Mr. Musa Batchilly, a former Executive Member of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress Party (GDC), has debunked what he called the calculated “lies and smear campaign” peddled by the GDC that he was expelled from the party”—to the contrary Batchilly said, he honorably resigned from the party, following the lack of transparency, and accountability on the side of the GDC leader Mama Kandeh. “ I was never expelled from the GDC. I resigned honorably from the party. My resignation was triggered by the blatant and endemic culture of lack of accountability and transparency on the side of our party leader Mama Kandeh, when it comes to party funds and donors. Mr. Kandeh’s leadership has been shrouded in secrecy. He is not the least transparent and accountable to the party’s leadership. Since the advent of the GDC, could you imagine, the party doesn’t have a registered bank account on its name. We open a GDC account three months ago. I joined the party in June of 2015, during its infant stage of formation. There were no funds then. Mama Kandeh, has kept us out of the loop about the party’s finances and certain donors chipping in,” said Mr. Batchilly.
Mr. Batchilly, who promised to grant an exclusive interview to Freedom Radio Gambia, on Monday, to expose the GDC financial secrecy Pandora box, Kandeh’s alleged lack of financial and leadership transparency, said he, has on numerous occasions hand delivered cash amounting to several thousands of dalasis to Mr. Kandeh for the party’s upkeep. He said such funds were donated by the supporters, sympathizers, and well-wishers of the GDC.
“ All funds collected were handed to Kandeh. All these years, the party doesn’t have a bank account. We only had bank account three months ago. I have been very instrumental in raising funds for the party. All the funds, I raised were handed to Kandeh. He is the main custodian of the party’s funds and finances. Kandeh also spearheads his own fundraising for the party on the sideline. He never tells us how much money he raised from other sources (donors) and the source of the funds he receives on behalf of the party. I have never withheld the sources of the funds collected on behalf of the party from him. I handed over all funds I raised for the party to him directly. He would occasionally tell me, one of your guys, has just came to give me money to sponsor the party,” said Mr. Batchilly.
Mr. Batchilly joined the GDC, in the wake of his late wife’s demise. His wife was battling with heart enlargement. There was no cardiology machine at the RVTH to scan her at the time, resulting to the Medical Research Council MRC Gambia, to refer her to Dakar for further medical attention after she was seen at the MRC. She later died.
A cardiology machine costs $13,000 dollars, but the Jammeh government failed to provide one for the nation’s growing need for healthcare, he said.
Mr. Batchilly has since then became interested in politics. He felt that the dictatorship should not be allowed to stay in power-given the abdication of duties on the side of Jammeh. He wanted to set up his own political party, but when Mama Kandeh formed the GDC, he decided to weigh his support behind Kandeh.
“I have nothing against Mama Kandeh. But I have problem with his lack of transparency, accountability and probity as a leader. Mr. Kandeh, is very secretive, when it comes to finances. He is not open to us at all. The way he runs the GDC, is not right. You cannot run a party without proper administration. The GDC administration is incompetent and inept. Ahmad Kah, has advised them to introduce proper administrative, accounting, and auditing procedures, but they never heeded to his advice. Kandeh is a man of his own. He does what he wants in the GDC party,” he said.
Mr. Batchilly recalled when the GDC was faced with financial problems to meet the one million dalasi deposit to register the party. He said he personally donated D50,000 dalasi to the party. He said when he was making the deposit at Access Bank, Abdoulie Kandeh, the brother of Mama Kandeh, was present. He said he has in the past sell his land, loaned money, and use his late Dad’s property documents just to bail out the GDC.
“Mr. M’Bai, I put my heart, life, and financial resources just for the development of the GDC. Mama Kandeh, has no money when he formed the GDC. We had to chip in to help him. Guess what? Mama Kandeh, do not even have the courtesy or humanity to relate with us at a personal level. The impression he exhibits in the open and what obtains within the GDC, internally is diametrically opposite. I call him my President. I check on him regularly; to find out how he is doing; I visit him. Mama Kandeh has never visited me. He never call to check on me; he has that feeling that we should be running after him,” he said adding that thanks to him the GDC candidate was able to win the elections in the Basse region. Batchilly said he used his own money to campaign in the area so that the GDC candidate can win.
“On May 3rd, this year, I was in Dakar to embark on a medical check-up. I called him on numerous occasions, but couldn’t get hold of him. I later realized that he was in Guinea Conakry, visiting. I texted him on May 3rd, but Kandeh never responded to me, until May 13th. He told me that he never recognized my number, even though I told him in the text that it was me, Musa Batchilly. We had a bitter conversation on the phone. I resigned from the party since then. Kandeh lacks compassion, and humility,” Batchilly added.
Mr. Batchilly said he is privy to the source of Kandeh’s recent philanthropist activities at the nation’s health facilities.
“ I am waiting on certain information before I will go public with the story. By Monday, I will disclose what I know to the Gambian public,” he said adding that he doesn’t know where Kandeh, secured the funds to dig boreholes in the country, and Kandeh’s recent financial help extended to some schools.
Mr. Batchilly swore to the Holly Koran that he he left the GDC with a clean record, as he debunked allegations that he was engaged in financial impropriety. ” My hands are clean. I left the GDC with clean hands. No one at the GDC dares accuse me of wrongdoing,” he said.
Mr. Mama Kandeh, could not be reached for comment.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai