April 17, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Junior and intermediate staff of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) yesterday chased out the suspended Director General and three senior management staff from the confines of the institution.
The irate workers claim the quartet has no right to return to work when an investigation by the Board of Trustees into alleged mismanagement of the institution’s funds is yet to be completed.
Workers laid down their tools until the four senior management staff were escorted out by the newly appointed Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rado Swaray, and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Brima Sowa.
President of the Staff Welfare Association, Daniel Moseray said: “We cannot allow them to work here because they are under suspension for their dubious activities. We cannot go to work until they go out of the office.”
On January 3, 2018 the SLBC Board of Trustees, after preliminary investigation, asked four senior management staff, Director General Elvis Gbanagbom Hallowell, Director of Administration and Human Resource Thomas Sowa, Director of Finance Abu Bakarr Thoronka and Finance Manager Mohamed Sesay to step aside pending further investigations into alleged financial mismanagement.
The decision by the board to suspend the four senior staff and set up a seven-man management committee to run the institution’s affairs came after a strike action by junior and intermediate staff, who cited poor organisational management, financial planning and management, inadequate logistics and lack of essential equipment.
According Mr. Moseray, the suspended Director General and his team were no respecters of workers and that they were the most ‘corrupt’ management since the establishment of the institution.
He claimed that they refused to show up since the board commenced investigations into allegations of mismanagement, but have been receiving salaries even though on suspension.
Mr. Moseray noted that they were surprised to receive a letter on Friday, April 13, from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications that the men should return to work on Monday, April 16.
“We decided not to allow them to work because we believe they are here for a reason. They are bent on victimising workers,” he said.
He averred that the interim management committee has done a great work that they could now boast of four vehicles and several cameras to make work easier.
Permanent Secretary Brima Sowa agreed for the suspended workers to leave the office, while assuring speedy investigations.
“I wrote the letter on Friday but it was not very affirmative in the sense that investigations will continue until further directives. Now that you have said you want them out, they will go, so that you can continue with your work,” he said.