By Amadou Kuyateh In UK
An arch supporter of President Yahya Jammeh was sent for hip replacement overseas only to be abandoned has been offered free treatment by the British government.
The teacher [name withheld] was promised a sponsorship package of £13,000 left the Gambia with only £7, 000, with the hope of receiving the balance before the treatment began.
After almost one year of waiting in pain, the teacher decided to take a short cut which resulte to him being duped £4,000 by one Mr. Mugo, a staff of Newham hospital in London. This situation, coupled with the earlier disapproval of his visa extension by the Home Office, have frustrated and withered the teacher’s hopes of being guaranteed treatment in the United Kingdom.
With fears of being arrested and charged with economic crimes looming over him, the teacher ruled out going back to the Gambia. His request for help from the British government led to his arrest, detention and deportation order from the country. Immigration officers bought his air ticket soon after the Home Office rejected his application to stay in the country. With the help of a legal aid team, his deportation order was cancelled. He has been living with friends and relatives for almost four years.
His arduous fight paid off after he had proven allegations against Mr. Mugo and that a return to the Gambia without being treated would put his life at risk. The case added extra weight when Mr. Mugo confessed to his crime in court. He was dismissed from the hospital and fined accordingly.
British government at last offered the teacher free hip replacement treatment on humanitarian grounds. The teacher is still struggling to get a refund of the duped money.
However, what baffled people was President Jammeh’s refusal to fulfill his promise, despite televising the case. And to make matters worse, no one was bold enough to explain the reasons for not fully paying the teacher’s medical treatment.
I hope this story would serve as a lesson for anyone who banks all his/her hopes on Gambian leader who parades himself as the greatest philanthropist of the 21st century. As the saying goes “a beggar has no choice” may be true but anybody who finds him/herself in the shoes of the hip-broken teacher will surely go through hell.