Observer Company is a victim of Jammeh’s dictatorship
By Concerned A Citizen
The Daily Observer Company Ltd, Publishers of the Daily Observer Newspaper is part of victims of ruthless, heartless 22 year brutal dictatorship regime of Yahya Jammeh, thus the need for the new administration of Adama Barrow to thoroughly clean the place of the mess, banditry and illiterate management for the interest and welfare of the company and its hardworking professional minded staff.
The company was registered as a private company in 1992 by its founder and proprietor Kenneth Best from the Republic of Liberia, in line with laws of the Gambia. At the turn of treasonable July 22nd 1994 illegal overthrow of elected government by the junta led by he Jammeh, Mr Best was harassed, intimidated, arrested, detained and later illegally deported from the Gambia back to Liberia by the said illegally constituted junta, which marks the beginning of unfortunate history of the Observer Company to date.
When Best was deported, no clear and precise ownership has been established about the company to date. At first Amadou, was alleged to have purchased it, but from whom and under what circumstance and terms were never clear to the public. Mr Amadou’s name was associated with the company up to late 2005, when the dictator Jammeh started hiring and firing managing directors and other senior staff of the Observer Company.
Such hired and fired managing directors at his pleasure without comments as it’s the case with any other government employee, started from the late Dr Saja Taal, Neneh Madouel Gaye, Pa Malick Faye, Momodou Saidy, Fatou Kineh Jobe, Momdou Sabally, Ousman Rambo Jatta and the current managing director Pa Mbowe, whose appointment was done in the middle of the political impasse, purely inspired by his fake support for Jammeh to lead at all cost.
No evidence existed to show that Jammeh is the actual owner of the Observer Company Ltd, as it’s the case with its founder and proprietor Kenneth Best way back in 1992. This clearly shows Jammeh’s lack of authority and mandate to appoint managing directors and other staff of the Observer Company Ltd, in accordance with provisions of both the Company’s Act and Newspaper Act, Laws of the Gambia.
Appointment of current managing director Pa Modou Mbowe, Momodou Saidy-Edittor In-chief, Mustapha Bojang- Chief Accountant and Mariatou Ngum Saidy-deputy editor in-chief, are all illegal, null and void, as their appointing authority lacks the power and merit to appoint them, because Jammeh was acting without power. That is he was acting ultra vire in line with the said laws of the country.
Asked the above names to produce their appointment letters for the said portfolios, you will see Jammeh’ name as the authority based on reasons only known to the world of dictatorship.
Broad day robbery
Their appointment was also not base on professionalism as the current managing director cannot read and write proper English. He is just an arm chair manager, who comes to the office sit from morning to evening and left with the office car that has no shortage of fuel. His luck was the fake open support for Jammeh, especially during the just ended political impasse, thus his compensation and continue loyalty throughout post Jammeh to date.
He is paid between D30 to 35,000 (thirty to thirty five thousand dalasis) for nothing at the expense of the company.
Momodou Saidy, was earlier appointed managing director by him Jammeh, fired and later brought back as editor in-chief during the said political impasse for similar fake open support for the dictator. He is same as the managing director as he cannot read and write correct English. He thinks talking from morning to evening is what it takes to be an Editor In-chief. He comes, sit, talk from morning to evening and left without writing a basic sentence, despite his portfolio. He cannot even come closer to a computer.
He is paid fat salary within the range of D20,000 or more (twenty thousand dalasis or more) for nothing at the expense of the company.
Mariatou Ngum, is another dumb editor who cannot put together correct sentences for the paper. She only knows money and struggle for power at all cost. Education does fall under her priorities. She is paid fat salary at unspecified sum for nothing at the expense of the company.
Mustapha Bojang is said to be a trained accountant. His only trouble is being obsessed with Jammeh as his uncle who brought him to occupied the said position. Thus the license for him to do whatever pleases him at the expense of the company. He is also paid fat salary within the range of D30,000 or so (thirty thousand dalasis or so).
This show of arrogance as nephew of Jammeh was shown to one of the former employees called Sheriff Barry, who was illegally terminated by Momodou Sabally. When this victim attempted to collect his unpaid salary, Mustapha Bojang was at his best as proud nephew of Jammeh and kicked the man out off his office with all might and force, quoting him as saying on top of his voice that Jammeh is my uncle, he is the one who brought me here and I will do what I wanted. Get out of my office.
Father Appointed for nothing
The current manager Pa Modou Mbowe, is the worst manager ever known to Observer company. He is the first manager that has the audacity and courage to appoint his biological father as chief accountant by suspending the substantive holder indefinitely.
Nobody knows the professional training background of his appointed father. He failed to perform because he no clue about finance management, the holder Mustapha Bojang was brought back to stabilize the system. The father was redeployed to occupied production manager’s office for reasons known to the father and son- managing director. The production manager –Mr Small was asked to give chance to the father to becoming in the morning to just to be seen occupying the office for the day, while Mr Small report to work in the evening to over production of the newspaper.
The father is also paid fat salaries within the range of D20,000 or so (twenty thousand dalasis or so) for nothing at the expense of the company. The father was there when the GRA Officers came to lock up the place.
Abuse of office
This is a clear case for abuse of office and authority, as appointment of the son managing director is invalid and illegal by Jammeh. He is occupying that managing office illegal, he lacks the authority to appoint any other person much more his biological father and allocated him huge salary for nothing, which amounts to the father obtaining money by false pretence. This development made many of the staff and those familiar with the issue now calling Observer as Father & Son Business.
Know body among the staff of Observer knows the contracted sum for the ongoing refurbishment of the front part of the office. The contractors were busy refurbishing the front part of the office with expensive products, but nobody knows how much is involved and for what reason, despite huge areas owed to both Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (HSSFHC) in millions.
Another fraudulent act
No single month past in the Observer without staff salaries being deducted for the GRA tax or income tax, but no evidence shows where it’s going.
Staff Credit union dues were never missing for deduction, but nothing is paid as they also commence the said question and no report is made known
Monthly Staff Association deduction was never missed, but was nowhere to be seen, leading to mass protest and eventual dissolution of it by sharing the savings, at the expense of the accountant.
EU, UNESCO media Project
The European Union and UNESCO media project fund approved for Observer Company, just went into the thin air as no evidence existed as to its expenditure.
Instead of two to three agreed training program approved, only four days training was conducted and the rest of the fund is yet to be accounted for.
Even the four days were meant to fill the cap as the very illiterates who has no idea of the subject areas delivered lectures on them just to pay themselves of the fee for the lecture.
No Proper Financial Control
The same amount of advertisements that were use under Jammeh regime are the same adverts or even more coming under president Adama Barrow. When the dictator was around, he an order for payment of Observer salaries should not go beyond 25th of the month and this was never missed by all the succeeding managing directors, including the current Pa Modou Mbowe. But immediately after departure of dictator Jammeh, Observer salaries could not be paid even beyond the first ten days.
As at the close of the office by GRA Officers on 14th June 2017, staff of the company were not paid salary. Instead the management knowing the situation, paid themselves their salary before the closure of the office by the said officials, leaving the staff not paid. No one can tell where the advert money is put and for what purpose.
This shows lack of professionalism and respect for the job. They are only interested in money and how to share it among themselves at the expense of the staff.
Clean up Observer
This company must be clean up with the mess going on there in order to have it attain its objectives as a professional journalism company.
This current management and all the succeeding managements appointed by Jammeh have nothing professional training and respect for professionalism. There are appointed at his pleasure and desire, thus money becomes priority on their list at the expense of the company and its hardworking staff.
The worst is seen in the attitude and carefree behavior of the current management since the departure of departure for exile. They have the fake notion that, nothing will come out of their activities as their appointing authority is no more in the country.
There was a general feeling of impunity by the current management and things came to worst after released of names of companied and institutions said to be in the name of Jammeh, connected or associated with him. They felt that since Observer’s name was not part of such names, the sky is the limit for their careless attitude and heinous behavior, especially directed at undermining and attacking the current government, through publication of any one having hiding agenda against the new government.
Their attitude is confirmed in their frequent daily discussions about what they perceived to weaknesses of the new government against the strengthen and what they think were registered by Jammeh. Yes because Jammeh appointed them, they could not draw the line between dictatorship and rule of law.
How Dictator Jammeh Messed Up Observer
The dictator started messing up with the Observer Company immediately its founder and proprietor was deported from the Gambia. No record shows he changed and complied with transfer of ownership of registered companies or institution in line with their registration at the AG Chambers.
He used his power and authority as dictator as he did for acquisition of all 131 landed properties across the country. 88 bank accounts and other companies and institutions in his name and associated with him.
He just started hiring and firing managing directors and senior staff of the Observer Company as he pleases, which left the company vulnerable to lack of professionalism, as his appointments were based on personal feelings of dictatorship, especially hypocrisy of those showing open fake support and loyalty for him at all cost.
This led to self induced censorship in the appointed directors and staff, who must be seen openly supporting him at the expense of the company and professionalism.
This was seen in Observer sponsor and purchase of expensive dinner tables at various Jammeh and APRC related activities over the years.
The various managements took pride in sponsor and buying of expensive dinner tables and hardly missed any such state activities under Jammeh.
These expenditures were done in the face huge areas owed to GRA, SSHFC and others in various sums, but the expensive dinner tables always come first on their priorities.
The company’s vulnerability goes to the extent of contributing to sponsoring APRC campaigns in either cash or kind and applied to all the succeeding managing directors.
This reflected in the careless attitudes of both present and current management of the company, especially the current one, who believe that without Jammeh’s dictatorship ways of doing things, they are OK and untouchable by the current government.
The illiterate managing director Pa Modou Mbowe went up to the extent of hiring a private lawyer to that effect. He said the lawyer will defend the company in the absence of Jammeh. His decision came in the wake of suggestions that Observer Company is part of those either in the name or associated with Jammeh and the risk that goes with it. No one knows how much he is paying this lawyer for such fake concept of legal services at the expense of the company and its hardworking staff.
Such is the type of disgruntle elements of Jammeh dictatorship led management left at the Daily Observer and the need to clean it should never be compromise for the health and welfare of our new found democracy.
Their appointment as pointed out earlier is illegal and of no merit, as Jammeh himself lacks the power and authority to appoint them in a private registered company like the Observer Company Ltd.
Attempts to undermine this new government in the name of media, just because you are not happy with the departure of the dictator that appointed you, should be considered treasonable and punished.
You can hide what is in your heart, but you cannot once it comes out, such is where the jurisdiction of criminal law comes into play. Your outward conduct once its wrongful, means commission of crime against the state. You either join the train or be left behind, such is the current observer management.