Ex-staff sues GTBoard for ‘wrongful termination’

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By Tabora Bojang     

A former senior product development officer at the Gambia Tourism Board has filed a suit at the High Court against his former employer for wrongfully terminating his contract.

Lamin Bojang, who holds a master degree in business communication, was reportedly among GT Board staff who petitioned the National Assembly last year alleging corruption and widespread irregularities in the award of contracts for the construction of ecolodges among other things. The Board and the Ministry of Tourism denied any wrongdoing and called the allegations false and misleading.

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Appearing before the parliamentary probe last month, GT Board director general Abubacarr Camara told deputies that Bojang got his contract terminated because he sent an email to the GT Board management using the phrase “bureaucratic baloney” which they considered a foul language and for which he refused to apologise or withdraw.

Bojang, who is represented by lawyer Sheriff Kumba Jobe, stated in his claims seen by The Standard, that GT Board has been tirelessly witch-hunting him as the use of the phrase cannot be equated to misconduct that could reasonably warrant the termination of his contract.

The plaintiff claimed that the witch hunt was as a result of a letter he and four other staff wrote to the chairperson of the Assembly’s select committee on tourism in 2020 expressing concerns over some management malpractices and corruptions which they believed was detrimental to the GT Board.

Bojang stated in the affidavit that the GTBoard had since accused him on several occasions of leaking confidential information about institution to the public media, which he said was false.

According to the plaintiff, the GTBoard has since been making all efforts to victimise, punish and remove him from office which informed his deployment from senior officer of product development to senior regional tourism officer and posted to the LRR.

He said these actions by the management were meant to frustrate him in order for him to react inappropriately which would warrant his removal from GT Board.

The plaintiff stressed that the decision to terminate his contract is unjustifiable, unfair, wrongful, unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

Bojang now wants the High Court to make declarations that the termination of his contract was prompted by malice, bad faith and grossly unreasonable.

He also wants an order for the GT Board to immediately reinstate him and pay all his salaries, allowances and entitlements from the date of his purported termination till reinstatement, and an injunction restraining the defendant from harassing, intimidating and violating his rights or doing anything wrong based on his involvement in the petition to the National Assembly.

Bojang is also claiming that, alternatively, the court should make an order for the GT Board to pay him a sum of D15 million as aggravated and general damages.

He also wants an order for the GT Board to pay the sum of D200, 000.00 for administrative and legal costs in pursuing the matter.