Following the reinstatement of the suspended General Manager Dr. Zubairu Ahmed Kalokoh and Deputy General Manager Dennis Garvey of the National Power Authority (NPA), over 800 workers were scattered in and out of NPA at Percival Street demanding explanations with regards the fluctuation of administration.
The incident took place on Monday July 21st in a very tense and disgruntled environment, with blackout and police personnel around the office. This medium spoke to Alimamy Max Bangura, President Senior Staff Association NPA who said that workers are confused with regards the working environment. He said in six months, they have had three managements but none of them has addressed their complaints of welfare and benefit.
Bangura explained that in February there was a press release from statehouse suspending the General Manager, his deputy and the Permanent Secretary from their duties.
He said two weeks later, Mustapha Kargbo from the Strategic Policy Unit from state house was sent to coordinate NPA activities.
Bangura said before the suspension, there were issues about their welfare, which the suspended management was unable to address.
He said when Kargbo took office they forwarded their complaints to him and he told them that he did not have the power to make decisions but rather to supervise their activities.
It was during that time Bangura continued that Kargbo disclosed to them that NPA is gradually fading out and that an Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) and Electricity Distribution and Transmission Authority (EDTA) will soon take over.
It was at that juncture that several workers shouted “how can we answer to three bosses? We demand clarity as to who is our boss.”
Bangura continued that it has been confirmed that NPA has faded out stating that EGTC and EDTA is their administration now so “we need explanation from President Koroma as to who is our boss.”
Bangura said they are overzealous to work with the President to achieve his dream of 24 hours electricity stating that the entire staff of NPA demand that their benefit be paid for their services to NPA before they are transferred to the new administration (EGTC and EDTA).
Meanwhile a short while later in the afternoon the aggrieved workers, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Transmission and Distribution, Hassan Barrie, said he was not happy with the way he was being welcomed at his office being the first day at work.
Mr Barrie who was addressing the workers a few hours after being sworn-in by President Koroma, disclosed that he and the Minister, along with the top management have had discussions with a cross section of the workers and have listened to their grievances. He asked the striking workers to allow them to settle into their offices for a grace period of two weeks, within which their grievances would be addressed.
At this point, the workers protested loudly saying “we don’t want Dr Zubairu Kaloko.”
The President of the Senior Staff Association, Alimamy Bangura, also joined the workers in shouting that Dr Kaloko has failed them and that all what he (Dr Kaloko) promised when he initially took over never materialised.
Mr Bangura called on his colleagues to return back to work and wait for the two weeks that the Deputy Minister has said they will look into their grievances. He however cautioned that if the two weeks fail, they will go back on strike.
Most frustrating among the workers was that there was no briefing given to them to explain the so called unbundling process, and also the investigations surrounding the General Manager and his Deputy. He said they only saw both of them yesterday morning when they returned to work with no information provided to them of their re-instatement.
One of the workers, said when the General Manager was on suspension, the administration was working perfectly for them.
By Emmanuella Kallon
Tuesday July 22, 2014