By Mustapha Jallow
The controversy over the appointment of a new Director General for Gambia Radio and Television Service (GRTS) has become a public issue.
Mr Lamin Queen Jammeh, the Minister of Information, has recently confirmed the new appointment of a DG but quickly stated that the appointment has been put on hold due to some administrative issues.
“Yes, it is true that I’ve been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of GRTS. I’ve also been issued with my appointment letter and I have it with me,” remarked the newly appointed DG, Abubakar Darboe.
Speaking further, Darboe informed this medium that he heard rumours that the authorities that appointed him to the said portfolio want to rescind his appointment but he has not received any correspondence, on that matter.
“No one has officially written to me that I should bring back my letter or my appointment has been rescinded as dictated by protocol. So, as far as I know, I’ve my appointment letter. It takes effect on 2nd of March 2023, and that’s what I am waiting for. Against that, I will also be waiting to hear from the executive and that’s my stand-point,” Darboe told Foroyaa on Sunday.
“A new Director General was appointed but there are some administrative issues and consequently has been suspended or put on hold so far; it’s subjected to clarification, but as soon as that is decided, the public will know what the position is,” said Minister Jammeh.
Reacting to the Minister’s comments that the appointment issue has been put on hold, he said: “Well, I don’t know whatever the Ministry made. All I can tell is that I’ve been appointed; I’ve been called and issued an appointment letter.”
Who called you, he was asked. (Laughed) Darboe, he added: “Of course, the appointing authority. In government business – appointments are done by the Office of the President but it is conveyed through the line Ministry under which we are appointed. So, from the Office of the President to Chief of Staff and to the Ministry of Information, that’s the Permanent Secretary because he is the head of operations and then he delivered the letter to me, and the condition is, I have to accept or decline, and I wrote an acceptance letter and submitted it back to the Permanent Secretary.”
When Minister Jammeh was quizzed again whether the appointment had been rescinded? He responded: “The right word I used was that the appointment has been put on hold due to some administrative issues. So, as soon as the administrative issues are cleared, a final decision will be communicated.”
On what has given rise to the appointment of a new DG, Jammeh disclosed that the person (Malick Jeng) who was in the position, has been on contract and his contract period has expired.
“The incumbent DG is employed on a contract and you know for every contract there is a termination period. It is not for anything personal to him or so. No, it is a condition that he has been appointed on contract and the contract period has expired,” Minister Jammeh clarified.
According to Jammeh, the power to appoint a DG of the State broadcaster is vested in the President, saying that is the power of the president and administratively…. because the president would always entrust those institutions under a certain portfolio, their responsibilities pass through the portfolios, of course corresponding with one another.
“It may not be easy to generalise. But then I say in specific cases, people’s appointment and termination are contented in the appointment letters. For example, if you want to resign, you have to give a month’s notice or so. If the government, on the other hand or your appointing authority on the other decides otherwise it goes that way. Generally, that’s what I know.”
Meanwhile, what Foroyaa gathered so far is that Abubakar Darboe has been appointed as the new DG for the state broadcaster (GRTS) after his predecessor, Malick Jeng’s contract expired.