The Point (Banjul)

16 January 2013

Gambia: Ocean Bay Hotel Executive Housekeeper Testifies

Lamin Bayo, the Executive Housekeeper at Ocean Bay Hotel, on 14 January 2013, testified at the Kanifing Industrial Tribunal, presided over by Magistrate Jobarteh, who was assisted by panelists Njie and Cole.

Mr Bayo was being led in evidence by Lawyer Anna Njie, who was representing the hotel, to tell the tribunal what he knew that transpired between the plaintiff, Musa Badjie, and the management of the hotel.

In his testimony, Mr Bayo told the tribunal that he lives at Bakau Mamakoto and works at Ocean Bay Hotel, adding that he was the assistant housekeeper from 2005 to October 2011.

He posited that he is still working at the hotel and was the acting housekeeper and he knows the plaintiff, Musa Badjie, because they worked together at the housekeeping department.

Mr Bayo adduced that he started work in 2005 and he found the plaintiff at the hotel up to 2011, adding that they were all working under Ebrima Jarju, and that he was senior to the plaintiff.

He further narrated that the plaintiff was moved from the rooms to the public areas when Ebrima Jarju was there as the Executive Housekeeper.

In October 2011, he was on leave and Ebrima Jarju asked him to report for work, he said, adding that he asked Ebrima Jarju what happened but he was told he would know if he resumed work.

He stated that it was Ebrima Jarju who informed him that they were asked to sit and wait.

On 7 October 2012, he reported for work and the management gave him a letter indicating that from that day he was appointed as the Executive Housekeeper, he testified.

Mr Bayo revealed that while he was there after four days, he finished work and went to his home and was told by his wife that the plaintiff went there, and he met a man called Latif Faal who lives at Bakau Sanchaba.

He further posited that his wife told him that the plaintiff told her that he was removed from where he was and would like her to plead with her husband to help him.

Mr Bayo testified that the following day, when he went to work, the plaintiff's friend, Mr Corra, who is the reservation officer, called him and the plaintiff and they went to Room 701 at the balcony, adding that he told the plaintiff all that he wanted to tell him.

He said he told Corra what his wife had told him when the plaintiff, Musa Badjie, went to his home, adding that he told Corra that if the plaintiff improved, he might consider him but could not move him back to the rooms.

Mr Bayo stated that the plaintiff went again to his home with Latif and told his wife that he came to appeal and nothing happened.

"My wife told me that Musa had threatened that if I did not take him back to the rooms, whatever happened to me, it was the plaintiff who was the cause," Bayo told the tribunal.

He said Latif had warned the plaintiff and asked him if he knew what he was doing, adding that Latif told the plaintiff that he was trespassing on his home.

Bayo further stated that the plaintiff then apoligised to his wife, as he was told.

He testified that the following day he went to work and reported the matter to the management, adding that the plaintiff was called and asked.

Mr Bayo adduced that the plaintiff wanted to deny but he, Bayo, called Latif who confirmed what the plaintiff had said.

He said the plaintiff later confessed, adding that he wanted to take the matter to court but was begged not to do so and he withdrew the matter.

He said the following day, when he went to work, he wrote to the management and told them what the plaintiff did, adding that he told them that he could not work with the plaintiff in the same department.

Garba Cham, who represented the plaintiff, under cross-examination, asked Mr Bayo whether the management of the hotel had ever taken a disciplinary action against the plaintiff.

Mr Bayo then said: "He was given a verbal warning."

The case was then adjourned till 5 February 2013.

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