After many years of intelligence and counterintelligence zigzag involving Kairo News’ Senior Editor and President Yahya Jammeh’s mixer spy, the time is ripe to spill the beans. The intriguing tales that follow tell one how far the Jammeh regime and some foolish Gambians go.
It all started sometime in June 2011 when our innocent Yaya Dampha got a call from one Yusupha Daffeh begging for shelter. Daffeh was virtually homeless in Stockholm and wanted to be accommodated for few months along with his aging Finnish woman. Mr. Dampha offered to rent out one of his rooms to them in Sundsvall. The couple lived there for four months but failed to pay the rent. Besides, Daffeh misused Dampha’s house telephone line by making several international calls. “I couldn’t take their nonsense and decided to throw them out since they have become a liability on me,” Mr. Dampha says. The couple returned to Stockholm.
During his stay with our Editor, Daffeh used to badmouth Yahya Jammeh and waited for his host to unload comments. Daffeh would soon defend Mr. Jammeh, which invited ample room for suspicion. Dampha became alert and turned his radar on.
What Daffeh didn’t know was that our Editor succeeded in extracting so many classified information from him. Through investigation, Mr. Daffeh’s claims of resigning from the army is found to be false. “He is still on Gambia National Army’s payroll, and even got promoted to Staff Sergeant in absentia few months back,” Dampha adds.
Yusupha came to Sweden to live with his Finish woman who lives in Stockholm. However, he fooled the army command and the Jammeh regime that he got a university admission in Stockholm. He was given a study leave on the condition that he would spy on Gambians in Sweden, particularly Yaya Dampha who has earned President Jammeh’s fury for “being the cause for giving Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to focus attention on the human rights situation of The Gambia.”
In 2007, Dampha and two researchers of Amnesty International were arrested, detained and charged with espionage. The charges were later dropped mainly due to widespread international pressure. However, the regime planed to rearrest and punish Dampha after AI researchers left the country. Dampha got a wind of the hatched plot and fled into exile in neighbouring Senegal.
“I lost direct contact with Yusupha Daffeh since 2011 until December 2014 when he called me in the wee hours. He pretended to be greeting me. I damned because he was trying to find out whether I was part of state house attackers. This was the the last time we communicated but Daffeh has been telling lies to Momodou Lamin Jarju of the National Intelligence Agency (NA). He keeps lying that he communicates with me frequently. He even throws words into my mouth,” Mr. Dampha says.
The seasoned investigative journalist digs into Yusupha Daffeh’s connection with the NIA. “To my utter surprise, Yusupha Daffeh keeps filing reports based on our supposed conversation. But I don’t give a damn because no amount of intimidation or surveillance can cow me down,” Dampha says. “At first I wanted to trash the mixer spy and ride on with life as usual but Kairo News management thinks it is better to expose the hypocrite to the world.”
Yusupha Daffeh first enlisted in the defunct Gendarmerie in 1992 before joining the GNA in 1994. Dampha is a former soldier but the two knew each other at the Gambia Technical Training Institute where they studied law.