By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT January 14, 2022
The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) has commenced disciplinary proceedings on an unnamed staff for “making publications and utterances on social media in support of a political party”.
In a leaked letter dated 10th December 2021 signed by Mrs Sirra Begay Kah the GPA requested the staff to provide explanation for their online publications which the letter claims “is contrary to the conduct of public servants as per the General Order (GO) 0314”.
The letter also notes that “it is against this backdrop that we write to request for explanation as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against you for your conduct”. This letter was issued only days after the 4th December 2021 Presidential Election which was announced on 5th December 2021.
A follow-up letter dated 11th January 2022 and signed by M Ceesay took further action against the unnamed staff by suspending the staff from duty on half salary. The letter reads that “the Gambia Ports Authority Board of Directors’ decision to suspend you from duty on half salary with immediate effect for a period of 1 (one) month”.
The letter notified the staff that the reason for the “decision is based on your breach of SR 0701 (1) and disciplinary measures as per SR 0702 (2) (b)”. According to the letter titled “Suspension from Duty on Half Salary” the staffs’ “active participation and public appearance in support of a political party and failing to respond to a query addressed to you on the matter necessitated this action”.
It concluded with the statement that “this suspension is pending further investigations into the matter and reports to the Board of Directors for Consideration”. Civil Society advocates have raised the flag on what they view as selective justice to crack down on supporters of the opposition.
Civil Society Advocate John Charles Njie opined that the GO’s should not be applied selectively and that all staff who are found wanting should be disciplined. It’s also observed that most of the staff working for Government are encouraged to support the incumbent and face no disciplinary actions for that.
Efforts are being made to get a response from GPA on the issue as well as to identify and engage the staff who has been suspended with half pay.