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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

4 dismissed agric officials want director sacked

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By Omar Bah

Four dismissed officials of the Department of Agriculture have asked the Personnel Management Office to sack their former boss too for abuse of office.

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On June 10, the PMO announced the dismissal of Musa Bojang, Alhajie Gaye, Lamin Jaiteh and Abubacarr Camara, after they refused to be transferred.

The four men however told reporters on Saturday that their dismissal happened after they called for some retired officials, who were not under contract at the Department’s Plant Protection Services, to stop interfering with a public service.

The officials argued that after they made the query, a meeting was called and a decision was reached for them to be transferred and their positions be terminated in the SyRIMAO project currently being implemented by the office.

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“This decision was subjective and not in conformity with the common good of the office, hence we did not honour their transfer order. In pursuit of the truth, we visited PS Hassan Jallow and explained the whole scenario. He acknowledged that everything that happened with regard to the retired officials was a serious administrative error and an abuse of office but he told us to accept the transfer order or else other civil servants will take up their cases against the DoA or the ministry,” one of the dismissed officials read from a statement.

The officials said after receiving their transfer letters, they went to the PMO to submit a letter requesting for redress.

“Subsequently, a letter was submitted requesting for redress from the PMO. But Dr. Sanyang and his admin staff also sent a letter to the PMO regarding our absence in our new posting place. Whatever happened after the PMO received both letters we don’t know but the final decision was the Public Service Commission has approved our dismissal from the civil service. This decision didn’t hurt and we have nothing to be remorseful of,” he said.

However, the officials argued that the PMO as arbiter of matters concerning the public service and their mandate, requires total “impartiality” in taking any ruling.

“We believe there are loopholes in the way our case was handled and we fear our letter was not thoroughly looked into. The evidence is the positions/designation of Alhagie Gaye and Lamin Jaiteh as indicated on the dismissal letter was wrong. This shows that everything was likely done in a rush. We believe retribution should be universal in the public service. Therefore, we solicit a similar penalty for Dr. Saikou E. Sanyang and his admin staff for abuse of office,” the officials added.

The officials also demanded for Landing Sonko and Saja Konateh to be punished for everything they benefited whilst out of the public service.

“If this country we call Gambia will progress into a developed nation, we must swallow our pride, be honest, and have the patience to tell each other the truth and have the humility to accept it, as was done by the Vice President. The truth shall always prevail over falsehood.”

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