Sunday, October 10, 2010

Former Tilly’s Tours Head Guide Speaks on GLOVE Project



Says His Job Was Terminated Unlawfully
Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) As attempts to get the reaction of the Tilly’s Tours Manager, Jakie Church concerning our story captioned “Tilly’s Tours’ Sam-Mbollet Village GLOVE Project in Crisis” proofs futile, our news editor caught up with Fakebba Jammeh, former Head of Tour Guide at Tilly’s Tours and decided to interview him.

Fakebba Jammeh added his voice to the concerns of the people of Sam-Mbollet Village upon allegations of exploitation by his former employee, Jakie Church.

However, Jammeh puts his case first by telling our news editor that his employment was terminated unlawfully after he had a misunderstanding with the Tilly’s Tours Manager, Jakie Church.

Jammeh explained that her mother was sick and he was trying to take her to Senegal for a medical treatment, at the same time, her employer (Jakie Church)
asked him to lead a group of tourist to the provinces.

According to him, he informed Jakie that he has an appointment with a doctor but she replied, ‘if you want to go to Senegal, you better leave my job.’ “That was the time I left the job but decided to forward
my case to the Labour Department,” Jammeh said.

“Officials from the Department of Labour visited our office but I haven’t heard from them yet,” he added.

He also noted that he is looking forward to taking the issue to the Social Security and Housing Finance Cooperation to see what will come of it.

On the GLOVE Project, the former Tilly’s Tours Head of Tour Guide said that the last time he visited Sam-Mbollet Village with a British lady (Boni), whom he said donated 1500 Euros to the Glove
Project as part of funding for the Save Drinking Water initiative.

“In 2008, a British couple donated 700 pounds to the GLOVE Project but when the couple realised that the funds are not being spent on the project they decided to take their money back,” he explained.

However, Jammeh said Jakie told them (the couple) that the money is saved in the GLOVE Bank Account in the United Kingdom. “The couples were one of the main contributors to the GLOVE Project but now, they have stopped
funding,” Jammeh revealed.

He also argued that none of Jakie’s business counterparts in The Gambia can tell how much money has been saved in the GLOVE Account. He explained that the nursery and primary school students sponsored under the
GLOVE Project are normally sent 50 pounds, but he alleges that Jakie only gives
D800 or D1000 to the children concerned.

As to what steps he and other Gambians working for Tilly’s Tours took when they realised that the funds for the project were not been adequately spent, thus seemingly the initiators (Tilly’s Tours) were operating
to the detriment of their fellow Gambians, he said: “even as tour guides, she
(Jakie) didn’t really want us to interfere with the project, but we definitely knew
that something was going wrong.”

He also pointed out that the nursery school sponsored by a Deutsch couple is near completion because it is no longer coordinated by Tilly’s Tours.
“When the couple realised that Jakie was cheating the villagers or the tourists
funding the project, they prefer not to give her the money anymore,” he said.

Jammeh also reveals that four American Engineers proposed to buy solar panels for the village Safe Drinking Water Project and when they informed Jakie about it she down played the proposal and opted to construct two
local wells.

“The local wells are not even safe for drinking, even the American Engineers argued that the water is not good for human consumption,” he said.

Jammeh went on to say that he visited Sam-Mbollet last year with a group of college students who donated 2200 Pounds to the GLOVE Project, adding that there are clothes which belong to Sam-Mbollet but are still left in
the store behind Tilly’s Tours Office.

“Everything in that store belongs to the people of Sam-Mbollet because they are the first village the GLOVE Project started with, I don’t know why she is still keeping it there,” he quizzed.

Jammeh further revealed that the project has been in place for almost three years and Jakie neither have an operation licence nor paying social security for her staff.

“How can a foreign citizen come to our country and establish a business for seven years without paying a single butut for her staff’s social security and three years without a licence,” he asked rhetorically.

Jammeh who left no stone unturned argued that the truck used by Tilly’s Tours is neither being paid for on road tax nor income tax or licence, all she pays is the insurance, he told The Voice Newspaper.VOL:3 ISSN:101


Editor’s Note:
The North Bank Evening Standard will re-try to contact Jakie Church who is popularly
known as Aminata in order to get her reaction on the allegations leveled
against her and her institution, Tilly’s Tours, details of which will be published
in our subsequent editions.

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