There appears to be just such a club in Gambia, although, it is loosely configured and open to one and all. Fees have not been published!
Normally an existing club seeks new members through application or recommendation of current members. Want to join?
There are different categories. One can become a Ghost Worker whereby around payday one puts on a uniform or presents an ID card and collects the wage with an unspecified amount accruing to ones sponsor in the club. The government announced that they had vetted out some 3,000 such persons. Are they certain that the system is fixed? Perhaps you have seen a neighbor go off in uniform or someone at your work arrive only around payday. It is on you to do something about it. For several reasons that will not happen as it may spoil a future chance for membership or continuation in the Club!
In the present economic environment, non-members are waking up to the chance of joining the club as they see the endemic shift in the moral character of the country and lack of enforcement that would send them as guests to government hotels. Evidence the lack of arrests or real sackings; as if the parties are somehow Protected. Even those found out and dismissed are not made to make restitution of funds or goods which appears to make the club membership even more appealing. Did the ghost workers pay back funds?
Meanwhile those below move up the chain. Remember when Mad Dog visited and cleaned out the Kanifing GRA office and the revenue clerk; the Last Man Standing; was appointed as Acting Director on the spot. Sometimes, the more you know, the less you have to do. As always the other club members can be counted on to Bail out a member; some then leave the country and appear to live well by Western standards.
Out and out robbers are not part of the official club membership. However they are useful as the attention focuses on them rather than the real issue. They provide good press for the government, security forces, and the Club. ‘The police press officer described the apprehension of a housebreaker that has been plaguing homeowners in Kotu along with the recovery of TV’s, Laptops, and Mobile Phones. The alleged man is cooperating with the police investigation. Citizens are encouraged to report crime and suspicious activity’. Only ‘Operators Standing By’ is missing from the pronouncement. Ring the local police station and see what we mean. Let’s envision that your call is answered. “Yes Madam, so you saw something suspicious at this or that government office, yes well, thanks for the call.” A quick call from the station: “Hey Musa, get your truck out of there until tonight
Back to reality, We just witnessed the Anti-Crime Taskforce deployment of 3 pickups at the start of the evening. Each one loaded with young Plain Clothes (Rapper like dress so they can fit into the environment) officers heading out to thwart the criminal element. It’s Operation Bulldozer without the old intimidation. Don’t worry yourself, the Club offices are closed for the night!
Of course there are echelons within the club ranging from labors, drivers, and staff workers up through secretaries, directors, and the higher government posts. Outsiders are also counted as honorary members as they may facilitate club activities with invoicing for services and goods; either provided or Not; making a cohesive and coordinated organization. At times a whole family; brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins and those related through marriage, may be part of the club, although in different echelons and departments.
It only makes sense when one considers that large families were required in the West to work the farm or the family business. So large families here are working and building up the business. And if one is not in the club and is placed in a position that interferes with the Dividends; the majority of the Club will petition for your removal. What!
Despite feigned embarrassment, a Hurricane on social media and calls for a Corruption Investigative Commission, the Club is growing rapidly. Remember, The Gambia is a Business and you are its shareholders! On that note, it may make sense for everyone to become part of the Club, perhaps excepting that Madam that called the station. If not they may not see any dividends from their shares.
“With a little you can get more, but with nothing it is hard to get anything at all.”
THE MORE YOU WAIT TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS – THE LESS YOU WILL EVER GET!
COG – CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT GROUP
There is much to do!