Standoff at Social Security ends

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The stalemate which is as a result of a 6-month dispute between the staff of Social Security and housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and their management ended following the intervention of country’s security chiefs.

According to Kerr Fatou, who confirmed the story said dozens of unhappy staff at SHFC have shut down the institution’s headquarters in Banjul for over five hours on Tuesday.

The standoff rendered the office inaccessible to the management and other staff who are not on strike.

The staff have arrived at the office early on Tuesday morning before working hours to close the office.

Few hours into the working time, chief of Defence Staff Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh, Police Inspector General Mamour Jobe and director of State Intelligence Services Ousman Sowe have arrived to engage them.

The staff agreed to open their doors to Kinteh and his colleagues to have a dialogue after a brief interaction outside the office complex.

“Dialogue is the only solution to our problems,” said Kinteh.

Meanwhile, the staff who claimed to be about 271 in number has agreed to resume work on promises given to them by the security chiefs that the government will do something about their case.

“These are respected people and if they have given us their words, we trust them 100%,” said a senior member of the team, Sheikh Tijan Jobe, after over an hour close-door meeting.

The staffs of the Social Security are claiming that their manager, Muhammed Manjang is involved in corruption and maladministration.

They said they have made their grievances known in a petition letter that they have sent to the Office of the President but nothing was done about it.

The presidency has, however, said they have opened an independent inquiry into the allegations raised by the staffs who are protesting.

The staffs are also making claims that the board that has been constituted by the presidency to look into the situation is bias.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Lamin Camara, has told them on Tuesday morning that they have constituted an independent inquiry into their activities.

In the meantime, the staffs are calling for the lifting of the suspension on their representative at the institution’s board, Momodou Camara.

“If they do not lift the suspension on Camara, then they should also suspend Muhammed Manjang,” said Kebba Touray, a senior staff at the SSHFC.

Author: Pa Modou Cham