Historically, the Gambia’s Personnel Management Office (PMO) is always full of people most of who are job seekers in the Civil Service. The place is the first port of call for would-be career Civil Servants. The office announces vacancies, conducts interviews, vets and employs government employees. But in a Jammeh dictatorship the PMO too lost its very essence, for its official had less influence on who to hire and fire. Yahya Jammeh would hire or fire through a mere word of mouth. He would sometimes strike with his “electric broom” only to ask about his victims three days later. The Gambia we had for 22 days was a country wants to emulate. It was a country where a mere mention of Jammeh or his cohorts’ names guaranteed you a job in the Civil Service.
Now that the dictator had also become a victim of the electric broom, freedom started swinging in the air. Gambians of all walks of life – including the Civil Servants – are basking into the post-dictatorship freedom. Freedom is sweet but the problem its management because some people tend to abuse it. This doesn’t mean dictatorship deserves credit for any reason.
The ousting of Dictator Jammeh has allowed the PMO to reclaim its powers. It is now auditing civil servants to get rid of ghost workers. These people who are being paid without raising a finger have now gone into hybernation after learning about the Civil Service audit. Some departments have over 70 ghost or backdoor workers who do not meet basic job requirements. The question that bothers us is whether the government will allow these ghost or backdoor workers to fire themselves. Left to us alone, since these people cheated and defrauded the tax payer, they must be fished out and cough out their salaries and benefits. We must no longer live in a country where defrauders go scot-free.