The 57 vehicles that remain the center of a controversial donation by President Adama Barrow to the National Assembly has taken a new turn, with the opposition leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta saying the vehicles are privately registered to Mr. Barrow.
“The vehicle registration and the insurance are under President Barrow,” said Jatta. “They are not registered under the Government of The Gambia or the National Assembly itself.”
The vehicles being registered under Mr. Barrow makes them his personal property and not that of the government or the National Assembly.
Jatta’s APRC party has at least five Members of Parliament in the House. The opposition party has not confirmed if any of its parliamentarians have accepted the vehicles.
President Adama Barrow has declined to release the name of the donor of the vehicle. Press Secretary Amie Bojang called the donor “anonymous,” prompting pro-democracy campaigners to demand transparency.
Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe said the same person had donated vehicles and monies to the coalition during the presidential campaign, arguing that if those donations and deposits were not questioned, the vehicles given to legislators should not be questioned.
Different media reports pointed to two close suspected associates of President Adama Barrow: Gambian businessman Alhagie Conteh and Senegalese businessman Kalilu Waggeh.
National Assembly Members from one of the parties that have a stake in Barrow’s government have declined to use the vehicles. PDOIS elected legislators say the presidency must reveal the source of the donation.