By a government insider

It has been two days since the Gambia’s Interior Minister was removed from office, and the government, understandably, has difficulty telling the people why Mai Fatty had to be shown the exit door. “Understandably” because of the extremely embarrassing episode behind the story. But the true narrative has already been making the rounds between and among the Barrow inner circle and government insiders. So it makes sense that the public is given what would be an unofficial but impeccable account of the facts. The story goes as follows:

In the ongoing Simlex-Pristine matter, a decision was made to award both companies the contract to do the biometric national documents on a shared percentage basis. Simlex wanted as much as 75% of the shares which Barrow did not want to endorse at the expense of Pristine, which is a Gambian company.

In the efforts by Simlex to push for the 75% shares, Mai convinced the Belgian company to give him 15 million Dalasis on the pretext of using the money to convince Barrow to accept the Simlex request. In the meantime, Barrow continued his resistance to the Simlex request, without a clue about the back deal between Mai and the company.

After the issue of the contract came up in cabinet last week, Barrow invited Simlex to his office to make government’s position clear to them and insist on a way forward. Apparently, Mai had given Simlex management the impression that he had given the 15 million Dalasi to Barrow, that the President was very appreciative of the offer and was willing to allow them have 75% shares of the contract. When the Simlex management turned up at the President’s Office on Thursday in response to Barrow’s invitation, some cabinet ministers were also around and Barrow had no problem in their being part of the meeting between him and Simlex since the agenda was about an important government matter. During the meeting, the Simlex management was dumbfounded after the President made it clear that government will not give the company 75% of contract shares. With surprise and consternation, the Simlex manager started recalling the feedback Mai had been giving them about the President’s agreement to their request. He went further to disclose the amount Mai collected from them in the name of the President.

According to eye witnesses, Barrow was visibly shocked and speechless when the Simlex manager came up with such claims in the presence of other ministers. Ultimately, the President decided the first step of damage control was to relieve Mai of his cabinet responsibility before deciding on the next move.

Ends

14 Comments

  1. This story is not only embarrassing but it shows how Mr fatty disappointed many of us who truly believe that he was doing an outstanding job for the country . This behavior is unacceptable and such corrupt practice has no place in the new Gambia. Mr Barrow did the right thing to relieve him from the interior ministry. Using his position to make money at the expense of ordinary citizens is the highest form of corruption. Based on this story , I think Mr fatty shouldn’t be deployed to foreign services. The government needs to tell the citizens what had actually happened so that everyone can learn that corruption is not going to be acceptable and we must not reward corrupt politicians or citizens by transferring to lower position when they commits corruption.

    • Max…
      Please exercise caution and desist from indicting a man on the basis of an anonymous, unsubstantiated report, which could be a slanderous attempt to tarnish Mr Fatty’s character and name. Wait until you know the incontrovertible truth behind Mr Fatty’s removal before you express disappointment in him.

      Mr Fatty has spoken and dismissed all these as rubbish and just out to assassinate his character. Until President Barrow comes out and contradicts Mr Fatty, his (Mr Fatty’s) position that he received no bribes should be enough to dismiss all such allegations.

      • Bax , I absolutely agree with you and that is why I have expressed the remarkable contributions he made in the struggle and in his job. My first reaction was based on the initial story but when he came out with his statement, I reserve my judgment and went further to advise against politics of personal destruction or character distortion. I should have reserved my judgement or reaction in my initial posting. That was my mistake. But as you can see in my article regarding the same topic, I came with different analysis or statements. If it were you, you would have argued to your grave but you will never accept your mistake. Last time I checked you never offered any apology to peaceful protesters (Solo Sanderg and his group) or Senegal soldiers who you claimed to have hatred for Gambians.

        • Offer apology for a fiction that’s only “true” in your fantastic mind? What an outlandish statement, to borrow your word!!! Where did I say that the Senegalese Soldiers have hatred for Gambians?

  2. Luntango (Degaleh Wagh, Tabaa Bung Bang Yekumofo) says:

    I said it was SEMLEX on my FB video at Sambagate Snr. 3 days ago when the news broke. Very sad. But it is also very BAD for SEMLEX who are being investigated in Brussels. VERY GOOD for Barrow and Gambia – because we can now tell SEMLEX to EFF OFF without being SUED!

  3. This is still one of those rumours going around, and until the government comes out with a reason, the speculation will continue. This is why it is important for the government to say something.

  4. It is not a surprise to me at all. Usually those who pretend to be the most royal to a leader in his presence are people who has a side which they always wish to hide from the public.

  5. I expect kairo’s reputation to be above insinuations from so called insiders. We must insist on the unadulterated truth. If that cannot be given for any reason, we just assume that the present exercised his prerogative without assigning slanderous blame to an otherwise honourable man.

    If the above allegation against Mr Fatty is true, then surely Semlex, already investigated or under investigation by the Belgian Police is in even deeper shit than Mr Fatty.

  6. Kinteh (kemo) says:

    Publishing the socalled “Government insider” account of what led to Mai’s sacking, undermines the seriousness and journalistic integrity of Kairo.
    Why not first put pressure on President Barrow to come out the true version of events? No body is taking side for Mr. Fatty. What we demand is credibility from our leaders. A “Government insider” cannot replace a legitimate elected president. The “Government insider’s” version of events is null and void. A legally constituted courts would not even entertain such simplistic character mudslinging. We demand an official version of events! We expect editors of Kairo to demand the same. Then we can condemn who is at fault.

    • Lamin Ceesay says:

      Kemo, what Kairo did is normal and widely practiced in journalism. In fact many magazines now do not publish the names of their journalist behind the articles. What we need to do is to critically analyse the information to make some sense out of it.

      For me as I said below, I would blame the President if he allowed Simlex officials to go even after confessing to him that they were involved in corruption. It is in fact very easy now a days to follow financial transaction trails if payments were actually made to Mai Fatty. Mai too should have been dismissed and/or arrested and investigations conducted to verify the claims. If there happens to be no truth in the allegations then those behind the report will face the full force of the law. These are what I expected but not Yahya Jammeh’s style.

  7. There is nothing new in the rumour and we are not obliged to believe rumours. But governments cannot create information voids for the public to fill with imagination. Why is it impossible for the government to at least put the matter into context, if it wants to avoid a full explanation. So until the government breaks its silence, I take Mai’s position that he has done nothing wrong and remains a dedicated partner in the coalition.

  8. Lamin Ceesay says:

    I do not think we should take the government insider’s story seriously. If it is true then I am very, very, very disappointed by what the President did.

    Simlex has disclosed to him that they were engaged in corruption which the President knows is a crime and against our constitution. So he should have ordered their arrest at that spot and investigations carried out. If that has not been the case, then many questions can be asked including about the President’s competence and whether the whole incident was not the usual Gambian hypocrisy and reporting of each other behind one and anothers back. So far from the government insider’s story, I think the culture in Yahya Jammeh’s government is what is spilling over; same people, same games…. those who prosper are those who are best at talking behind others back while the competent people become victims as their focus is on the job not hypocrisy.

    After all, Mai has now spoken….

  9. Nonsensical Extreamists gibberish. RUBBISH from those who will not be convinced of their “Wolf in Sheep’s” clothing, Mai Fatty represents in the Gambia.

    • Sidi Bonjang , you have no credibility because when Jammeh was killing Gambians, you supported him until the ECOMIG forces came to flush him out from our country and went to live in exile where his DNA originated from. So you don’t care about human rights violations. Mai is not ” wolf in sheep’s clothing ” as you falsely alleged but he respect human rights and rule of law.

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