Looming Conflict of Interest at Monrovia City Corporation; As Mayor Makes Foreign Trip at Expense of Potential Investor
Monrovia – A Moroccan company eyeing a massive waste management contract in Monrovia has begun lobbying and swaying Jefferson Koijee, Mayor of the City of Monrovia, with fully funded foreign trip and state-of-the-art hospitality.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Mayor Koijee was last week in Rabat, Morocco’s capital on the invitation of Ozone Environment and Services Company, where a possible waste management contract in Monrovia was discussed.
Plane tickets, hotel bills, feeding amongst others were fully footed by the team at Ozone Environment and Services.
Also on the trip with Mayor Koijee were the Administrative Assistant Mahommed M. Bamba Jr, Director General for Internal Operations Cain Prince Andrews and Director of Central Region Solid Waste Department Fredrick Cole.
Upon their return, the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) issued a press release expressing strong gratitude to the company’s CEO for the gesture.
“The Monrovia City Corporation has commended the Chief Executive Officer of Ozone Environment and Services Company Aziz EL Badraoui for fully facilitating the recent trip of Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee and delegation to Morocco,” the release stated.
The MCC added in the release: “The CEO of Ozone Environment and Services Badraoui was praised by Mayor Koijee and his high power delegation for the high level hospitality shown them while in Morocco.”
“The CEO of Ozone Environment and Services, who is a great admirer and fanatic of President George M. Weah during Mayor Koijee and his Team’s visit, promised to work in supporting the Government of Liberia to achieve its desired goal geared towards improving the lives of the ordinary people.”
“Aziz EL Badraoui promised to continuously work with Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee to make his dream of maintaining a “ green, clean, and safe” Monrovia come to realization.”
Conflict of Interest?
Answering to an inquiry from FrontPageAfrica, Pekeleh Guapaye, Media Relations Officer at the MCC, said the gesture extended to the City Mayor is no form of inducement, though the company is seeking contract with the MCC.
“That is not a conflict of interest because they invited Mayor Koijee and the team to go and assess their equipment and other things and they’re going to fully fund it. Mayor Koijee never had the plan to go to Morocco, but because they invited him he decided to respond to their invitation and they said they were going to fully take care of everything,” he said.
Guapaye contended that the trip would have constituted conflict of interest if it were the Mayor, who had requested the trip.
Ozone Environment Comes to Monrovia
Just a week after the Mayor’s visit to Morocco, a high-power delegation from Ozone Environment and Service Company arrived in Liberia on an assessment tour.
They arrived in the country on Monday. Their visit to Liberia, according to reports, is to further buttress Mayor Koijee and the MCC’s effort to maintain a clean, green and safe Monrovia.
The delegation, which comprised technicians and solid waste experts, who would do an assessment of the entire city and draw a methodology in line with the Monrovia City Corporation’s solid waste management to tackle garbage.
Mayor Koijee had continuously said garbage is an enemy which needs collection approach to fight it. He has since declared war on garbage.
FrontPageAfrica could not find record of Ozone Environment and Services Group’s involvement in waste management in any country either than Morocco.
The MCC received several backlashes when it was posted to the Monrovia City Corporation’s official Facebook page.
George K. Fahnbulleh, a follower of MCC’s activities on social media commented, “This is BOTH ILLEGAL AND UNETHICAL. Companies seeking to do BUSINESS with the government of Liberia SHOULD NOT, under NO CIRCUMSTANCE PAY FOR, OR SPONSOR trips for government officials.”
Michaels Jason also commented, “Thanks for admitting to being inexperienced!
Private companies are not supposed to be paying for GOVERNMENT expenditures, unless they have something to gain!”
Duke Estrada Jayjay: “Improve the lives of the ordinary people while ripping them off! Travel to Morocco seeking foreign help while spending government money outside of an economy that needs every help! Just a little suggestion, please get a poster next time with the inscription. We have no clue! I think it’ll help save us all the headache!!”
Elpaulay Jackson commented, “Complete circus. No idea what conflict of interest is…”