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Murder of Deyda Hydara, Chief Manneh's Ordeal

May 5, 2009, 6:25 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Faal

In presenting the May Day 2009 resolution to the Minister of Trade Industry and Employment last Friday, the Secretary General of the Gambia National Trade Union Congress, Mr Ebrima Garba Cham has called on the Inspector General of Police and the general public to investigate thoroughly the whereabouts of Chief Manneh and the criminals that killed Deyda Hydara, and prosecute them in a court of law.

According to Mr Cham, freedom is possible only in a democratic political system in which governments are accountable to their people, the rule of law, and where freedom of expression, association, and belief is guaranteed. This, he added, can only be achievable where freedom of the press is found.

He stated that the public must help the police on National Security noting that the police alone cannot do it.  He however advised journalists to always refresh their memory about code of conduct, ethics, and principles of reporting.

Commenting on the issue of salaries for workers, Mr. Cham pointed out that prices on commodities are everyday sky- rocketing, making very few people able to meet the basic necessities of life; and salaries and pensions have not increased by the same level or ratio. He commended President Jammeh for trying to develop the agriculture sector and the 30 Million and 20 Million on wages and salaries increase from grade 1 to 6 and onwards. He however expressed the need for more recommended increase of 100% on wages and salaries to low income earners.

Mr. Cham also recommended to the Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Employment to establish a consumer protection agency in the absence of consumer association whose rule would be to determine fair prices for commodities in collaboration with those who sell them and the chamber of commerce. He noted that the fuel price in the country should indeed be revised upwards when there was a rise in oil prices.

The Trade Union Congress Secretary General also recommended to the Ministry of Agriculture and CSO to increase rice production by 500,000 metric tonnes annually adding that the state has to create right conditions.

He further recommended to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Employment to ensure that all companies have efficient Human Resource Managers as employers use workers to work excess overtime without pay or under pay, wrongful termination, redundant, dismissal of employees without complying with the provision of the Labour Act, which is tantamount to employment security and conducive work environment.

Convinced that women in agriculture contribute remarkably to GDP and the need to be promoted and protected, Mr. Cham, recommended to the Ministry of Agriculture and Trade, Industry and Employment to assist women in agriculture with seedlings, fertilizers, marketing, storage and preservation facilities.

He also recommended to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, to amend the Labour Bill to the norms of the International Labour Organisation particularly the ratified core ILO conventions such as freedom of association for civil servants to join Trade Unions of their choice.