Veteran journalist and former Press Union President Demba A. Jawo will be replacing another journalist, Sheriff Bojang as Minister of Information and Communications Technology, State House officials say.
President Adama Barrow selected the veteran journalist after series of meetings with advisers and approved by the oversight committee vetting cabinet picks.
Mr. Jawo has arrived in Banjul on Friday ahead of the swearing-in ceremony. He’s been staying in neighboring Senegal’s capital, Dakar for about a decade.
Jawo is yet to formally accept his appointment saying he is still looking into it, but by all clear indications, he will be honoring the nomination to become information minister.
Information Minister post is one of the seven cabinet jobs yet to be filled.
Bringing justice for the murder of D.A. Jawo’s friend, journalist Deyda Hydara and having Gambian authorities respect an ECOWAS court ruling is a priority on the list of press freedom activists.
The Gambia Press Union has filed a petition in the Supreme Court for the colonial old sedition and defamation laws used by Gambian authorities to prosecute journalist and force them into self-censorship to be ruled as constitutional.
The Information and Communications Act was amended in 2013 to introduce a 15-year jail term and a fine of D3 million ($77,000) for anyone using the internet to spread false news or make derogatory statements, incite dissatisfaction, or instigate violence against the government or public officials.
Jawo will have to lead the cause for such laws to be reformed.
The country’s new Attorney General and Justice Minister has pledged to have draconian media laws passed by the Jammeh regime reformed and ensure press freedom.