GPU USA should be investigated! Joe Sambou, Jow and others should tell us how much money they collected in the name of the union?
Thanks Coach Jow for speaking your mind. We respect your views and we expect you to reciprocate our stance. We have set the pace for sound, sincere and honest debate about the Union that never was. GPU USA’s failure should not be buried under the carpet. We should talk about it. We don’t mind to be damned  for exposing agents of “failures.” Our only perceived crime is,  speaking  out against people who are claiming to be representing Gambian journalists, when in actual fact, there is no serious organization put in place to carry out such a task. What Jow and co failed to realize is that it’s healthy to have dissenting views within the rank and file of GPU USA. Exposing GPU USA’S “dirty leans” in public don’t make one  to be an enemy of the Organization. GPU USA, is not making any serious “progress.” It has been reduced as a ” talk show” organization with or no serious long term plans designed to keep the organization running. The real GPU USA is yet to be born. This is not the type of organization we want for our journalists. An organization where its President can dictate who should succeed him without allowing the electoral process to take its cause. An organization, where there is no accountability and transparency. Since the inception of GPU USA, there is no information available about monetary transactions reached in the name of the organization to its general  membership. Here we need brother Joe Sambou to come up with progress report about the Union’s latest financial records. This paper’s editor Pa Nderry M’Bai once mailed a Bank of America Check of $50 Dollars to Sambou. M’Bai extended the financial help to GPU Gambia. This was the time when we received an appeal from  GPU Madi Ceesay to help the Gambia Press Union to pay its rent arrears. There are other Gambian journalists who mailed Checks to Joe Sambou. It’s hypocritical and dishonest for anyone to suggest that Gambian journalists abroad are insensitive to the plight of their suffering colleagues in the Gambia. What has Coach Jow contributed to bail out our Colleagues in the Gambia? We are curious to know. Perhaps, if Joe Sambo should hand over his records to media houses, the truth would prevail at last.

We are not alleging any financial impropriety at this hour, but for the sake of transparency, we want GPU USA to be accountable to its membership. This would win the confidence of donors. Monies collected in the name of the Organization should be made public. As members of the Union, we cannot  tell if the Organization had a bank account and  where the collected funds are remitted to. This might sound weird, but the truth be told there is no transparency at GPU USA.

Joe Sambou needs to clear himself from this mess, because as a Chartered accountant, he ought to know better. GPU USA should be in the position to open a Bank account in its name, but there is no account in the name of  the organization as far as we know. This exposes  how “weak and dormant”  its Executive is. There are banks in the US, which provides free  Bank accounts to interested customers. But GPU USA took the ” back door route” by allowing Sambou to collect monies on its behalf. Joe would do a great justice to himself, GPU USA and Gambians  by surrendering financial records he reached, negotiated, collected or acted on behalf of the Union to its general membership for scrutiny.

We can vividly recall when Fatou Jow Manneh wrote to Joe Sambou expressing the need for him to expedite the process to wire the collected funds to Madi Ceesay. Madi privately wrote to Fatou enquiring the status of the fund-raising. Close $1000 dollars was collected. But up to this hour, there is no acknowledgement from GPU Gambia, as to how much money was wired by GPU USA. There was also no news item published by Gambian papers, regarding the said funds extended to the parent body in the Gambia by Gambian journalists abroad. Jow cannot tell us that he is a “caretaker” President who allows Joe Sambou to receive monies in the name of the union without his signature or blessing. By the way, who audits Joe Sambou? Joe reports to who?
Under the circumstances, the best thing Jow, Sambou and whoever is involved in this mess to do,  is to submit themselves to “an independent probe.” We at the Freedom Newspaper are prepared to help in terms of monetary and material needs to coordinate the said probe. There is absolute need to investigate GPU USA. We are interested to know the activities of these individuals since the formation of GPU USA. As journalists, we must practice what we preach.

We want to inform our good friend Pa Samba Jow that we don’t need his permission to write about GPU USA. Our Editorial is the opinion of the paper and we do not  need a third party to decide the content of our paper. As the saying goes “Journalist Doumboka.” Being our friend, don’t make you immune  from being criticize by Freedom. We tell the Gambian story as it unfolds.

As intimated to you during our phone conversation, your press release came as a spam mail. Our server for some reasons could not allow it in. Thanks to other sister papers, we read your “wild and unsubstantiated” allegations against our fine men and women of the press. This paper had in the past published your pieces and would continue to publish your pieces despite our dissenting views on issues. We hope our explanation would help in this regard.

Finally, we want to reaffirm our call for Coach and co to steep down. It tantamount to doing disservice to one’s community, when there is no serious leadership put in place to run GPU USA. Winning an election is a good thing, but having the ability to deliver the goods is another thing. Since the current executive is not accountable to its membership,  it should step down for now and allow investigators to probe their past activities. We hope our piece would be read in the sprit of unionism , transparency and accountability. We look for the day, when GPU USA would be accountable to its membership, donors and well wishers. We thank you for your attention. Peace.

Posted on Saturday, June 23, 2007 (Archive on Monday, July 23, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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