Monday, June 23, 2014

Where is Gambia's Public Service Commission?

Yaya Jammeh carried out his threats by firing 12 civil servants, all from the Agriculture Ministry.  Among these are two, Amie Jallow-Jatta and Kujay Manneh, who can be readily identified as staff of the EU/FAO/WFP food self sufficiency project implementation unit. Therefore, these two staff are either seconded officers or direct staff hires to the UN agencies concerned, and cannot thus be fired by Yaya Jammeh or anyone within the civil service.  If there are any others in the remaining ten staff members who share similar status, the same protection applies in their individual case.

The extent to which the Gambian dictator had to go to address what is purportedly "a disappointing performance (of the agriculture sector) and the abysmal failure of...agricultural projects since 1994", the year Jammeh seized power promising Gambians "self-sufficiency in food in the shortest period of time" is draconian but all measures.  Some Gambians in The Gambia are characterizing his latest mass sackings as "insane and  crazy".  It is also illegal and unconstitutional, not that it matters to Jammeh because he's contravened the law and the 1997 Constitution.

The relevant constitutional provisions recognize the Public Service Commission (PSC) as the helm of the public service.  The Mission of the PSC " is to maintain an effective and efficient Civil Service by ensuring the persons who meet the criteria for jobs are recruited, trained and disciplined in an open, fair and impartial manner."   The PSC sees itself as a provider of "efficient and cost effective service for all civil servants and other stakeholders throughout The Gambia by the formulation, management and the supervision of the management and implementation of Government policies which pertains to recruitment, development and discipline of Civil Service."

But where is the Public Service Commission?  It is moribund by deliberate action of one man - Yaya Jammeh.  This blog has written severally on this and related matter, showing how Jammeh and his criminal gang came in 1994 with the conscious policy of instituting a police state which will require the absolute obliteration of the democratic institutions implanted by the Jawara government.  The Public Service Commission was among the first victims of the so-called July 22nd Revolution, together with the Scholarship Advisory Committee which was correctly housed in the Ministry of Education, and the Majors Tender Board.  The pattern started to develop on the evening of 22nd July 1994.

To dismiss twelve highly trained agriculturalists-cum-food sufficiency experts in response to what is perceived as failure of his agricultural policies failures since 1994 is an asinine way of trying to solve the problem.   Food self sufficiency is not an easily attainable good, however laudable and worthy a goal, but it must be done through rational and realistic set of policy measures sustained over the long-term.

As the FAO Resident Representative. tactfully counseled the regime recently, to attain the goal of self sufficiency, the regime must learn to build on what is already on the ground and on past experience of good practices.  Yaya Jammeh is incapable of rational thinking, therefore he lacks the ability make use of professional advise.  All he understands and appreciates is force through intimidation as we are witnessing with this mass dismissals of highly qualified experts who are all Gambian who could have elected to serve outside Gambia as many of us have decided to do.

So as to draw attention to those dismissed and will most certainly face criminal charges, we will list their names and titles as listed by the official mouthpiece of the dictatorship in Banjul :  They are listed as Ministry of Agriculture staff by The Daily Observer :

Mr. Foday Jadama, Regional Director, Kutubo Sanyang, Project coordinator Cow Pea,  Kebba Drammeh, Senior Agricultural Officer Wellingara Model Center,  Musa Dampha, Communication Education Extension Service, Fafanding Fatajo, Project Coordinator, FASDEP (Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project), Lamin Fatajo, Project Coordinator Rural Finance, Miss Amie Jallow (identified in our previous blog post as Amie Jallow-Jatta), Project Coordinator MDG-C, Kujay Manneh, FASDEP,  Dr. Saikou E. Sanyang, Regional Director for Agriculture NBR, Regional Director, Regional Director for Agriculture CRR, Mr. Mballow, Agric, Business and Mr. Dajaba, Regional Director for Agriculture URR.