News reaching this medium indicates that Orange (SL) is now allegedly meddling into Sierra Leonean local politics after terminating the contract of its Digital Communications Manager for sending an SMS that was paid for by a senior SLPP politician.
According to our sources, Samuel Ansumana who had held four different managerial positions over the course of his seven years stint at Orange (SL) was terminated after the Management which is accused of being sympathizers of the outgoing APC government was put under pressure to get rid of him for sending an SMS captioned “VOTE4PAPARAY” on the 5th of March even though the SMS had been duly paid for and even though the company had no written SMS policy or document indicating what type of SMS can be or cannot be done.
We also gathered that no restriction on political SMS was communicated to the sacked staff as the norm had been just payment for SMS or a commitment to pay at a later date for advertisement SMS.
We also gathered that paid for political SMS had been done in the past but this was treated as an exception because it concerned the then opposition SLPP.
Our sources also tell us that the Digital Communications Manager was a very vocal staff that will highlight issues affecting the general staff body to management at meetings and as a result of that, the HR Director of Orange even at some point told him that he was endangering his job, by making him look bad to his boss by bringing issues to the fore relating to staff welfare at a staff meeting held sometime in December 2017.
It was gathered that the HR Director even threatened not to give Samuel a loan he had requested for during a family emergency he had in January as a result of the fact that he was always vocal in stating issues related to staff welfare and the SLPP SMS issue was seen as a perfect opportunity by the HR to get rid of him.
It is understood that the dissatisfaction that the HR had towards the staff in question coupled with pressure from the then government operatives for seemingly propagating the SLPP Mayoral candidate, even though the APC too were at liberty to propagate their own candidate via the same SMS campaign led to the sacking of the staff.
Our sources even told us that the company had to apologise to certain government functionaries that an SMS duly paid for was a mistake and that they will take appropriate action against the person that did the SMS.
It is also understood that after the termination of his contract on the 22nd March, he was given the option to appeal the decision but even though he had appealed, the Management went ahead and published a vacancy of his position without informing him of the outcome of his appeal meaning they had already planned on satisfying the then government whom they had thought would win the Elections.
The staff in question has therefore taken Orange to court for wrongful dismissal and we understand that his Lawyer, Augustine Marah ESQ has already filed in the writ suing Orange in the High Court of judicature of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The question that many people are now asking is why could Orange, a company that is not supposed to meddle into local politics do such just so that they satisfy the then APC government and what could be their fate and working relationship under the New SLPP government which they have clearly shown bias towards as they had thought that they will not win the Elections.
A spokesperson for Orange (SL) declined to comment when she was contacted by the Global Times.