Gambian President has given a synopsis of the cabinet reshuffle which culminated in relieving of four ministers. The unexpected reshuffle also saw the demotion of Vice President Madam Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang-Jallow to Foreign Service.
President Adama Barrow has not given any reason for the reshuffle. He has instead allowed Gambians to debate extensively on the issue until on Tuesday when he (the President) attempted to justify the reshuffle.
“The Gambian people have given me a mandate to make sure we deliver,” President Barrow told journalists upon arrival at the airport. “To do this, there are Gambians who we need in particular places at particular times. So we can make changes. These are constitutional powers that I have so I make the changes in the main interest of this country,” he said, debunking widely held beliefs that the reshuffle is prompted by rampant corruption.
President Barrow, who was in Mauritania for the Extra-ordinary Summit of the African Union, said the program is “well-attended and represented summit. One thing is very important: Africa is speaking the same voice on how we deal with corruption. A lot of resources has been wasted in Africa, it is now time that Africa come together and fight corruption if we mean development for Africa. I think we were serious about this, and we want to build our institutions and make them stronger, so that they will help us to eliminate corruption. Even if we cannot eliminate corruption 100 percent, at least, we can minimize it in the interest of our continent. I think this was the main focus and direction of the summit.”
Gambian leader had earlier delivered a very powerful speech on why African countries must tackle corruption if they want to reap the benefits of their natural resources. The summit raises Barrow’s confidence that the current generation of Afric leaders will succeed in the fight against corruption.
“This is not just about statements, it is about building institutions: the moment we build our institutions, we become stronger as the institutions control everybody. It will not be the matter of a head of state now. It is the institution. That is the most important thing.”
During his Mauritania stay, Mr. Barrow held a closed-door meeting with his Equatorial Guinea counterpart who hosts former President Yahya Jammeh. The meeting of Barrow and Obiang, some people think, might have something to do with exiled Jammeh. But President Barrow said “most of our discussions centered on African integration. The President of Equatorial Guinea is a Senior Statesman. We discussed and assure them that one day, we the young ones will continue with the mantle of leadership on the continent.”