May 4, 2010, 1:59 PM
It has come to public notice that some people in the country are in the habit of giving false information against other persons.
They do this just to harass, intimidate and victimise others, and to exercise their influence to sway others.
This is a serious matter, and those engaged in the practice must stop it immediately.
We firmly believe that people should not use their position and influence to suppress others by associating them with things they are innocent of.
While we are not discouraging people from reporting issues such as crime, violence, corruption and abuse of office, etc. we do emphasise that these reporting such be based on facts, and not speculations and heresay.
Of course, saying false things about people is punishable in law, and the punishments are severe.
We have seen many innocent people being victims of false information, and this is not fair and should be stopped.
The spread of false information and rumours poses a growing risk to society and the economy.
There is also the issue of hypocrisy, which involves deception of others and is thus a bad habit that people should do away with.
In fact, saying false things about others is not a good virtue which a good Muslim or Christian should be involved in.
People should avoid reporting false information about others based on personal grievances. Similarly, we encourage all genuine Gambians and non-Gambians alike in the country to keep reporting to the police and authorities any crime-related issue based on facts or which have effects on national security.
Anyone giving false information, if found guilty, could lead that person to jail for six months or pay a fine of five hundred dalasis or both depending on the discretion of the court.
The authorities should also do their work with diligence to verify false and true information, as it will boost their credibility in dealing with such cases.
Slander and malice should not be the habit of good citizens, since such habits could seriously undermine peace in the society.
We urge all to be law-abiding and work with honesty and dedication for the betterment of our motherland The Gambia.
“I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.”Margaret Mead