By Lamin Njie
The Point has finally found an answer to its 15-year-old question regarding the killing of Deyda Hydara.
On December 16, 2004 Gambians woke up to the horrifying news of the brutal assassination of a journalist. That journalist turned out to be Deyda Hydara, the former editor of The Point newspaper.
Since his death, The Point reserved its top right-hand corner for its Horomsi column which bore the slain journalist’s photo with the question, ‘Who Killed Deyda?’ The column was published on every publication of the respectable daily from December 2004 to date.
On Tuesday, the paper finally got an answer, with the daring question, ‘Who Killed Deyda?’ changing to ‘Deyda Hydara! Killers Known.’
It came after a former jungler who took orders from former president Yahya Jammeh offered the most compelling answer so far by telling the TRRC it was the former president who ordered for his killing.
“We were summoned for a normal patrol and on the road Tumbul told us we were going for the magic pen,” Malick Jatta who said he was part of a team of four people who shot and killed the journalist in an operation that was carried out at night told the TRRC during a chilling tell-all.
“[It was] myself, Sana Manjang, Tumbul [Tamba] and [Alieu] Jeng. Tumbul Tamba was driving the taxi. We drove on the Kairaba Avenue to the Traffic Light.
“When he [Tumbul Tamba] parked at Traffic Light, it was where (sic) he was talking to the former president and why I know he was talking to the former president was due to the fact that he was mentioning, ‘yes sir, your excellency.’”
Jatta and his fellow junglers later left Traffic Light for Bakau only for them to return to Traffic Light again and then drove to Westfield. From Westfield, the killers drove towards Banjul only for them to take a turn to the right, about 800 meters from Westfield.
Jatta, now 43, said: “There was a vehicle in front of us. Initially we did not know he (Tumbul Tamba) was running after a vehicle (sic).
“When he was opposite the vehicle, as he was trying to [go] past the vehicle, he shouted, ‘gentlemen, the driver is the idiot.’ He (Tumbul Tamba) was shouting, ‘shoot, shoot.’ We all released shots.”