Public television is a dubious idea especially if the only purpose it serves is to disseminate Yaya Jammeh’s irrational attacks on certain portions of the Gambian population thereby sowing seeds of tribal animosity in the country. During his recent independent anniversary interview carry on taxpayer paid television, he castigated the majority tribe for not participating in cultural performances and in the process implying that they are boycotting the independence celebrations. Albeit a sizable amount of the attendees are members of that tribe.
I am not suggesting that GRTS should be privatize because of Jammeh’s irrationality, even though that left un-check could be catastrophic for the country, but the capitalist in me always wonder why government should subsidize the production and distribution of entertainment and, even worse, journalism?
With thousands of Gambian homes adorn with satellite dish churning in European television programming, why should the taxpayers of that nation foot the bill of an outfit that is draining resources. Gambia, the proponents of GRTS will argue needs its own public television station…neighboring Senegal has one they will point out. But when public television is akin to the body politics appendix as is the case in most African countries, it becomes vestigial, purposeless and occasionally troublesome.
GRTS draining millions of dalasis from government coffers, with no remaining rationale, but to feature Yaya Jammeh weeding on his Kanilai farm or because Senegal has one should fill students of government with awe and wonderment.