Re-Darboe at Police Over Tax Payment
Friday, June 22, 2012
was shocked when I learnt that scores of Gambians, including my party leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, were accused of tax evasion. I wonder which taxes the government is referring to in the case of Ousainou Darboe.
I was at the commission when Mr Darboe testified and showed his tax clearance receipts. The Commission Chairperson, after examining the receipts, accepted the papers, and congratulated Darboe for his cooperation.If Mr Darboe had any arrears that he should settle as a result of government’s reassessment, since nobody had reminded him of his tax obligations when he paid earlier, he should have been informed or written to.
Gambians are clean, dignified and law-abiding and as such, deserve to be treated with respect. Most of those people called at the police and bailed would never run out of this country just because they have been reassessed and required to pay extra.
Therefore, asking them to look for somebody to bail them like virtual criminals is intended to defame these good citizens. But thank God there is no iota of doubt in the minds of all right thinking Gambians that this is part of this regime’s political witch hunt. Certainly, if the Gambian constitution is anything to go by, if Darboe had not paid his taxes correctly, he would not have been allowed to contest the last presidential election. I therefore challenge whoever is behind this massive arrest of so-called tax defaulters to set the tax records of president Jammeh straight.
The questions I want to ask include:(1) How was the selection of legal professionals who faced the tax commission done, as it is quite apparent that some prominent businesses have been left out?
(2) Has the KGI settled its taxes since its creation and if so, where is the evidence?
(3) Have those individuals and companies involved in the importation of cement, bakery, butchery, sale of rice, sugar, cooking oil and all kind of commodities paid their taxes?
Finally, the Youth Wing of the United Democratic Party strongly condemned the arrest and detention of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe for what we see as a ploy to defame him. Darboe is well respected and he is a law-abiding citizen who will not refuse to pay his taxes. I would like to inform all Gambians that this wave of arrest of reputable and well-respected Gambians in recent days is only intended to defame clean top citizens under the pretext of trying to recover tax arrears.
Before Government keep themselves busy arresting people for tax payments in a bid to win the hearts and minds of the Gambian people, they should inform the Gambian people about the monies accruing from the sale of containers of eluminite and other metals that are being transported out of this country for years now. What are we gaining from this activity? If President Yaya Jammeh and his Government are as transparent as they want people to believe, the best thing they should have done, was to first declare the income and the tax return of the Kanilai Farms’ multi business establishments. As the saying goes ‘before you pick out the speck of sand from your neighbour’s eye, you should remove the stick from your own eyes.’
Ebrima (SOLO) Sandeng
Youth Wing of the
United Democratic Party.
Author: Ebrima (SOLO) Sandeng Secretary General Youth Wing of the United Democratic Party.