March 6, 2021

Slain Opposition’s Widow Speaks To TRRC After 14 Years

The widow of a slain opposition figure in The Gambia has for the first time face the nation to tell her story 14 years after her husband’s disappearance.

Speaking to The Gambia’s Truth Commission on Wednesday, Ms Isatou Kanyi, the widow of the late Kanyiba Kanyi said her deceased husband was arrested by the defunct National Intelligence Agency NIA officials in 2006.

Kanyiba was a staunch supporter of the Opposition UDP party, an influential figure who then worked for the Christian Children Fund CFF at Faraba village in the Kombo East District.

According to his widow Isatou Kanyi, he was falsely accused of spying on APRC meeting that led to his subsequent arrest and disappearance without trace by the state security agents. She said they were chatting with Kanyiba in the compound at night when they saw a vehicle light that was parked and someone alighted from the vehicle to ask for Kanyiba.

“Kanyiba raised his head and told the man that he was Kanyiba and went with the man to the waiting taxi,” Ms Kanyi stated.

She added: “He was pushed forcefully in the taxi.”

Ms Kanyi said she rushed to ask where they were taking him but the security officers who appeared to be NIA agents were armed with guns and told her to go to sleep. She was told that they were stopping at Mandinaba. She added that the taxi was without a number plate.

Ms Kanyi told the Commission that the incident of her late husband’s arrest took place 3 days before the 2006 presidential elections and was not seen or heard again. She said Kanyiba had refused to flee after hearing the plots to arrest him.

“Kanyiba said he would not leave because he is a citizen of this country,” she remarked.

The marathon testimony has implicated the former Interior Minister Babucarr Jatta, former Kombo East MP Jung Conteh and NIA officials in the unlawful  arrest and disappearance of Kanyiba Kanyi.

Meanwhile, the widow of Kanyiba was 3 months pregnant at the time of her husband’s arrest.

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