A major salary fraud has been uncovered at Gambia’s Foreign and Defence Ministries, and the Treasury Department, Freedom Newspaper can authoritatively report. The removed former Army Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Masanne N Kinteh has been receiving salary allowances, which he isn’t entitled to, which is costing the state several thousand of dalasis. Even though Kinteh hasn’t reported to his new Diplomatic post in China, he has been receiving his full salary, including other benefits he used to enjoy as a former Army Chief of Defence Staff.
Kinteh was removed from his post in March of 2020. He was replaced by his Deputy Yankuba Drammeh.
His removal followed allegations of corruption against the former Army Chief. Allegations of over invoicing (over billing the government), messing with the army’s workers union account, lack of accountability in United Nations peacekeepers funds, were among some of the allegations. The army has denied the charges against their former boss.
Kinteh’s payslip, which was obtained by the Freedom Newspaper from authoritative sources embedded in the heart of The Gambian government, has revealed that his basic salary as a former CDS, was twenty-two thousand dalasis and five hundred dalasis (D22,500.00). Other benefits such as victualling food and ration, telephone, house rent, responsibility and other taxable allowances when added to his salary, it would amount to the sum of thirty-nine thousand and two hundred and fifty dalasis and twenty-eight bututs (39,250.28).
In total, one could safely report that Kinteh is earning close to forty thousand dalasis monthly salary, with all benefits included.
Kinteh is no longer in the military and yet he is earning the same salary as he was in the army. He is now a hired diplomat.
Sources close to the Foreign Ministry said the decision to retain Kinteh’s full salary and benefits as a former CDS came from that Ministry. It is not clear on what basis the official had relied upon to justify his decision, but sources said Kinteh has been enjoying “pay to play” since his employment in the Foreign Service in March of this year.
“This is a corrupt government, in which officials are doing whatever they want without having the fear of facing justice for their corrupt practices. It is a broken system, in which corruption is the order of the day. I have seen no justification, which would warrant Kinteh to be paid benefit allowances when he is not an active employee of The Gambian government. He has been hired as an Ambassador, but he hasn’t reported to his Post in China. This is a clear case of pay to play,” said one of our sources in Barrow’s government.
According to our source, Kinteh’s predecessor Ousman Bargie, was never availed with such benefit allowances when Ousainou Darboe, was Gambia’s Foreign Minister. Bargie, who now works at The Gambia Embassy in China, was only entitled to his monthly basic salary of sixteen thousand, one hundred and seventy two, and twenty eight bututs (16,172.28) and one thousand seven hundred (D1,700.) residential allowances. Bargie was never paid “victualling food and provision, telephone, responsibility and other non-taxable allowances” as enjoyed by his successor Masanneh Kinteh, sources said.
“If you compare the two payslips, you will notice that there is a disparity. Kinteh was virtually paid all allowances, but in the case of Bargie, he wasn’t availed with the same benefits when he was moved to China as a Military Attaché. Their basic salaries differ because when Ousman Bargie was hired CDS during the past Jammeh administration, there was no salary increment. The salary increment happened when the new government was voted into office,” said our source.
Per Ousman Bargie’s July, 2020 pending payslip, he would receive the following allowances as a Diplomat in China: Residential, Overseas, basic salary ECA, and Utility allowances. Bargie’s basic salary as a Military Attaché is D8,268.00.
The Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment over the weekend.