Suspicious transaction of US$49,995 to Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation – FrontPageAfrica

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MONROVIA FrontPageAfrica obtained a communication sent to the management of Monrovia Club Breweries by the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation asking the entity to make an advance payment on its monthly bill to a private company.

This incident according to the document FrontPageAfrica received took place in May 2021. However, a source within the Company informed FrontPageAfrica that this is a regular practice carried out by the LWSC under the supervision of Duannah Kamara and the General Manager.

Although the LWSC indicated that the USD 49,995 was an advance payment for the months of May and June 2021, the General Manager, in a communication to the General Manager of Monrovia Club Breweries, stated that the payment was for the payment for water treatment chemicals.

The verbatim of the communication:

Dear Professor Oniyama:

In accordance with our conversation regarding overtime pumping hours by the Technical Department, we hereby authorize you to issue a cash payment to Moinou Solo Bility Business Entity for the acquisition of water treatment chemicals as set forth below below, said amount will be calculated on a pro rata basis of our invoice.

Aluminum Sulfate _______465 bags at $80 = $37,200

HTH ___________________45 buckets at US$24 = US$11,925

Lime ___________________ 87 bags at US$10 = US$870

Total _________________________________ $49,995.00

We anticipate your full consideration in this regard to enable us to continuously pump water to serve our valued customers.

Best regards,

Duannah A. Kamara

General director

When contacted for comment, the LWSC public relations department said FrontPageAfrica that the Company has a contract with Moinou Solo Bility Business Entity for the supply of process chemicals. According to the Ministry, in cases where the Company does not have the funding for chemicals, it seeks financial assistance from some large customers such as Club Breweries to obtain the necessary materials when they have problems.

FrontPageAfrica was unable to independently verify whether the business entity Moinou Solo Bility won the contract through a national competitive bidding process and LWSC management declined to give FrontPageAfrica a copy of the contract for verification.

Looking at the same document obtained by FrontPageAfrica, a former LWSC senior executive said, “All invoices to the company must be paid to the company, and then the company pays for the chemicals after the bidding and PPCC processes are completed.

He said such communication gives the impression that someone wants Club Breweries to pay the bills into a different account so that they can easily collect and divert the money.

The former LWSC executive who expressed regret over the extent to which the Company has downgraded but requested anonymity further said: “No money should go from a customer to a supplier. Even if it was an absolute emergency, it should have happened to the Company, and then the Company would pay the seller. And even then, there should have been a CCPP-approved process for tendering or sole sourcing.

According to him, expediency does not allow anyone to break the law, and Club Beer certainly cannot dictate how LWSC should receive payments.

LWSC’s Bill Payment Policy states that when a customer receives a bill, the customer goes to designated banks of Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, namely Ecobank and Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), to make a deposit. After deposits into the account, the client then goes to any convenient location hosting LWSC cashiers with a deposit slip to obtain a valid official receipt.

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