All Gambian ministers have declared their assets to the Ombudsman, in a bid to fulfill a campaign pledge, the country’s Minister of Information, Demba Jawo said.
In the first time in this West African nation that ministers have been compelled to declare their assets, a constitutionally mandated requirement.
The assets declarations, however, will not be made public. President Adama Barrow cited privacy concerns over making them available to the public.
Pro-democracy campaigners have decried the decision to have the declarations classified. Jawo, however, said the Ombudsman can make the decision to make it public.
The Ombudsman man is expected to present the asset declarations to a parliamentary committee if requested by legislators but it may not interfere in matters that the country’s president has a special interest in.
Gambians are concerned about corruption as financial mismanagement and theft by the former regime get revealed.
A commission has been established to probe the allegations and so far, former President Yahya Jammeh’s associates and businesses partners have been subpoenaed to testify.