EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Thirty-two Staff of Food Safety and Quality Authority Wednesday morning held a Press Conference on a petition that they filed against their Director General, Zainab Jallow for what they called her bad leadership.
Held at the Authority’s premises in Kotu, the staff expressed dissatisfaction about the leadership which they said is strongly highlighted in the Petition letter.
FSQA is established by the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2011 under the Office of the Vice President. It is the sole National Competent Authority with powers of delegation mandated to officially control the safety and quality of all foods (including water and beverages) and animal feed whether locally produced, imported or destined for export.
Saidina Aliue Jarjou, human Resources and administration Officer said The Authority employs less than 45 staff, excluding drivers and cleaners, out of which 32 have signed the petition. He said board established a commission to investigate the matter after the release of the petition but the outcome of the investigation is yet to be known by them. He said they now feel that the Board is compromising with the issue.
Mr Jarju said over the years, series of employees have resigned or were terminated due to personal grievances and or administrative deference, nepotism, corruption and abuse of office which, he said are the trend at FSQA.
He said promotion in FSQA is base on nepotism, as keeping a good relationship with the DG means likely to be promoted and not based on efficiency and productivity. He said 22 out of the 32 staff that signed the petition are issued with Administrative leave without Salary due to their solidarity to fight corruption and Weak leadership tactics in the office.
Maa Gomez, one of the Food Inspectors said D400, 000 was mismanaged by the Director General while staff on postings lack computers and proper office to work while staff training is yet to be done. She said for over 3 years she have been working at the terminal without an office and computer and yet she has to write weekly reports.
The Authority’s Director General Zainab Jallow had told Eye Africa that the petition was written since last October, arguing that they did not petition her because she was not serve with a copy.
She said those who are labeling her leadership are inspection staff, saying they have submitted their petition to the Secretary General and head of the civil service, office of the vice president and other offices. “Since then, the FSQA board have setup an independent investigation into the matter and the investigation report found them wanting and the board is asked to come up with recommendation,” she said.
Story written by Binta Ceesay