2014 IN RETROSPECT

2014 has now gone and 2015 has just begun. What have the people gained in terms of their liberty, dignity and prosperity?According to the minister of finance and economic affairs, economic indicators project a decline in the economy, an increase in budget deficit and external trade deficit. According to the information revealed at the recently concluded National Youth Conference, private sector is not performing well and youth unemployment is high. Women gardeners continue to lament the problems of preservation, transportation and markets for their vegetables. Farmers continue to go to Senegal to sell their nuts, especially this time when the trade season which normally starts in December has not yet been announced. Salaries of civil servants are still low in the face of rising prices. Fuel prices continue to be high inspite of drastic decline in the world market price. Many businesses are collapsing especially in the face of the new tax regime. The national debt burden continues to strangle the population. Who can talk of prosperity in this situation?
Disappearance without trace and detention without trial beyond the seventy two hours time limit set by the constitution continue unabated. Hence people like former minister of finance and economic affairs, former protocol officer Mambury Njie,  former Human Resource Director, Seedy Jaiteh and even mentally deranged Abu Drammeh are still held in custody beyond 72 hours as the year rolled on to 2015. The government invited the rapporteurs on torture and extra judicial killings only to deprive them unimpeded access to the prisons. Appointments and dismissals are done without due process. Court decisions are treated with disregard as in the case of Georg Diedrich whose land has been occupied by executive directive contrary to a court order. Where is the liberty and dignity in 2014.
These are the issues that Gambians need to consider when they face the ballot box and not their sentiments. They have to think wisely when they face the ballot box.