By Alfred Koroma
For couple of days now, social media was awash with press releases and counter press releases issued by the University of Sierra Leone and one of its lecturers, Professor Jimmy Kandeh over sacking or no sacking.
It began from a public notice written and published anonymously, claiming that Prof. Jimmy Kandeh has been fired from the University of Sierra Leone (USL) because he expressed a view on AYV On Sunday TV program, critical of the government. According to the said notice, the HOD of Political Science told the writer he got instructions to sack the lecturer following the TV program.
USL reacted with a press release, denying the claim and branding the alleged sacking as ‘untrue and skewed…’ The USL says Prof. Kandeh was just having a one year contract with the University which started in January 2022 and ended in December 31st. And that on the 12th December 2022, the USL Registry wrote to all FBC contract staff including Prof Kandeh and informed them of the expiration of their contracts which was due to end that very month.
It is not clear whether the letters USL Registry wrote to the contract staff took effect because Prof Kandeh said he has been working and getting paid by the University throughout the months of January and February.
USL said the Prof. Kandeh’s contract ended in December last year, but did not explain how comes he kept receiving salary from the University after his contract had ended.
The political science lecturer as well, denied receiving any termination letter neither a letter informing him about the expiration of his contract with the University.
“I haven’t received my letter of termination. In the USL press release they claim they sent me a letter of termination, he said in a brief phone interview with Concord Times. “They are lying. They never sent me a letter. They never communicated anything with me.”
But the professor admitted that on Wednesday 15th March, the HOD for Political Science verbally told him he has been dismissed as he was about to start a class his Masters student that very day. Yet, no dismissal letter was given to him.
Prof. Kandeh further said Professor Kelleh Mansaray, FBC principal and DVC, told him that it was the HOD who refused to sign off his renewal letter. Concord Times was unable to reach the HOD of Political Science Department.
The lecturer who stressed he will stop working for the University said this is the second time he has been fired by the University with the first being in 1985 when he was a doctoral student from Wisconsin.