Since the conviction and subsequent sentencing of the Gambia’s seven diplomats in London, so many unanswered questions have been raised yet no one – even government officials – could piece the puzzle together. We at Kairo News too are limping with our own questions: how did the massive tax-dodging scam start? Who started it and why? Who are those involved other than Yusupha Bojang and co? Did the head of mission know about it and if not why? Did she have plea deal with British prosecutors? Why did secret agents fail to sound the bell?
The questions are just endless and keep coming. But one question we will particularly lay emphasis on is: why did President Yahya Jammeh lift the immunity of the seven diplomats? Do we call it a betrayal, injustice or as George Orwell, the respected author of The Animal Farm, put it “not all birds are equal.” Here is the same president who refused to strip Pierre Minteh off his diplomatic immunity for assaulting journalist Fatou Camara in Washington D.C.
While we will not forgive anyone who smears our country’s image, some people have already become sympathetic to the convicted diplomats, claiming “they have to look for alternative means of survival because they are paid pittance.” That is complete balderdash because these unqualified and inept diplomats do not deserve to represent the image of our country.
What would happen had Jammeh refused to lift diplomats’ immunity? In that case they will either be declared persona non grata or recalled to face justice back home. The president’s behaviour certainly manifests his ability to sacrifice anyone for a little good name.
The naked truth is that the tax-dodging diplomats have not only embarrassed Gambians but also put a dent on our country’s image. In the meantime, we will be living with the pain caused by a criminal enterprise whose members destroyed their own future. Who says the convicts are not concerned? The 29-year-old Georgina Gomez (daughter of Edu Gomez, for Gambian Justice Minister) who sobbed throughout the sentencing certainly felt the pain more than her fellow convicts.