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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Prison officer’s sacking sparks controversy

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By Tabora Bojang

Corporal Fatou Bojang, a prison officer at the Mile Two Central Prisons has been dismissed for “violating” the prisons service rules.

A circular issued by the office of the Director General, Ansumana Manneh yesterday stated that corporal Bojang has been charged and found guilty on two counts under the 1990 Prison Act.  

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The circular added “with reference to the above-mentioned matter, I write to inform you that you have been charged and found guilty on two counts under section 23 subsection (3) and 50 of the Prison Act Cap 20 Vol III laws of The Gambia 1990. Therefore, you have been dismissed from active service with effect from 27th July 2021.”

The Standard contacted the spokesperson of the Gambia Prisons Services superintendent Modou Lamin Ceesay, who confirmed the dismissal but could not provide further details.

He promised to consult with the prison authorities and get back to us but all efforts proved futile, as he did not pick our calls.

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However, Fatou Bojang’s sacking generated a lot of debate on social media with supporters of the opposition United Democratic Party alleging that the move was politically motivated and that her only crime was she sang a song in praise of party leader Ousainu Darboe a few years ago. They further asked why a policewoman supporting APRC – who made a political statement over the reported arrest of UDP vehicle was spared. However, other commentators said if she had involved herself in politics as a service woman, then she has herself to blame.

“I think our people in uniform must stay away from openly associating themselves with political groups. If that is what happened in this case then her position would be hard to defend. If someone else in uniform has acted in similar fashion that person too should be punished,” a retired senior service man told The Standard.

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