a community land or D100k to buy cloth or a vehicle which I am told is on its way or their first fleet of vehicles from an anonymous donor. They still pride themselves as reps of the people who live below a dollar a day (D1600 a month).

If the words are right, the speaker Tombong Jatta gets 10k a month to buy cloth. I am no math student but this is five times more than what 53% of Gambians make a month. A recent World Bank study said poverty rose from 48% to 53%.

This means that 5 in every 10 Gambian lives below one dollar a day (basically 1600 a month).

This country’s economy, we are told is struggling. Double digit inflation, rising poverty, shrinking revenue base, excessive corruption is here and more.

Salaries ought to be paid. Everyone is just travelling and government is hugely indebted to airlines. Public debt over D80b. Who can see any good outcome here?

Yet, the people in charge of cutting the pie have decided to keep it for themselves. All the people get are slogans and soundbites.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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