Gambia’s ruling part accused of mass layoffs, forced labor by opposition youth leader

Gambia’s ruling part accused of mass layoffs, forced labor by opposition youth leader

A Gambian youth leader has called on the ruling party’s chief propagandist to resign after his municipality layoff at least 1,500 employees this fall.

Kebba Ansu Manneh, speaking at Independent Candidate Dr. Isatou Touray grand rally in Brikama said Mayor Yankuba Colley of the Kanifing Municipality has rendered many youths who worked at the municipality unemployed and living on loans and overdrafts after their termination without severance.

The Kanifing Municipality was unable to pay its staff for some months and the delayed payments caused of the backlog of arrears earlier this year, though it is one of the highest revenue-generating local governments in the country.

Youths say they are left to “literarily scavenge by hopelessly joining” other youths who work on President Yahya Jammeh’s farms across the country in return for food and small remittances, which are unsustainable.

Manneh said that is forced labor.

“It is forced labor. They are using the youths on their farms without pay by rendering us unemployed. Even civil servants are sent to work there and they (civil servants) are living on loans and overdrafts.”

Manneh, an opposition youth leader said APRC has not delivered on many of its promises and called for an end to President Yahya Jammeh’s rule.

In his home constituency of Lower Saloum, Manneh took part in a grassroots campaign for the opposition NRP to win a crucial parliamentary seat.

Youths have blamed failed policies and program of the APRC government for the growing unemployment.

Although President Yahya Jammeh has taken commitments to ensure food self-sufficiency, transform the country into a middle-income economy and an economic superpower, experts say his Vision 2016, Vision 2020 and Vision 2025 are unrealistic. Government critics say the regime has run out of idea and should give way to a new administration.

President Yahya Jammeh’s Gambia has been described as George Orwell’s Animal Farm in the world but Jammeh said his people love him and that is why the labor on his farm “at their own free will.”

Colley may not leave office unless the APRC is voted out in December and he has declared that the ruling party will win at least 90 percent of the votes.

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