Majority of the staff of Gambia Telecommunications Company Limited (GAMTEL) are living in a state of confusion, fearing the re-allocation of the international gateway contract to Multimedia Gateway Incorporation (MGI), a company with questionable credentials yet to be cleared by the Janneh Commission of Inquiry. GAMTEL staff believe State House has been invaded by deposed President Yahya Jammeh’s economic vultures.
Already, the company’s Managing Director, Sulayman Suso, has been sent on indefinite leave pending investigation into why MGI generates more revenue than GAMTEL is established. So many factors, including lifting a ban on VoIP (WhatsApp, Viber, etc) calls and reduction of handling fees, were responsible for the revenue decline. During the MGI era, rates were hiked and that a ban was placed on VPN calls, forcing diaspora Gambians to make expensive direct calls.
Today, 99 percent of Gambians overseas use VOIP, which depletes GAMTEL’s revenue.
Prior to his administrative leave, Mr. Suso had reportedly provided a detailed report on GAMTEL’s situation. Suso had been cleaning up the mess left by the corrupt and inefficient management of former Director Baboucarr Sanyang, a Jammeh ally who has been using money to get his team in control of GAMTEL. “There is neither reason nor justification for Suso to go on leave,” one senior GAMTEL staff complained. “The only reason is his refusal to work with a fake company that drained GAMTEL’s coffers and charged Gambians exorbitant rates. Due to noise, Suso’s firing was aborted. Already, Baboucarr Sanyang’s vultures are celebrating bragging to clean up GAMTEL. Their goal is to replace Suso with Malang Bass but for now deputy Managing Director Seedy Jaiteh is in charge.”
Kairo News has learnt that some State House vultures have been teaming up with Lamin Saidy, Yankuba Saidy and Moses Louis Mendy – brother to Umpa Mendy – aggressively lobbying for Bala Jassey’s MGI to control the gateway. Mr. Jassey is a cousin to Saidy brothers.
Awarding the gateway to a company that appears before an unfinished commission clearly defeats the purpose of the whole inquiry. In essence, the Coalition administration is telling Gambians that the commission is a mere formality. “If MGI gets the contract, we will then be convinced that the Janneh Commission is a rubbish because it makes no sense to award contract a company that has been riddled in the looting of our resources,” one senior government official sounded.
Kairo News will dig deeper into the MGI-GAMTEL story. It is apparent that the very survival of the country’s telecommunication company is on the life line.