Thursday, May 30, 2019

Gambia Scraps Jammeh’s Portrait Off Currency Notes

The move has been welcomed by some Gambians on social media as new regime in Banjul gradually takes a decisive break with the country’s brutal past (PHOTO CREDIT: MSJoof / TNBES / May 2019

Gambia’s currency, the Dalasi (D), will no longer bear the portrait of ex-President Yahya Jammeh, the Central Bank announced on Thursday.

The country’s currency will now bear features that the Bank said are “representative” of The Gambia, and will include various bird species and historical sites in the country.

“The change is necessary so that everyone can see the banknotes as a national property. This is why the new banknotes carry the colour of our national flag, beautiful birds of our country and important historical images of this country,” Central Bank Governor Bakary Jammeh told journalists in Banjul.

Image supplied
Currency notes bearing the image of the West African country’s hardline ruler of 22 years were introduced in 2015. The new Dalasi bills will be rolled out in August 2019 and will include the D5, D10, D20, D50, D100, and D200 bills.

The D25, which is still in circulation but rare, will be scrapped.

Meanwhile, notes bearing Jammeh’s image will continue to be legal tender and will be in circulation side-by-side with the new currency notes until such a time that they are fully withdrawn from the market.

The removal of Jammeh’s image is meant to avoid politicizing the national currency, according to the Central Bank of The Gambia.

The move has been welcomed by some Gambians on social media as new regime in Banjul gradually tries a decisive break with the country’s brutal past.

The repressive reign of Jammeh was characterized by human-rights violations such as killings, torture, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, and forcing HIV/AIDS patients to follow his own treatment methods which involved drinking water from boiled banana leaves.

Jammeh, who once said his critics calling him a “dictator”, can call him a “crocodile” if they wish, was ousted two years ago when the sub-regional bloc (Ecowas) sent Ghanaian, Nigerian and Senegalese soldiers to enforce the election of President Adama Barrow in 2017.

In March this year, a commission of inquiry into the deposed leader’s financial affairs found he allegedly embezzled $359 million during his rule of more than two decades over the smallest nation in mainland Africa.

A Truth Commission began investigating human rights abuses allegedly committed under his rule in January with the objective of punishing perpetrators of serious crimes like murder, enforced disappearances, rape, and torture.

The Gambia, which is home to 2.3 million people and surrounded by Senegal except to the Atlantic Ocean, never had a smooth transfer of power.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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