#Article (Archive)

Jammeh And Cabinet Members

Jun 9, 2009, 6:01 AM

It was not known for a long time why senior government officials sometimes got sacked. Most Gambians only get to know this recently when the President spoke to GRTS about the issue.

This lack of official explanation has always fuelled all sorts of rumours - some damning, some benign. As the grapevine buzzes with excitement in the wake of a dismissal, it is always difficult to know which version to believe because those who are thrown out with the right hand are usually recalled, either to the same post or to something less glamorous. But things seem to have changed somewhat.

In his latest interview with GRTS last week, President Yahya Jammeh gave an insight into why cabinet members and other senior civil servants sometimes lose their jobs. He identified the lack of initiative as the undoing of most top civil servants.

Hear him say, "Let me tell you how frustrating this is. I go around the world talking to my colleagues, looking for funds, grants and soft loans to change the image of this country, to improve the living conditions of Gambians. For certain projects, I have to give a deadline that if that projects did not start, heads will roll".

Specifically, the President then cited apathy and negligence as the reasons why somebody might have lost their job. In disclosing this information, the President was indirectly warning the rest of the Cabinet members and even all civil servants to guard against twin evil of indolence and indifference.

It also shows that the President wants to have around him dedicated men and women who can take decisions and see them through - so long as such measures are for the benefit of the state. It is therefore up to Cabinet members and other senior public officials to do at all times what they think is right.

Experience has shown that when they try to second-guess what might have pleased the President, they ended up displeasing him.

Seriously, governance at any level is a demanding business. It requires integrity, energy and resourcefulness. Anyone who does not feel up to the job should have the good sense to refuse it, when it is offered to him or her. To give the impression of competence when you do not have what it takes is to court disgrace and stigma.

"Whatever you do, do it warily, and take account of the end".