We are a group of frustrated GIA staff who have decided to write this report expressing our ordeal at Gambia International Airlines (GIA) and solicit government intervention as well as rescue GIA in regards to its leadership and management. The blatant disregard of the company’s service rules coupled with the level of injustice is becoming too overwhelming and need to be addressed. The management of GIA as a company has become a one man show which serves the interest of a few selected people. It is in this regard that we came up with a few files to detail our concerns.
The first file we sent is Fatou Saho’s, she was employed on 31-07-2018 as a security support staff II. The fact that she came to GIA a grade 5 dropout with no qualification did not deter Cham from redeploying her after one year to the special procurement unit(SPU) as a procurement support staff I. Fatou Saho calls Cham while at work and even confided in some of the staff that they are dating and have been seen around in each other’s company in different guest houses. Cham not long ago requested for a cellphone for himself only to give it to her. A week later, he requested for another one.
Her name is Maimuna Manjang, she came in as a secretary support staff I in 28-11-16 and was secretary to the Commercial Director, due to her inability to clearly read and write a simple memo, the director requested to have her removed from her office. In 28-11-16, she was redeployed to the Corporate Planning Unit and shortly after that Cham travelled to UK for his double Masters program. The then DMD acting in the capacity of MD, had her removed from that office because she was inefficient and could not add any value to the unit. Again in 07-12-18, she was redeployed to the Claims office. A few weeks later, some serious spelling errors emerged and the Brussels station manager got furious and complained. The Claims manager wrote to the then DMD to have Maimuna and three other staff removed since they could not spell words correctly. A year later, Cham completed his program and came back to his post and in his capacity as MD, promoted her from Claims support staff I to middle manager (double promotions and only three years into her employment) and took her back to the Corporate Planning Unit much to the chagrin of everyone at GIA. He promoted her two steps totally ignoring her incompetence and inability to carry basic administrative functions. The problem is that Corporate Unit is very sensitive as it is the unit that is tasked with drafting and formulating the organizational strategies to materialize the company’s vision and objectives. How can a staff who does not have simple minutes taking skills add value to such a unit? Isn’t that putting a round box in a square hole? She in fact did not provide her WASSCE results which is a requirement. It is common knowledge at GIA that Maimuna is one of Cham’s many girlfriends. They were on several occasions caught making out in his office.
This file is Kaddy Nyassi’s , she did not submit her WASSCE results which is a requirement as per our Service Rules. She was employed on 28-03-17 as Claims support staff I. On the 27-05-21 after only 4 years into her employment she was promoted to Claims supervisor totally violating the service rules. There are three staff in that unit who have been with GIA for seventeen, nine and ten years respectively with enough industry experience and qualification. These peoples’ names were summited to Cham to be promoted but he vehemently rejected the list banking it on the impact of Covid -19 on the cash flow. However, after a few months, he went ahead and promoted Kaddy surpassing her seniors. And it is not as if she has any degree or qualification. Furthermore, there are speculations circulating about them dating.
This file is Mama Cham’s. She is a first cousin of Lamin Cham’s and was employed on 27-02-17 as a cabin cleaner. She was later redeployed with a step/grade increment to claims office on 07-10-19 as Claims support staff 1 with no high school leaving certificate (WASSCE). On 03-05-21 she was again redeployed to customer services unit as Customer services support staff 1 (this privilege is denied to people who are not in his good book despite their years of experience] and health conditions-even if these people request for a redeployment due to health and other reasons)
In December 2020, Lamin Cham (Managing Director), Ndey Awa Samba Jeng (Director of Operations) and Mamadi K.M Bajo (Director of technical services) went to Spain to start negotiations for the purchase of a co-bus (Coach that carries passengers from the aircraft to the terminal). This was not even discussed or agreed on by the Senior Management Team. While in Spain, they sent an invoice through email to the Finance director who then forwarded the email to the special procurement unit (SPU) to attach GPPA forms on the invoice to effect payment. The invoice was forwarded to the Contract’s Committee since it was beyond SPU. The committee reviewed it and then sent it to GPPA for approval. However, approval was no granted by GPPA because the information provided was not accurate. MD Lamin Cham, forcefully went ahead to purchase the co-bus (without GPPA’s approval) by taking a loan from the bank; disregarding payment of such a loan with interest during these uncertain times (covid 19) and the fact that operation has dwindled down. The bus was purchased at nine million dalasis (GMD9,000,000) and arrived with serious mechanical issues. The bus which looks old and scrappy could not have been bought at that amount. Currently, it is being repaired by mechanics hired from Spain, which is another expenses on GIA.
Recently, the SIS launched an investigation looking into the case, but we got word that Cham was tipped off by a staff at SIS who happens to be a friend of his and is willing to compromise the report. When Cham got hold of this information, he attacked one of his junior staff called Buba Colley accusing him of reporting him to the SIS about the co-bus and threatening to “finish” him in the presence of the HR staff. Cham is known to always threaten to “finish” staff when they challenge his authority. He always brags that he “finished” the late Mr Sallah (former Financial Director of GIA).
Lamin Cham’s wife, who is a nurse in the US sent him a used Jeep which he in turn sold to GIA through fraudulent means. He used an invoice from a vendor called Universal Technology, who is not a car dealer and backed it up with two additional invoices to purchase his Jeep for GIA at GMD 350,000. He still uses the vehicle which is registered GIA11 for his personal errands. Cham connives with some vendors like Badjie Bassen and others to loot GIA through the Procurement office.
Cham fuels vehicles of outsiders and UDP officials at the expense of GIA and through the stores manager, sells gallon of GIA fuel for his own pocket. He has also stopped calling for Senior Management Meetings for consultative decision making process. He however takes decision unilaterally or with his few identified gang of directors. He hates criticism and treats GIA like his personal entity. He tells staff he can get away with anything because he has certain loyal friends in the government who would always protect him no matter what.
Lamin Cham’s tenure of office has been marred by nepotism, favoritism and corruption. His activities have for far too long gone unchecked and this has given him the opportunity to violate all the service rules comfortably without repercussions. This guy shamelessly tells his female to sleep with him in order to enjoy the basic benefits they are entitled to. The truth of the matter is he possesses none of the leadership virtues and lacks emotional intelligence. He constantly harasses the female staff and the bold ones that reject his unwanted advances are denied promotions and their due benefits. As a result of our frustrations, we came together to make our voices heard and to put an abrupt stop to his insanity.
Written by Concerned GIA Staffers
Here are the GIA staffers supporting documents to substantiate what they called their allegations against their boss Lamin Cham.
Editors note: The GIA Managing Director Lamin Cham was contacted via WhatsApp for comment, but he could not be reached.
That said, it is important to note that, the views expressed in this report, do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your kind attention.