Saturday, April 11, 2015

GPU set congress date for the third time

Author: Madi Njie Human Rights Defender
According to information from the Gambia Press Union (GPU), the journalists' national union will hold congress on the 18 April 2015, at unknown venue. 

However, venue for the triannual congress is not mentioned in an email message sent to 22 members on 19 March. 

This is the second in time congress date is set without venue mentioned on time. GPU first slated congress on 20 December 2014 and was deferred to 21 March, which was postponed again to 18 April. 

Gibairu Janneh, executive director of GPU state in his two paragraph email message, dated 19 March that reasons for postponing the congress is due to limited compliance of members to pay their membership dues. The 20 December congress was called-off because members protested that they were informed about the congress, but the venue was disclosed a day before the congress. 

 They said voters' list was not produced until the congress date when a list of 30 members was produced as eligible voters.

 "The list was availed to only the hotel receptionist, who was instructed to only allow registered members on the list to enter the hotel where the congress was scheduled to take place. Members protested against such rule and forced themselves into the hall where congress was taking place. 

There was limited chairs available, with majority of members standing, because only 30 people were catered for. Members felt it was not fair to allow only 30 people to vote out of over hundred, consequently the congress was postpone, since order could be restored. 

 Controversy loom as members also protested against reports presented by the President- Mr Emil Touray and Mr Janneh. 

Mr Touray accuses his executive members of failing him, while members felt betrayed by the lack transparency in his administration. He is also accused of diviating from pursuing the strategic action plan, to do what favours his 'camp'. 

During his tenure, two executive members, the first assistant secretary general and the treasurer resigned in 2012 without their positions filled, despite calls by members. 

 GPU have a tendency of leadership crisis, as the element of divide and rule prevails, amidst divided executive community operating under hostile political environment. 

With another date now set for congress, without venue mentioned, some members are anticipate for change and hope that they will not elect leaders that will only end up betraying their trust this time.

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