Capital FM Denies Darboe Airtime; Cites “Administrative Hiccups”

Darboe's invitation changes dynamics
Lawyer Darboe’s invitation changes dynamics!

Capital FM Radio station last night denied the leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) the opportunity to answer questions on his party’s programmes, with the radio management reportedly blaming development on “administrative hiccups.”

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe had earlier accepted invitation to appear on the Kairaba Avenue based radio’s weekly Civil Engagement Hour from 7 to 8 PM (GMT) on Wednesday. The programme anchor Bakary Fatty was expected to engage the lawyer politician on his party’s road to the 2016 presidential election, its programmes and policies. Darboe would have been asked whether there is any legal ”magic” he could use to go around the age limit caveat in the 1997 Constitution.

Listeners would be given the chance to adk questions or comments during the show via facebook or on 4390040 or 3331004.

The radio’s audience was anxiously waiting to hear the voice of a leader on local radio station after a long time. But to their excitement turned into disbelief and anger when Capital FM cancelled the much anticipated programme. It is not clear when Mr. Darboe will appear on the programme.

The programme eralier on featured leaders National Reconciliation Party and People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, Hamat Bah and Halifa Sallah, respectively. The question then becomes: why Ousainou Darboe is not given airtime? Capital FM management provides a scanty answer. It had reportedly informed the UDP leader that the scheduled programme could not procced due to “some last minute administrative hindrances.”

Competent sources told Kairo News that Mr. Darboe “always expects such a development” which has been blamed on “government interference.”

“The government’s goal is dampen the unstoppable UDP’s rising momentum. So we are not surprised about the last minute cancellation because the Jammeh regime wants to do all it can to deny us media platform in the country,” said a UDP official. “Capital FM is trying to avoid a fight with the dictatorial regime. Whatever the case, the station’s management misjudged by failing to uphold the sanctity of freedom of expression, the very cream of any viable democracy.”



  1. So the management of Capital FM fears Jammeh’s men closing their radio. The UDP have to make their own voice by going around. No radio station dares interview or have a constructive chat with UDP leader. This means, the system fears only Lawyer Darboe. Capital FM had a show with NRP leader Hamat Bah, and Halifa Sallah i heard but they are afraid to discuss with lawyer Darboe.
    Let UDP focus on sensitizing the people through the grassroots and mass rallies. Very sad, The Point Newspaper have also avoided writing anything on UDP all these while, with the mass rallies, the Point Newspaper kept mute. It looks like the UDP is fighting on many fronts, with media self-censorship helping the regime.
    The answer is focus focus, let no UDP member respond to those peddling bigotry and nonsense innuendos.

    • Luntango Suun Gann Gi

      On the other hand Suntou, Lawyer Darboe “saved my bacon” by REFUSING to give me an interview in 2008 (though I stepped on another banana skin soon thereafter!).
      I think they should all be given a chance to campaign and push their agenda – not just on Capital FM but on GRTS too. The BBC sticks to the Common Law Rule of Fairness strictly – otherwise they will be in trouble in the High Court of Justice. Different environment I suppose.
      On the other hand, ALL our media, including the BBC were against Jeremy Corbyn – and he won. And that Tsipras chap in Greece – won inspite of the media in Greece and all Europe being against him. It can be done.

      • Luntango Suun Gann Gi

        Merry ChrisMus to everyone! I once said “Merry Christmas” to an Aku friend in The Gambia, and she replied: “To you too Mr. Halake if you know what it means”!!!
        I gave my Aku friend a lecture on the fact that the 1st Christians in Africa were in Ethiopia – at a time when the British “masters” from whom the Akus learnt their Christianity were savage cave-dwellers in Northern Europe!
        Sorry Kairo’s Aku readers – that is a fact! Merry Christmas anyway to all and a very Happy 2016 – my 60th Birthday is in Feb if any of you may wish to send me a birthday greeting.

  2. Capital FM had no program yesterday. They were just playing music. This is sad.

  3. Lafia Touray la Manju

    The Radio Management should be given the benefit of the doubt since this is the first time it happened.


  4. It is a testament of the environment. The management of the radio are afraid. They shouldn’t have started the program if they know they will discriminate against some. Why interview Hamat and Halifa and be afraid to interview Lawyer Darboe? With all the noise making, Jammeh knows who his threat is.

  5. So I am left with no choice but to ask if their action has anything to do with fearing Jammeh or a deliberate attempt on their part to isolate a person and his organization. For once we heard technical difficulties were to be blamed. Understandable if that was the case but when management involvement to cancel the interview was the culpable then the very essence why this radio station even exists is compromised. We can’t leave anyone or any organization easily off the hook conducting in such manner regardless if it’s a public or private entity. Let the people call the station up to leadership to show disappointment and outrage at such a decision. And if there is any more reason to come out of the shades and speak up, this is it and now is the time.
    Share contact information for these folks and let the “naming and shaming” begin.

  6. It is very clear that Lawyer Darboe is the biggest threat toJammeh. So let’s support Darboe and vote out Jammeh. Let the management of capital FM explain why they invited Hamat Bah, Halifa Ssllah and turned down Darboe.

  7. We have heard it but we now believe it 100% that Babil fears Lawyer Darboe more than anything. Take all the media in the Gambia and see whether you can stop the wind of change blowing in the air. You’re waiting to be swept away by opposition tsunami.

  8. How can we have a free and fair elections?

  9. P Mendoza Garveyites

    P Mendoza Garveyites
    well said Harle, is weird to go on elections with Jammeh because that will LEGITIMIZE him and for 10000000000% he will win by manipulating the election by intimidating.

  10. I see it from another angle. A young talented radio anchor in the name of Bakary fatty is being undermined. This is the trap we are all heading towards to and exactly this is the behaviour stagnating the country.
    On Darboe’s denial, I would say that the diaspora must get together and fund the parties well enough to compete on the ground.

    • Mr Kinteh, save your energy. All most will do is write, wrote and written pardon my free use of the Queen’s language. When it comes to contributing few will contribute a dime. APRC can be challenged and beaten but it will take seriousness.

      Ask Tunkara what happened when a few good Gambians proposed raising funds to defend defenseless victims of the regime.

      One hundred will write articles condemning Jammeh but only two will contribute $50.00

      It is all talk my brother. Most if not all can afford expensive phones and pay cell phone and cable bills but cannot contribute a dime to a cause they claim to believe in.

  11. The question is, why cant they create their own Radio and TV station to broadcast their own message. Message is power in these times. whoever reaches the masses the most, have their message resonate with the people.

  12. I’m surprised this civic education program even lasted this long.

    • Exactly, Modou Njai…There is no doubt that the regime does not tolerate divergence, regardless of where it comes from…

      Inferences can be made as to the timing, but that the programme will eventually be stifled was a definite…

      It’s the same reason Teranga fm had problems…It’s the same reason Radio One fm had problems…I don’t think the management should be faulted here…They have shown that they wanted to give all the leaders a chance…I think they should have started with Lawyer Darboe…