Food Safety Director Denies Allegations of Wrongdoing in Staff’s Arrest and Resignation
Director of Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) Jainab Jallow, has denied any wrongdoing in the arrest and subsequent detention of Hakim Jawara, Scientific Officer for Risk Assessment as well as the resignation of Habisatou Manneh, the former Administration and Human Resources Manager of the authority.
Last week police at Kairaba Police Station arrested Abdul Hakim Jawara, who is said to have tendered his resignation since mid-August, alleging unfavorable working conditions. His resignation and arrest preceded the resignation of Habisatou Manneh, former Administration and Human Resource Manager.
“Yes, I ordered the arrest of Abdul Hakim Jawara who resigned from his work since last month, but decided not to hand over his office as well as the office files. When someone resigns from their job, they are required to do a formal handing over but Abdul Hakim decided not to do so and insisted on staying at the office. This is why I decided to call the police to intervene,” Food Safety Director disclosed.
She confirmed that Jawara has written to the Authority on the 19th of August, 2019 informing the Authority of his resignation, adding that going by the rules, Jawara was supposed to serve them with one month advance notice which he did and there is no point for him to continue working with the authority beyond this period. She said Jawara was arrested for illegally occupying the offices of the Authority even though his one-month notice has elapsed.
She told The Chronicle that it was the former head of state Yahya Jammeh who imposed Jawara on her office, alleging that the former head of state had conditioned her office to forcefully employ Abdul Hakim as the Scientific Officer for Risk Assessment at the Authority.
“I can tell you that I have no personal grudge against Abdul Hakim Jawara even though he was imposed on my office by the former head of state who asked my office to employ him as the Scientific Officer for Risk Assessment,” she revealed to The Chronicle.
On the sudden resignation of Habisatou Manneh, then Human Resource Manager of the Authority, the Food Safety Director said she has no hand in it, but accepted her resignation in good fate. Madam Jallow added that the former HR manager secured a new job and that may have been the reason for her resignation.
However, reacting to the statement of the DG, Abdul Hakim Jawara disclosed to this medium that he has officially written to the Authority informing them of his resignation, disclosing that he has also informed the office that he will serve a two month notice to this effect.
“It’s true that I have resigned from my work since the 19th of August, 2019 and to that end, I have also written to the Authority informing them that I will work for two months, but surprisingly on the 19th of September, few minutes before closing time, I was asked not to report to work the next day. I replied that I had already written to them that I am giving them two-months notice which is at my own discretion, but to my surprise when I turned up for work on Friday, one police officer from Kotu Police Station put me under arrest and detention,” Jawara revealed.
Jawara complained bitterly about the manner in which he was arrested and handled by the Kotu police for matters relative to his official duties, revealing that he was insulted and harassed by the arresting officer whom he regarded as a “buddy” to the Director of Food Safety and Quality Authority.
“I was really surprised in the manner in which I was arrested and detained, I feel that this is not a police matter, but an issue of the Food Safety that has a Board of Directors to handle any complex administrative matters. However, the officer who arrested me is a familiar face to me because each time a staff had an issue with the director, the same officer will surface to effect arrest on that particular staff and I am no exception,” Jawara revealed.
Jawara told The Chronicle that his resignation was out of frustration coupled with harsh and disrespectful working conditions, revealing that it was due to similar conditions that forced many other staff of the Authority to resign too.
“It is because of the unfriendly environment and lack of conducive working conditions at the Authority that forced me to tender my resignation. I am not the only one to resign from the Authority, scores of other staff have resigned before I did, but you can make the follow-up yourself to get to the bottom of the issues at the Authority,” Jawara tasked The Chronicle.
He accused the Director of running the Food Safety and Quality Authority as her personal institution, revealing that the staff of the institution are usually denied using the authority’s vehicles at the expense of the Director’s family errands.
Efforts to get the reaction of Habisatou Manneh, former Administration and Human Resources Manager of the Authority proved futile after many efforts to engage her failed.