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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

Observer staff demand MD, Editor-in-chief to resign

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By Baba Sillah

The staff of the Observer Company have called for the unconditional resignation of the Managing Director, Pa Modou Mbowe and his Editor-in-chief Momodou Saidy.
They made this call yesterday in a statement read to the media in front of the gate of the company before handing the two men a formal written letter urging them to go.

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According to the staff they have lost confidence in Mbowe and Saidy and their continuous presence will not help in the transformation of the paper to be an independent and credible paper.

“We need a leadership that is independent minded and one that would not undermine the credibility of the staff particularly the journalists. On the 14th of May 2017 when GRA closed the Observer Company as a consequence of tax evasion, it was regrettable. It was humiliating and disheartening for the staff of the company. However, we acknowledge the said tax evasion is not the fault of the current management, but the manner in which the issue was handled by the managing director was not proper.

We are in total disapproval of his attitude in the negotiation over the matter; for it did more harm than good and the effects of such behavior is hanging in flames for the staff. The non-payment of staff salaries for two consecutive months also shows his lack of competence to be at the helm of affairs of the company,” said Musa Ndow, who read the statement on behalf of his colleagues.

The Observer staff also alleged that, since Mr Mbowe took over as managing director everything started going adrift largely because of his poor knowledge in journalism and management matters.
They further complained that Mr Mbowe had said that his father’s contract with the Observer was as a result of staff request. “This is never the case. The fact is that the staff only saw his father occupying the Office of the Accountant after the office holder was handed two-week suspension following disagreement with the managing director,” he alleged.

As for the editor-in-chief, the staff alleged that his sense of direction and thoughts are out of touch with ordinary staff of the Editorial Department and therefore they cannot continue to work with him.
They finally called on the government through the Ministry of Information to intervene.
Meanwhile when contacted the editor-in-chief, Mr Saidy declined to comment while the MD promised that he will comment only when he goes through the letter that was handed to him by the staff.

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