Nawec Demonstration And The State

NAWEC is under public scrutiny because of the importance of electricity and water supply.

The new Government has inherited a system of frequent electricity outages and rationing in water supply. Some people complain of waking up in the early hours of the morning to get water from public taps. The GRTS did put the grievances in the public space and get the authorities to respond. The National Assembly members have also added their voices regarding the power outages and inadequacy in water supply.

The State has informed the Public that the President has paid a special visit to NAWEC. The Public should now be informed of the maximum generation capacity and the maximum demand for electricity. It should indicate the measures being taken to address the problem. These explanations should take the form of Dialogue with all sectors of society as they raise their concern. For example, during adjournment debates, the Minister for energy should be around to address the concerns expressed on the state of electricity supply.

Demonstration to express grievances is a constitutional right but is not yet a norm under the three Governments that Gambia has had so far.  Demonstrations have led to the deaths during April 10thand 11th in the year 2000. It has led to the death of Solo Sandeng and the imprisonment of the UDP leadership in 2016. It has led to the death of Harona Jatta and the arrest of many in 2017.

The youth of the Gambia should ask whether demonstrations are designed to show forces or draw the attention of the authorities to the plight of the citizenry so that they would respond positively and address them. Show of force in democracy is done through the ballot box where people have the power to give red cards to Governments. Demonstration in a Democratic society requires the maturity of both demonstrators and state authorities to go on peacefully. If demonstration cannot be held in peace with the cooperation of both state and citizenry, then something is either wrong with the citizenry or the state or both.

Each should then look inward to find out where the problem lie then engage in dialogue to find a solution.