Witness accuses Jammeh of inappropriate conduct

Jul 22, 2020, 10:58 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

An anonymous witness testified yesterday before the TRRC, alleging that former President Yahya Jammeh used to massage the private parts of patients living with HIV/AIDS in his Alternative Treatment programme.

Testifying before the commissioners, the witness said she was first diagnosed with HIV 1 and 2 about 14 years ago while she was pregnant.

She added that her child died after one month of her birth, saying she thought it was caused by the virus.

The witness further testified that she heard Yahya Jammeh over the television claiming he could cure HIV for only two weeks. According to her, that was the reason why she decided to join the Alternative Treatment but later realised it was all false.

She continued that people used to come from different backgrounds hoping that Jammeh would cure them.

"I never wanted my face to be filmed because of the stigma attached with the virus. The paramilitaries and the soldiers used to be present and we couldn't resist from being televised or escape from the treatment center."

She told the commission that she was taken to Kanilai where the patients were kept for the treatment. She added that a towel and a cup were given to each.

"Ansumana Jammeh was present for assistance to administer the medicines and Dr. Mbowe was also there to help Yahya Jammeh. Two nurses: Nyima Badjie, Awa Njie were also there and Jawara, Lamin Sanneh were responsible for helping Yahya Jammeh for massage."

She testified that Jammeh asked naked women to lie down on their backs and he would take a cream and apply it on their whole bodies including the private parts.

The witness told the commission that Jammeh had alleged some people as witches during the treatment, saying they were later discharged from the treatment centre.

"Some people paralyzed and others die as a result of the Alternative Treatment. Among the concoctions Jammeh used to give us were ‘jinneh’, ‘omo’ and ‘chakery’ which made some people seriously sick," she further testified.

She confirmed that Jammeh used some patients on his farm and other work.

In her concluding remarks, she stated that the alternative treatment impacted her life a lot, saying she was sent out of her compound after her landlord realised that she is living with the virus.