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An Example to All of What Not to Do

Jul 17, 2008, 6:33 AM

Let us hope that the words spoken by Senior Magistrate, Abdoulie Mbake, in the GRTS attempted theft case come true. In handing down his judgement, Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbake said he convicted the persons to serve as a deterrent to others who might be thinking of committing a similar crime. Abdoulie Kujabi and Ebrima Gomez, both employees of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), were on Monday convicted and sentenced to a fine of D1000, 00. Alternatively, they are to serve a four-month prison term for attempting to steal 20 empty gallon tanks and diesel oil from the GRTS fuel tank. Magistrate Mbake stated that the action by the two men left much to be desired. "The accused persons have betrayed the trust their employers had bestowed on them," he further remarked.

It is truly dissapointing that people who are lucky enough to have a job would squander their opportunity so willfully. The action smacks of unadulterated greed or desparation and reflects very badly on the individuals concerned. There are thousands of people in The Gambia who are crying out for employment and are unable to find it.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated case. We recently heard of employees of Africell who were involved in the theft of mobile phones. The actions of these people cast a shadow of suspicion on all employees. Employers will begin to scrutinise their employees more closely in the aftermath of such incidents and even the most honest, innocent worker will be regarded as a potential thief. This a very difficult situation to work in. To be viewed always with suspicion is a cruel thing to have to endure, but unfortunately it may be the way of the future for many people in this country who are lucky enough to call themselves employees.

Again the question must be asked as to why people are trying to steal from their employers. There is no excusing such behaviour but it is an indicator of the dire financial straits that many people find themselves in. They are risking their livelihoods to scrape extra cash together on the side so as to make ends meet. This is a very sad situation. Hopefully, as the magistrate said, the example that has been set in this case will serve as a deterrent to anyone foolish enough to consider engaging in this kind of activity.


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