‘They operated with arrogance’: Vice President says rebel FSQA staff got fired after they refused to carry out orders

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By Lamin Njie

Vice President Dr Isatou Touray said on Wednesday there are ‘clear’ reasons why 25 staff of the Food Safety and Quality Authority faced the full fury of the government.

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Eleven staff of FSQA got fired from the authority in January amid their longstanding revolution against the head of the authority. Thirteen were put on administrative leave while one was suspended.

Vice President Dr Isatou Touray under whose office the authority operates has lifted the lid on why the officials were punished.

Dr Touray told lawmakers in Banjul on Wednesday: “Following a petition written by several staff of the authority against the director general in October 2019 sent to the office of the vice president and copied to the secretary general and head of civil service, Office of the President and the National Assembly and circulated all over social media and press and unofficial sit-down strike was undertaken by these staff leading to an almost complete stoppage of all inspections of the authority.

“During this entire period, from October 2019 to date, most of the staff were involved in organising meetings inside and outside the office premises, within and outside working hours and conspired to synchronise stories and claims but more critically refused to carry out any orders or instructions from the supervisors and management and also subjected the other staff to harassment and insults and even labelled senior management as enablers who will be dealt with, once they achieve their objective of getting the director general of the Food Safety and Quality Authority dismissed.

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“After three months of refusing to work or comply with legal instruments, they were placed on administrative leave without pay until they claim their petition is resolved in their favour.

“The said parties announced and held an unauthorised press conference at the grounds of the authority in which they repeated their litany of false allegations and innuendoes and continued to operate with impunity and arrogance, in total disregard of the service rules and government orders. Even those who were already on leave came to join them.”

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