President Adama Barrow has warned against incompetence the misappropriation of government funds, vowing to crack down on corruption in his administration.
Barrow said the diverting of funds, bribery and corruption in public office are illegal and disgraceful practices that breed miss-trust and negative consequences for which he would have no tolerance for.
“We must be vigilant against the problem of corrupt practices. My administration declares intolerance to all forms of corrupt and fraudulent practices,” said Barrow.
“Competence and performance will be rewarded, whilst support and incentives will be provided to stimulate professional development. Incompetence, unfairness and indifference, have no place in the public sector of the New Gambia.”
It is the first time Barrow has made such a severe warning of two major issues that have plagued the Gambia’s civil society since the birth of the country.
The soft-spoken leader fired two of his senior officials – security minister and his chief of staff – one of who was accused of taking a bribe and the other of incompetence. They have both been deployed to Foreign Service.
An investigation commissioned by President Barrow to look into the financial activities of the country’s erstwhile leader, Yahya Jammeh found government workers ignored financial regulations, allowing the ex-president to ransack the country’s treasury.
Mr. Barrow has launched a civil service reform program and appointed a corporate strategist, Habib Drammeh to become his civil service chief.
Barrow’s Finance Minister, Amadou Sanneh has been fighting to pass new policies that will enforce fiscal discipline and cut government spending. He has so far been met with resistance from bureaucrats.
Corruption was very widespread under Jammeh but remains rife under Mr. Barrow. Barrow said he will suppress the practice as part of his new reforms program, raising the confidence of international monetary institutions partnering with his government.