Zeinab Jallow of FSQA is my daughter’s name sake (Jainaba Jallow-Halake) and I have great sympathy for her in her predicament at FSQA. Nevertheless, two matters of national concern really stand out from that FSQAInvestigation Committee Report. On PACA the Committee concluded as follows:-
“Ndey Naffie Ceesay, the focal person for Partnership for Aflatoxin Control for Africa (PACA) was kicked out of the FSQA which was meant to house PACA … The committee’s findings revealed that the MoU signed between the African Union Commission and FSQA for the hosting of PACA Country Officer (Ndey Naffie) has lapsed since February 2018. As such, a decision from the Office of the Vice President suspended the signing of the PACA Country Officer until further notice”.
So PACA and Ndey Naffie Ceesay were indeed “evicted” and it is such a great pity. Many development partners, individual and corporate, are lost in Africa because of such actions (eviction of PACA). In 1998 I was working with Save the Children Fund in London to raise £1 million for Starehe School in Kenya, and when I mentioned to them that I was visiting The Gambia, they said they had just pulled out of The Gambia because of “bureaucratic difficulties”. I had never heard of SCF abandoning a country before, not even in war zones.
PACA’s and Ndey Naffie Ceesay’s great contribution (like the great contribution of VP Dr. Isatou Touray during her anti-FGM campaign) was recently described as follows by Dr. Rama Njie:-
“ PACA (the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa, based at the AU in Addis) has been working in the Gambia for some years now. PACA has been working with FSQA in Gambia, together with NARI, the GGC, and the ministries of Health, Education and Trade. They have provided aflatoxin testing machines to NARI and I know that the GGC also have Aflatoxin testing facilities on site at Denton bridge. Education about Aflatoxin contamination has been incorporated into the school curriculum”.
The second conclusion that stands out from the Investigation Committee’s report is this:-
“6.4 Considering the conduct of Chief Driver Abou Njie to be gross misconduct, he deserves appropriate disciplinary action of demotion for conniving with DG’s family members by withdrawing Office vehicles from the field while work was going on and using the Office vehicle to transport DG’s brother’s children to and from school for 6 months”.
So Government vehicles were taken away from staff at work – to transport family member’s children to school! It is said the family member also used a Government vehicle to go around town at night. All paid for by the poor Gambian tax-payer. Multiply this by the number of Government vehicles and the number of officials (and their families) using these vehicles for trips unrelated to their official work and you can see the astounding costs to the tax-payer.
Sad and disappointing.