To uphold the notion that because Mama Kandeh made allegations that he failed to substantiate is deserving of an explanation from the President is ignorant.
The Gambia; and indeed any other state for that matter should not mimic frat house filled with she said he said allegations and counter allegations. In a serious institution, evidence and facts are what matter, not innuendos and fanciful rhetoric.
If Mama Kandeh in fact has evidence of graft of such magnitude why not present it to the public and let the talk start from there? Mere conjecture deserves no response from serious minded people. What is his goal; try to catch those in the administration in a lie?
GDC has members in the National Assembly, what is to stop Mama Kandeh from giving his evidence to those members to present on the House floor and demand the House oversight committee for government finances look into it? Why not call a press conference and declare his prove? So many avenues are open to him but he chose to sit at a political function and make conjecture with full knowledge that it is not true and for some to come out and demand an explanation from the President is preposterous. Why not demand that Mama Kandeh give his proof first and then we can go after the President for an explanation? Give explanation against what, Mama Kandeh’s words? Then it becomes a case of his words against the President’s words and the nation divided into camps of believers for either narrative so that the spin masters can get to work and blow the whole thing out of proportions?
The logical and right thing to do is to present the facts and then the President can come refute his allegations based on those facts or explain the credibility of the evidence, not to engage in word play with someone so low on morals as to lie to a vulnerable base for his political gain.
Secondly, ever since their ascension to power, every single loan/aid agreement has been signed in full glare of the media with the donor stated, and present; the amount stated for the record; what the money has been earmarked for and when that project is due to kick off. What more evidence is needed than to look and see if in fact the said projects have been sponsored in full or not? The pathetic thing is when some advocates of that notion come out to say; “we need to hold our leaders accountable.” So Mama Kandeh as an aspiring candidate is not one of those leaders to be held to account? He made a claim, clearly it has to be based off of some facts he gathered, why not demand he present those facts as a means to holding him accountable for his utterances?
When government officials engage in corruption in the manner alleged by Mama Kandeh, the public pays the price dearly. The fiduciary relationship that exists between the public and elected officials if breached by any official is a prosecutable offence. Accusing public officials of theft at such a magnitude is not a political statement, it is irresponsible and a trigger for public outrage, rightly so if true. So to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegations, Mama has to give answers, and who better to give answers to than those charged with upholding the law.
The police did their job and with it prove to us that our democracy is burgeoning for two reasons.
Firstly, after questioning him and finding out that he lied, Mama Kandeh was let go and no charges of “lying to the public” were filed against him; or for merely lying. That would be a problem if he were to be prosecuted on those grounds. Because then it will amount to persecution of a political opponent.
Secondly, we can safely assume that if in fact Mama Kandeh presented evidence of misappropriation to the police, the culprits would have been called in to answer for their crimes. The culprits in this case being state officials; which tells us that the police are willing to turn things around and hold all citizens subject to the law.
But instead of lauding the efforts of the police in their attempts at upholding the law; or holding Mama Kandeh to the high standards of political decency, some want to cuddle him and his misleading ways as mere politics. If that is the case then let us wait for the President to respond to his allegations at a political function of his choosing as well. As a citizen, I also demand that the President not use public time to give credence to Mama Kandeh’s insinuations as they stand.
The onus here lies squarely and entirely on Mama Kandeh to prove to the public that in fact his claims were true by producing evidence to that effect. Then, and only then should we ask for the President to come and clarify based on the evidence presented.