Mai Ahmad Fatty, the first minister to be fired in the regime of the new leader Adama Barrow was not dismissed for graft, the country’s Foreign Secretary Ousainou Darboe said.
Darboe said investments into the country are checked by at least three institutions including the West African nation’s investment agency and trade ministry, a system he said minister cannot bypass.
“The allegations are unfounded. It is damaging not just to Mai Fatty but to the government itself. The story is devised and I am surprised that it is even given credibility,” he said.
“We are a transparent government and when investments come through, we have about four institutions that examine them, including GEIPA and the Ministry of Trade. No one can infiltrate all these institutions for bribery and corruption.”
Fatty’s corruption allegations stem from a biometric contract to a Belgian company, Semlex, which has denied bribing the minister. Fatty has also denied the accusation accusing political rivals of a smear campaign to tarnish his reputation.
The State House [Gambia’s equivalent of the White House] remains mute over Fatty’s sacking. Government insiders, however, said Fatty’s firing was for an undisclosed serious matter that would be damaging to his political careers and somewhat to the new administration.
Darboe was backed by Fatty since the 2011 presidential race, in which the ousted minister was poised to be his vice president. Fatty’s party also backed President Barrow in the election that brought him to power.