Gambians may have a new government but, for the most part, the same old system and habits remain.
Most of the country’s ministers failed to respect President Adama Barrow’s stipulated deadline for them to declare their assets, pretending to too busy that they forgot to follow the directives.
With a large number of cabinet members failing to declare their assets by the July 15 cutoff date, the government has decided to extend the deadline for filing the declaration.
“The deadline has been extended as most ministers did not find time to complete the formalities and send the declarations,” said a close presidential aide.
“The point is they did not take this direction seriously and the president must step up and assert his authority.”
Interestingly, the government has not announced a new deadline, meaning we may never see the officials declare their assets.
The infinite deadline means may assets can be hidden, making it even harder for public officials to be held accountable.
The declaration seeks details about land or houses owned by the ministers, including details about their inheritance or buying property.
It also seeks details of the total investment made by the ministers in shares along with details of deposits in bank accounts.
The asset declaration is the first in The Gambia and President Barrow’s first show of transparency and accountability, major promises that helped him win the elections.