Put Your House in Order….

I read somewhere that the Minister for Information, Mr Demba Ali Jawo said that he has no idea where the vehicles given to GRTS came from. These are the same vehicles about which there is currently a brouhaha over the way the presentation was done.

The statement from the Information Minister shows that the communication breakdown people complained about is still doggedly affecting the functioning of the government. It is clear that the right protocol was not followed. GRTS is under the Ministry of Information and as such, anything that has to do with it must pass through the minister. But according to reports, it was the Director General of GRTS who called the minister to request him to receive the vehicles on their behalf.

The report says that it was the Gambia Revenue Authority that gave the vehicles to GRTS through President Barrow. And then it was reported as a ‘donation from Pres. Barrow’. I’ve already written about the semantics of the report. Here I just want to raise concern over the seeming disconnect between, and among government institutions. There should be constant contact, communication and coordination among government departments, institutions, and ministries.

This will help avoid – or at least reduce – duplication of services. If there is no coordination, we may observe certain bottlenecks in the operations of the government. The issue of the prosecution of the NIA 9 is a case in point. It seems there was no communication, and/or coordination between the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice. This led to the minister of Justice holding a press conference to share with the public his point t of view on the issue. This does not portray a good picture of your government.

Mr President, any government that does not take into account how it is viewed by the citizenry will soon meet its waterloo. We should have learnt from the ousting of the previous regime and ensure that we avoid the potholes into which they fell.

I suggest that you instruct your ministers, directors, heads of departments to communicate better. You should remember that your guaranteeing of freedom of expression comes with at least one challenge for you and your government – the public scrutiny is heightened.



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