By Ndey Sowe
Seven staffs of the Gambia Food Safety and Quality Authority, who were accused by their superiors of spreading false information both nationally and international, (FSQA) have on Sunday confirmed to Foroyaa that they have been dismissed from their place of work.
The former staff of the Authority, who walked into the Foroyaa office on Sunday, produced a letter written to them by the management.
The letter said: “It is the view of management that your attitude and behaviour within the office and outside, and your open disrespect for senior management and the Authority’s Rules and Regulations, Clause 6.1.1 (9) of the General Orders (GO) Code of Conduct, and spreading false information that has spread nationally and internationally and brought disrepute to the Authority makes your continued retention untenable and not conducive to restoring a professional and harmonious environment at the Authority.”
According to the letter, further to their involvement in the writing and dissemination of a petition against the Authority’s Director General, on 7th October 2019, the Board of Directors of the aforesaid body acting on powers of the Authority’s service rules, clause 718 set up an independent investigation which found the malicious allegations contained in the petition to be false.
“The management acting on the instructions of the Vice President (line Ministry), following several consultative correspondences between the Ministry and the Board of Directors to take necessary administrative steps to address the situation, has hereby taken the decision to dismiss you from your position with immediate effect in line with clause 0303 (I) of the FSQA Service Rules, which provides thus, ‘the authority reserves the right to dismiss any employee for serious misconduct undermining the confidence of your employer’ and /or the image of your employer’.”
The dismissal letter added that the further dissemination of what the Authority called the dissemination of false information on the internet and their participation in an ‘illegal’ press conference without permission of the management held at the FSQA premises on the 15th January 2020, is contrary to clause 0703 of the Food Safety and Quality Service Rules. It added that the employees were in violation of section 0708, on internal correspondences, of the Authority’s Service Rules.
Ali Taal a food inspector said the action of the authorities constitute a violation of their rights.
He told Foroyaa: “ We can confirm that eight of us were issued dismissal letters. The rest were called and told they have letters to collect at the office. But we do not know what the letters contained. Our salaries should not be stopped because we did not commit any offence for the DG to punish us.”
Mustapha Darboe also a food inspector said they only saw the investigative report after they were dismissed by the management.
He said: “We believe that justice has not been served in this case. We are saying that we are illegally dismissed by an unauthorized person. We are ready to go as far as any length to make sure that the ‘biases’ are cleaned and the systems are put in place for us to work”