By Lamin Cham
Old age pensioners and contributors to the national pension fund Saturday expressed their dissatisfaction and urged government to scrap the investigation panel set up to probe the standoff that is paralysing the corporation.
The gathering at the Tango offices was triggered by widespread indignation among Gambians over what they called the ineptitude of the government in dealing with the protracted dispute between MD Mohammed Manjang and some 200 staff members of the SSHFC who said they do not want him as MD, accusing him of corruption and cronyism among other things.
On the other hand, Manjang’s supporters accused the protesting staff of not being receptive to reforms he introduced to curb the mismanagement of the corporation’s funds.
Matters came to a head last week when the protesting staff locked the gates of the SSHFC offices and demanded that the authorities revoke the suspension of their representative on the board, Momodou Camara. That impasse was temporarily resolved with the intervention of security chiefs.
However that particular incident spawned a debate and widespread criticism of government “inaction” on the matter.
The pensioners meeting at Tango expressed sympathy with the position of MD Manjang and urged government to scrap the investigation panel set up by President Barrow and instead go by the recommendation of the board on the matter.
At the end of the meeting, they adopted the following resolutions: No government interference will be accepted; they stand by the board’s position; there is no need for an independent panel and the board’s resolutions must be respected by all; the board to communicate these points to the government; and another meeting scheduled on Saturday 8 September to hear from the board on the feedback from government.