The business community, prastatals, and GSM companies here were summoned for a meeting by the Interior Minister Mai Fatty. The meeting centered around the Minister’s plans to refurbish the mile two prisons. Minister Fatty told the business community that his Ministry needs funds to improve the dwelling conditions at the mile two prison. He wants the business community to donate money or any form of gesture to accomplish his set plans to revamp the mosquito infested prison, which was built during the colonial era by the British.
A Local GSM company operator told us that he received a letter from the Ministry of Interior, soliciting donations to refurbish the mile two prison. The operator felt that any help that is to be extended to the Interior Ministry, should be discretionary and not mandatory.
Minister Mai Fatty, recently told Gambians that he wants the mile two prisons to be closed pending further renovation. He is displeased with the current state of the prison.
Minister Fatty, should be commended for initiating such a laudable initiative. The prison should be refurbished. That prison is not safe for human dwelling.
Some business owners here are not happy with the way and manner Mr. Fatty, the seemingly most powerful man in Barrow’s government, is going about seeking donation from the business community without any formal publicized notice to inform the public about his set goals for the prison. One of the business owners, told us that Mai, is allegedly using his office to intimidate them like Jammeh used to do in the past by asking them to chip in to finance government projects.
Prison refreshment is paramount, but the business community here felt that there are other pressing national issues of public concern that equally need to be taken care of. For example, the collapsed health sector, the sinking economy, lack of electricity, water supply, and high cost of living.
The business community also cited the possibility of the requested funds to be embezzled in the absence of accountability and transparency. They want government to create a committee which will oversee the fundraising. That Mai Fatty, should be excluded from the said committee.
Corruption At The Immigration Department
Interior Minister Mai Fatty, recently imposed a ban on passport and Identity Card issuance. He came up with a partial lifting of the ban until after the Hajj season.
While the ban was on, someone tried to test the waters at the Immigration to see if the announced ban was being enforced. He applied for an ID Card. He never physically avails himself at the Immigration. He just used his contacts at the Immigration to have his application processed. He was issued with an ID without any further delay. The ID was hand delivered to him.
Corruption still exists in The Gambia. If you have money, you can get anything in that country.
Mai Fatty, could not be reached for comment.