Maltreatment of staffs at this Brikama Power Station
An anonymous whistle blower working with the National Water and Electricity Company (Nawec) has written to Kibaaro News’ editorial email complaining of maltreatment of staffs by foreign based administrators of the Brikama plant. The writer, who begged for anonymity, confirmed that he worked for the Brikama power plant: “Let me introduce myself. I am a staff of Nawec working at the Brikama 1 power station.”
He alleged that “there are some unfortunate things happening at the power station”, which he wishes to bring to the attention of the Nawec management and the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh. “Please publish this story so that President Yahya Jammeh, the managing director of Nawec, Gambians and the world at large can know what is happening at the Brikama 1 power station”.
We publish the rest of the writers article below, as he requested:
“As you may know, this station was initially managed by Global Electrical Group (GEG), which is owned by a Lebanese business tycoon, Muhammed Bazzi. The power plant is now taken over by Nawec, in line with the agreement between the company and the Gambia government that after certain number of years it will be taken over by Nawec.
During the time the power station was managed by GEG, the full management team were foreigners: the plant manager Alain Moreau, is a French; assistant plant manager, Eduwardo Manuel, a Philippine; logistic manager, Mahmud Bazzi, a Lebanese; electrical manager, Abdul Rida, a Syrian; mechanic manager, Patric, a French; fabrication manager, Amidou Jallow, a Senegalese, assisted by another Senegalese Abdoulie Thoubou. The only Gambian among the senior team was the operations manager, Muthar Bah.
It is so dishearten to inform you that if you see the plant manager smiling with any staff, the person is a foreigner. Gambians in our own country know nothing from the man but humiliation, maltreatment and unlawful termination; nothing used to come out of his maladministration which has been going on since 2005.
When the news that Nawec was going to finally take over the plant was received, all of us, the staff, were beaming with smile, jubilating. We were very happy, for we thought the bullying of the staff by foreigners was coming to an end. Lo and behold, we are still in the same distress and the management structure still remains the same; in fact there is no Gambian there now.
The French plant manager, Alain Moreau, brought one restaurant entertainer by the name Ndey Mariam Nying. The girl was working as an entertainer at one of the restaurants in Brikama called Nice to be nice where Alain used to go for lunch. Alain fell in love with this restaurant entertainer, a school dropout, and employed her as the secretary. He also paid her to attend a six-month computer course. Even after the completion of the course, this school dropout cannot even operate a computer much more to type.
Alain is now playing with the girl full time; they are not even hiding it any more. Most of the time, when you go to Alain’s office, you find the girl sitting on his lap, caressing him. Sometimes, he, Alain, will leave his office go to the girl’s office to chat with her.
At the moment, Alain built a house in the girl’s family compound in Brikama. He also bought a Benz C Class for her. Now he usually spent weekends with the girl at his residence in Fajara M Section, where Nawec rent a full compound for him. During week days, instead of going to a restaurant for lunch, as he used to, Alain goes to Ndey’s house for both lunch and dinner.
As it is now, Brikama 1 power station is literary in the hands of Ndey, the restaurant entertainer who is now an administrator. When she is not talking to any staff the French plant manager, Alain, will not talk to you. In fact, Alain has already elevated her and made her the human resources officer for the power station. Despite this, the girl comes and closes from work as she pleases. She usually comes after 11am and closes by 3pm while the official working time is from 8am to 5pm.
The then operations manager, Muthar Bah, the only Gambian among the senior team, told Mr Alain that employing somebody as a secretary without any secretarial background is a disgrace to the company.
But this French plant manager, on the hole, did not like what Mr Bah said about the restaurant entertainer. The relations between Alain and Mr Bah started getting bitter. Alain, as the plant manager, started to frustrated and sabotaged all the efforts of Mr Bah. Any order that Mr Bah pass to the operations department, Alain will counter it. Mr Bah had to eventually tender his resignation letter due to frustration.
It should be noted that Mr Bah was very energetic and committed to his job; he used to come to the power station anytime the need arises, even at night when any of the machines has fault, as soon as they inform him, he comes.
As I am writing this letter, Mr Bah got international appointment in Togo, at one of the national power stations there. The Gambia has lost him due to the frustration of the French man.
Earlier on, Nawec wanted to bring another Gambian operations manager to fill the position of Mr Bah. Alain stood against that. He convinced the Nawec management to bring an expatriate from Togo. Now we discovered that in fact this Togolese is Alain’s brother in law. Alain’s wife is a Togolese and the so called expert they brought from Togo is a brother to his (Alain’s) wife.
Within one week, just within seven days, the so called expert from Togo destroyed six servers. Our engine mechanics said it is hard for any server to develop fault. In the process of checking the machines to familiarise himself, the Togolese operations manager spoil six of them, within one week. Alain knew about this but did nothing about it and further did not inform the Nawec management at the head office.
In the meantime, the Togolese is given an official vehicle with free fuel coupons and fully furnished residence by Nawec, when he cannot do even what the junior Gambian mechanics at the operations department can do.
I don’t know whether Nawec management know about this and what is happening at Brikama 1 power station. There was a time we scheduled a meeting with the Nawec management so that they can have firsthand information about issues going on in the company. But that meeting did not go ahead. This was because Alain, went to the Nawec management and downplayed the importance of the meeting with us. He told them everything was ok at the power station.
Meanwhile, he continues to suppress us, Gambians. He treats us, as if we do not matter in the company.
Among the three power stations of Nawec within the Kombos, the staffs working at the station in Brikama 1 are the ones enjoying the least. For example, every staff of Nawec is supposed to have a safety boot. The supply came to our power station in Brikama, but the French man said the shoes should not be given to the security department.
The security department is the department he hates most. This is because there are people there, who are very outspoken about their plights, as workers while most of other departments suffer in silence, afraid that when they complain to the French manager, he will fire them.
All these days, our mechanics are on maintenance. During periods of maintenance, Nawec used to provide lunch, not only to the maintenance team but to the entire staff on duty. In other power stations, they have their own cooks, who usually cook for them in the campus during period of maintenance. At our station here in Brikama, the French man used to take the money from Nawec and give it to the fabrication manager, a Senegalese, who will then give a token of it to one Senegalese woman who has a canteen in Lamin village, to be catering for the staff, each in a small plate. The fabrication manager usually takes the balance and share it with his French boss.
They give it to the Senegalese woman, because they don’t want to give it to any Gambian; imagine catering food from Lamin town all the way to Brikama instead of giving it to some women in Brikama to cook for us, which would be much less expensive.
Please publish this story so that President Yahya Jammeh, the managing director of Nawec, Gambians and the world at large can know what is happening at the Brikama 1 power station.
Here is the telephone numbers of Alain, ————-, and Ndey Mariam, ————– should in case you need to hear their lies.”
We made no efforts to contact Mr Alain and Ndey Mariam before publication of this story and have deleted their numbers from the writers article out of respect for their privacy. However, we would be glad to publish their side of the story, if they wish to react to this piece at anytime. Our contact details are published on our website and our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.