In a shocking and a rare admission, The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) it emerged have gone completely bust, dead and waiting to be buried. And now desperately seeking for a bailout from the very person who singlehandedly help to bring that struggling institution to its knees. And that is, no other than the person of President Jammeh himself. The man who publicly claimed ownership of every equipment being used by the GRTS. But wait a minute, this is an institution that have had no boom era ever since it was created. In other words, it has always been operating at a lost from the word go. A burden to the tax payer with no value for money in return. So, declaring it bankrupt after nearly two decades of dismal failures, corruption, nepotism, lack of proper management with no proper editorial guidelines or independence, will undoubtedly left a very bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.
Interestingly however, the self-absolve Director General, Lamin Manga, in his own words, made no bones about where and who the finger of blame must be pointed at. He clearly, wrong footed the members of the joint Parliamentary Select Committee at a appearance before the Public Enterprise Committee and the Public Accounts Committee respectively. Most of whom were expecting a window dressing performance from a man seen as a safe pair of hands and also thought to be least harmful to the regime. But it turns out, Manga had other things on his mind. And in a rather brazen manner, he went on to tell them the true account of how the GRTS has been a disaster in progress and why it went on for far too long without no one blowing the whistle.
The Director General’s remarks will not only raise eyebrows of the powers the be, but it will no doubt ruffle some big feathers in Banjul. As they often like to kick matters like this in the long grass. And we all know what could that lead to – a possible sacking and arrest followed by an inevitable charges of Sedition and Giving a False Information to a Public Official. If Lamin Manga is given the axe in the coming days or weeks, it would be a direct consequence of him being brutally honest at his own expense. But the question remains, who would want to lead a failed institution?
In what is now known to be a last-ditch effort, Mr Manga appears to be absolving himself from any responsibility in regards to GRTS’s financial woes and quite rightly so. He’s simply trying to remind everyone that, he’s been handed a poison chalice in the first place. Perhaps, not many people could argue with that assertion, however. But why accepting a poison chalice, Lamin?
Ba Matarr Jaiteh