By Amie Sanneh
We have been publishing a summary of the stories that we published in 2015. We now sum up stories relating to governance.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH RELEASES REPORT ON GAMBIA
Human Rights Watch, a human rights NGO based in the USA on 17 September released an 81 page report on the human rights situation in The Gambia in which it calls on the government to disband paramilitary groups and investigate abuses.
The report says the government commits serious human rights violations against perceived critics and political opponents, perpetuating a climate of fear and repression.
THE TROUBLES OF
Hussain Tajudeen, the proprietor of TAJCO, was declared persona non grata and ordered to leave the Gambia within 72 hours or face deportation, according to an executive order announced on the 27 May, 2015.
According to the announcement, Mr. Tajudeen was engaged in “unacceptable business practices” and was therefore given 30 days to close down his operations in the country.
It was however announced on Friday, 26 June 2015, barely a month later, that Hussien Tajudeen, the Lebanese businessman, has now been ‘pardoned’ by the president.
This, however, is the second time that this businessman has been expelled and ‘pardoned’ by an executive order from the president’s office. The first was in June 2013 which lasted for four months before he was eventually allowed by a ‘presidential pardon’ to return and continue with his business.
Mr. Tajuddeen, in addition to being a major importer of rice, flour, sugar and other food commodities, is also the owner of Kairaba shopping centre among other business operations.
EID-UL FITR (KORITEH) OBSERVED PEACEFULLY ON DIFFERENT DAYS
Muslims throughout the Gambia have celebrated the feast of Eid ul Fitr, commonly called ‘Koriteh’, to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan on different days throughout the country without rancour. The feast was observed on Friday, 17 July by some, and Saturday, 18 July, 2015 in different parts of the country.
Unlike last year’s feast, the aftermath of which was characterised by arrests of people for the alleged violation of a presidential order banning the holding of prayers on two different days, the weekend events passed of peacefully without such incidents.
YOUNG LADY SHOT DEAD IN ERINJANG/KOTU
Ya Binta Jarju, a young lady in her late twenties, who was residing in
Banjul, was shot dead while in a Mercedes Benz taxi as she was being chased by security personnel at Erinjang/Kotu on Saturday night, March 7. No security personnel has been
The 27 year old was finally laid to rest on 9 March, 2015 at the Old Jeshwang Cemetary the bridge.
GERMAN LAND OWNER DEPORTED
By Sailu Bah
Bern Georg Diedrich, a German who was evicted from land that the high court said is his own, has been finally deported to Germany on Friday 16 January 2015.
Mr. Diedrich was detained at the Immigration in Tanji since on Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 January 2015 when he was driven from where he was detained at Tanji straight to the airport without allowing him to pass through Busumbala to collect his belongings. The source added that Mr Diedrich wanted to get in touch with his lawyer but he was not allowed.
Mr Diedrich had been expelled from his home by an executive directive, which was at variance with a court order that says that Diedrich is the lawful owner of the land and that no one whatsoever should interfere with it.
Bernd Georg Diedrich came to The Gambia in 1989 and bought land at Tranquil Wullingkama for investment purposes. He leased the land in 1996 and the Gambian partner Alieu Barry erected a perimeter fence round the land which is 22,000 square metres.
The land was encroached upon and he took legal action to acquire the land back and after seven years he finally got back his land.
On the 2nd February2013 he and his partner were arrested and detained in Mile 2 but by 14th August 2013 the land was restored to him by the Sheriff Division.
This was however short lived because on the 20th October 2014 he was asked to vacate his land and on 18 December 2014 officials from physical planning department backed by about a dozen personnel from the police intervention unit evicted him from his land.
While Mr Diedrich has the law on his side he lacks justice because the state is acting contrary to the letter and spirit of the law. This is impunity. There is no way such attitude and actions can encourage foreign investment.