President Jammeh said: “We may not be setting up commissions of enquiry into corruption often, but one thing I would tell you without giving any details is that something called PAACU has been established. I would not tell you who the members are because if you know them, you will not allow your corruption or what so ever to be exposed. But this unit exists. They would not arrest nor confront because if they start confronting people you will know who they are. They will take note of what the person does, the time and the place. The unit is not a threat and not for only secretaries of state, but the general public be it a policeman or whoever. I don’t think anyone of you at your age will like to go down in history as a corrupt officer.”…Daily Observer.
There goes our Yaya again…power tripping. This posting is by no means to excuse the reprehensible and dishonest public officials in Gambia who make no attempt to discharge their duties with integrity and equanimity. However it is the hypocrisy of Yaya Alphonse that is so bewildering. He amasses millions of dollars in a decade; never disclose how he pulled that off. Now he is setting up a permanent unit to terrorize Gambians for perceived corruption. The fact that rules that regulate socio-political relations in a country have a significant impact on the ability of civil servants to seek and secure (either legally or illegally) outside income never dawn on him. There are many reasons for the persistence of corruption in the Gambia, ranging from debilitating poverty to the authoritarian, kleptocractic, and the megalomaniac nature of Yaya himself.
The reality is that corruption exists in the Gambia and Africa for that matter because the conditions are right for it to exist…lack of good governance and the rule of law. Until those conditions significantly change, it is likely to continue more or less unabated. Yaya will only use his gang of corruption busters to round up his perceived political nemesis… here comes the witch-hunt.