Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Interview With Halifa Sallah On Ex-Captain Mamat Cham And TRRC

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Asked whether he is aware of all the postings being made by Gambians of the documents confirming his letter rejecting the Ministerial appointment and stating the principles of PDOIS on Coups and on invitations to join coalition governments Sallah said he is aware.

Asked whether the TRRC has responded to his request he answered in the negative.

Asked about the purpose of the persistence in exposing that Mamat Cham fabricated evidence he said the following:

“No one should go before a Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission and fabricate evidence. This dirties the pages of history.  My objective is to cleanse the dirt left by Mamat Cham on the pages of history so that the minds of the coming generation will not be soiled by it.

“The truth is yet to be said, that what happened in the Gambia was desertion of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Vice President who should have taken over, leaving the country without a government as Ministers surrendered to an unknown, ill-defined and amorphous authority. It was a sheer abdication of responsibility allowing power to fall on the lap of those who had the desire to assume it but were ill organised to do so. In fact, they displayed their ill preparedness by suspending the Constitution. It is after we wrote that suspending the Constitution meant suspending not only the executive and the legislature but also the judiciary, the public services, the financial institution, the state as a whole. We asked how then would the country be governed. Hence those who wrote the speeches suspending the constitution had very little knowledge of how a government works.

“We argued in our Foroyaa publications just after the take over which I will quote in subsequent analyses that even in Nigeria where soldiers had specialised in the art of staging coups Constitutions are allowed to exist although in modified forms.

“If the TRRC fails to recall Mamat Cham and invite me to give evidence on part of his testimony which affects me I will provide evidence from publications to prove that I played a similar role after the 1994 take over as I did during the impasse of 2016-2017. I am gathering all the evidence to ensure that history is not rewritten by those who are too dishonest to acknowledge truth when it is as plain as noonday. In fact, I have already come across a form I was distributing in October 1994 to get thousands of signatures to a petition calling on the Council to convene a National Conference  which contains the name of the current spokesperson of the President, Mr Ebrima Sankareh who was then a journalist for   The Point and who covered our trial in  August  and September 1994  when were arrested and taken to court for defying Decree Number 4 which suspended all political associations and dissemination  of political ideas. The facts will dispel the fiction that Mamat Cham has started to write. Fiction will not be allowed to pass as fact.”

Asked whether the clarification is not already made Sallah indicated the following:

“Mamat Cham started the fabrication. Those who are capable of analysis would notice that the lead counsel had added weight to the fabrication by summing up the fabrication to ask a follow up question. In short, he asked Mamat Cham what happened after the PDOIS were late to appear at the appointed time.

“Even though, I had never set eye on Mamat Cham after he came to inform me of an offer of Ministerial post by the Council, even though I did not set foot at the state house Mamat Cham did present fiction as fact and some people gullibly swallowed his garbage.

“A clear example is the following comment made by one Karamba Touray, a prominent UDP leader and stalwart in the US to cast doubt on my irrefutable assertions based on the fabrications initiated by Mamat Cham:

Thank you for sharing. Mr Sallah categorically denying meeting Mr Cham whose was recruiting for the junta as well as any visit to State House. In this statement from Mr Sallah he is very carefully saying soldiers met him at the PDOIS bureau and he is not mentioning who they were or if that was the group led by Mamat Cham. Mr Cham is claiming to have met Mr Sallah first then proceeded to Sam Sarr next door and this is corroborated by  Halifa’s narration in this statement in every respect except on the crucial question of whether it was Mamat Cham who met and discussed with Halifa. It could not have been any other soldier other than Mamat Cham since he was the junta’s recruiter of civilians to invite into the cabinet. Who among the soldiers he acknowledged coming to the PDOIS bureau did Halifa discuss the idea of joining the junta? It looks like PDOIS also dispatched Sam Sarr to State House on Monday afternoon as per this statement which also contradicts an earlier assertion that they never went to Statehouse. What is in dispute is when Sam Sarr got to Statehouse to deliver PDOIS considered response to the junta’s invitation to join the cabinet. Mamat said the PDOIS response came after the noon deadline had expired by hours and they had already chosen others to serve, effectively knocking the previous PDOIS offer off the table. Halifa in this statement is saying Sam Sarr came to Statehouse with their response but was refused entry. When did Sam get to Statehouse? Was he late beyond the 12 o’clock deadline? Why was he refused entry? Finally if Mr Sallah really wants to correct the record, he can simply go to the commission and volunteer to testify under oath and give his version. But he said doesn’t want to do that but won’t forgive the commission if they fail to arrange a trial like encounter between him and Mamat Cham. What kind of reasoning is that? Establishing the truth of what happened simply requires witnesses to tell the truth and he can easily do that.’

“It is such people who make it absolutely essential for me to demand to be heard by the TRRC or continue to clear all doubts by Media interventions. In short, the art of psychological warfare holds that if falsehood is repeated unremittingly it does not take long for truth to stand as falsehood and falsehood to stand as truth.  Hence truth stands the risk of being sacrificed before the altar of falsehood if none takes a stand in its defence.   I will ensure that the unalloyed truth is known either through rebuttal of fabrication presented to the commission as evidence or presentation of the irrefutable facts before the judgment seat of reason and conscience. After that I will challenge every political leader to give their own record of what they did to defend the sovereignty of the Republic and the people from 1994 to 1997.

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