Amie Bojang disagrees ‘secret’ asset declaration defeats transparency purpose

Amie Bojang disagrees ‘secret’ asset declaration defeats transparency purpose

The State House Spokesperson Amie Bojang-Sissoho objected to the position of activists that the discreet declaration of assets by ministers defeats the purpose of transparency.

“This office is completely committed to transparency because that is why we have voted for change…,” she argued.

Following directives from the office of the president, ministers have declared their assets to the ombudsman as a mark of transparency.

But they have pressed that the declaration cannot be made available to the public citing privacy concerns, which was in turn honored by President Adama Barrow.

“We have been informed that all the ministers have declared their assets to the ombudsman,” Amie Bojang said. As of August, only two ministers were yet to declare their assets and government never said who they were.

Barrow, backed by seven political parties and an independent, has campaigned on promises of transparency and accountability, which he said, will be the hallmarks of his administration.

But the secret declaration of assets has become an issue of tension between pro-democracy campaigners and the Barrow administration. Activists say no one can hold to account any of the ministers even if they periodically declare assets secretly.

Gambian institutions are yet to be strong enough or certified independent, according to activists, leaving room for abuse of power and corruption. But the Barrow regime says they are ushering a new form of governance far from the one entrenched by the ex-government.

(Reporting and Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Additional Writing and Editing by Sam Phatey)

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