GAMBIA: AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT ADAMA BARROW

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AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT ADAMA BARROW
His Excellency President Adama Barrow
I am Sarjo Kekuta Sissohore, the daughter of the Late Mr Muhammad Kekuta Sissohore [the then Senior Administrative officer at the Central Bank of The Gambia. I have been permanently employed by the Gambia Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa since 2015.
I hereby wish to lay a Formal Complaint with His Excellency President Adama Barrow. I wish to bring to your attention the following facts:
1. Since I was employed by the Gambian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa I was never given a Contract of Employment, after completing a probation of one (01) year.
2. Upon my Appointment I was told that I am Appointed as a Private Secretary to the Ambassador. After the Ambassador was appointed, being diligent as I am, I requested the Counselor, Mr Samba Mballow to be given my Job Description. However that has not materialised up to date. I am not given the opportunity to fulfill my role as a Private Secretary to the Ambassador.
3. I do not have nor do I know my Basic Conditions of Employment. I have repeatedly asked the Counselor to be given the same but he always side – stepped this issue. I do not know what are my Rights and Benefits as an Employee of the Gambian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa (SA).
4. I recently fell ill (in February 2019) while at work and was admitted to Louis Pasteur Private Hospital in Pretoria, SA. The Doctor that was treating me recommend a three (03) months of Sick Leave. I submitted the same Doctor’s Sick Note together with my Application for Sick Leave to the Deputy Ambassador and Ambassador himself.
At a later stage, on Wednesday 2019-02-27 I was called to a meeting by the Deputy Ambassador to come to the Embassy while I was on my sick bed. The meeting was attended by the Counselor, the Deputy Ambassador and the Ambassadorand two (02) Lawyers of the Embassy. At the meeting the Counselor told me that The Gambian Government does not give its employees two (02) months Sick Leave. Therefore he is going to withhold my March’s salary. It should be noted that in the past four (04) years that I worked for the Gambian Embassy I have never booked sick leave for a prolonged period.
At the end of the meeting the Counselor informed me that I was fired with immediate effect, without any warning and without any Legal Representation for myself.
As we were leaving the venue of the meeting the Counselor whispered in “Mandinka” that he will fuck me and my mother.
5. I feel targeted as I have been victimised by the Counselor on several occasions. On these occasions he brought matters or issues that happened in our private lives to work. During the tenure of Mr. Nyabally he once accused me of disclosing information and called me names. His accusations were never proven.
Whenever the Counselor is faced with issues or matters that affect the Interaction between Staff members he does scc not follow any Policy or Procedure he decides issues arbitrarily.
While I was in Gambia on Monday 2019-03-25 I received an email supposedly from the Head of Chancery Mr Buba Ayi Sanneh notifying me about the disciplinary hearing that was supposed to take place on Thursday 2019-03-28. In that email I was also told the “sitting committee” may reach a verdict in my absence if I cannot be there personally. I replied back and informed the sender that I can only be available on Monday 2019-04-08.
On Monday 2019-04-01 I personally went to the Embassy and I met with the Head of Chancery Mr Buba to ask about the disciplinary proceedings against me. He told me that the so called “sitting committee” has reached their verdict and that he will call me the following day, meaning Tuesday 2019-04-02 to tell me when I can come and hear the verdict. The was no communication from the Mr Buba or the embassy until Thursday 2019-04-04. I then called Mr Buba to ask him when are they going to deliver the verdict. He then hang up on me.
This conduct of the Head of Chancery was a clear signal that my so-called disciplinary proceedings will never be fair and impartial. I then decided to go to the Embassy to collect my personal belongings. When I reached there I found them with two (02) male police officers. They refused me permission to erase or to download my personal files from the embassy computer that i was utilising as a Secretary. Secondly Mr Buba and samba physically searched my personal belongings treating me like i was a thief. After this, samba instructed the same male police officers to escort me out of the Embassy as if I am not even entitled to be there as a Gambian citizen.
The Embassy has also withheld my salary for March saying that they’re waiting for the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings against myself. All this despite the Professional Doctor’s sick note.
Though I may be residing in South Africa I am a Proud, Diligent and Patriotic Gambian which no one can question.
I am looking forward to hearing back from you, Mr President
Yours Faithfully
Sarjo Kekuta Sissohore
Private Secretary to the Ambassador, Pretoria, SA
Mobile nr: +27 83 431 1972
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