Darboe fights criticism over 57 vehicles given to legislators

Darboe fights criticism over 57 vehicles given to legislators

Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe has given a sharp response to critics of the President Adama Barrow not to be pretentious in their quest to hold the regime accountable.

Darboe’s reaction is related to government’s refusal to release the name of the donor of at least 60 vehicles to President Barrow. Barrow, in turn, donated the vehicles to lawmakers.

Darboe said the same donor gave vehicles and money to the opposition coalition that Mr. Barrow led to defeat former President Yahya Jammeh.

“If the source of the Coalition 2016 vehicles were not questioned, why is the source of these [vehicles given to NAMS] being questioned,” Darboe said during the Kerr Fatou appearance.

“The source of the other vehicles and deposits were not questioned, then the source of these vehicles should not be questioned.”

Press Secretary Amie Bojang said the vehicles were from an anonymous donor, who does not want to be named. But activists say for transparency purposes the name should be released and questioned if the donor was looking for favors from the Barrow administration.

The names of two businessmen have been thrown around as the anonymous donors. This cannot be substantiated but reporters have named Gambian telecom proprietor Alhagie Conteh and Senegalese construction honcho, Kalilu Waggeh.

Conteh is linked to a Chinese fishmeal company in Gunjur, which is the center of a legal battle over pollution and Waggeh has reportedly given two luxury apartments to Mr. Barrow in Dakar, which he turned down.

At least five Members of Parliament have refused to take the vehicles allocated to them, pending the release of the name of the donor. But it is apparent, the presidency has no intention of telling neither parliamentarians nor the public who this anonymous donor is.

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