The constitution of the Republic of the Gambia does not relate to any office for the First lady of the Republic of the Gambia and so the spokesperson of the government of the Republic of the Gambia cannot comment on the 33 Million Dalasi that just flew into the coffers of the First Lady’s Foundation.
Nor do we know of any spokesperson for the office of the First Lady. Honestly speaking the Foundation is legit because it is a registered body as required by law governing such charitable organisations. However the Foundation becomes an object of public scrutiny because we are talking about the wife of the Head of State and any donation made to her should be transparent.
The Foundation’s objectives are to help Gambian children, the least privileged and the sick and thus it should portray a good image and a shining example. This transparency calls for who donated the money, the inter-bank transactions and for what purpose. Shying away from these questions will not help. The office of the First Lady must be legit and catered for in the Constitution thereby making its operations accountable. 33 Million Dalasi is an awful lot of money in Gambian terms and whoever must have donated such an amount may have an ulterior motive.
Whether the foundation confirmed receiving such an amount or not is not the issue, the burning issue is that we are getting a duplication of anonymous philanthropists making donations to the very top level of government and this not sending the right signals. Remember a lot is now at stake in the New Gambia where so called investors will want to use such malpractice to get what they want. Ahead of us are the awarding of contracts for exploring our Oil reserves and the International Gateway.
There have been a lot of movers and shakers haunting these two multibillion dollar sectors and you never know who plays foul by graft.