By Bruce Asemota
The long-standing imbroglio between the Gambia Transport Union and newly formed Transport Drivers Association was finally laid to rest yesterday by the High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh.
Delivering judgment, the judge explained the case as follows:
“The Transport Drivers Association originating summons is supported by an affidavit of 25 paragraphs sworn by Abdoulie Touray, the president of the association, whilst the Gambia Transport Union oppose the application sworn by Omar Ceesay, the president of the union. The Drivers Tranport Association has a membership of over 200 commercial drivers and has not started operating and carrying out its objectives and that on the 24th 27th and 29th of December, 2022, the drivers association authorised some of its members namely, Ebou Gaye with vehicle registration number BJL 5564D, Talla Boye with vehicle registration number BJL 6274R, Ousman Ngallan vehicle registration number WCR 0475C and Omar Sarr with registration BJL 3512R to load goods and deliver them to the owners’ destinations, but the Gambia Transport Union members, agents or servants namely, Batch Secka, Tamsir Gajaga, Alagie Njie and Jalama Ebrima Sanneh stopped and barricaded the said vehicles from moving or delivering the said goods which led to confrontation between the two associations.”
Justice Jaiteh went on to reveal that from close examination of the case, that there was a sufficient cause of action against the Gambia Transport Union.
He declared that there is no law prohibiting the establishment of any other association within the transport sector in the Gambia.
He cited section 25 of the 1997 Constitution which provides that every person shall have the right to freedom of association which includes the freedom to form and join associations and Unions, which means that there can be multiple associations and unions in the transport sector in the Gambia.
Justice Jaiteh pointed out that the Drivers Transport Association having been registered as an association under the laws of the Gambia is entitled to operate and carry out its objectives or mandates and participates in the transport sector in the Gambia without any restriction, interference or hinderance whatsoever from the Gambia Transport Union.
Justice Jaiteh declared that any commercial vehicle in the transport sector in the Gambia is entitled to join, associate with, or be a member of any association created within the sector and any one is free to opt out and join other association at any time he or she pleases in accordance with the law.
The judge however ordered the Drivers Transport Association to maintain a peaceful coexistence with the Gambia Transport Union, its members, agents or servants within the transport sector in the Gambia and immediately comply with the queuing system administered by the Gambia Transport Union.