Convicted former Lands Minister hospitalised, under military guard

By Mustapha Jallow

Lamin Waa Juwara, the former Minister of Regional Government, Lands and Traditional Rulers under the APRC government, who is Waa Juwaracurrently serving a six months jail term at Mile Two prison, was admitted at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul on 18 June 2016 after a reported hypertension attack.

Visiting the hospital yesterday, 19 June, this reporter found the former minister in a hospital bed in one of the wards being guarded by two armed soldiers and two prison wardens.

One of his wives, Mrs. Kaddy Waa Juwara said her husband is suffering from both hypertension and diabetes. “It was around 5 pm while I was at home when I received a phone call from one of my relatives abroad who informed me that my husband was admitted at the hospital and that was the time I contacted the prison to enquire from them and which was later confirmed,” she said.

Mrs. Juwara expressed her disappointment with the prison authorities for not informing the family on time about the hospitalisation of her husband until after they received the information from a source outside.

“I have not yet seen my husband since after his conviction as we were told by the prison authorities when we attempted to visit him that we could not see him until after 90 days. This is yet to elapse, but I’ll be visiting him at the hospital as we are really concern about his state of health as he is a diabetic and hypertensive patient,” said Mrs. Juwara.

The 73 year old former minister and leader of the National Democratic Action Movement (NDAM) was found guilty for negligence of official duty and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment without hard labour by Principal Magistrate Omar Cham of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on 18th April, 2016.

However, Mr. Waa Juwara was earlier acquitted and discharged on the ‘abusive of office’ charge by the lower court in Brikama on 11 May 2015.