Corruption Rocks Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation
Monrovia – As the Government of Liberia struggles to fight corruption and stabilize the economy, officials at some public agencies are swimming in exploitation in broad daylight. Their actions have proven detrimental to the survivability of those entities that they head.
Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr., [email protected]
“He created a position just to put his girlfriend’s best friend there, and she cannot even go to work. How can you say she is Debt Collector for Non-revenue Water?”– Source
One of such institutions dancing in glaring dishonesty is the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) where Mr. Duannah Kamara sits as Managing Director.
A FrontPageAfrica investigation has uncovered corruption at the LWSC involving the managing Director, Kamara.
Sources at the sewer entity informed this newspaper that Kamara has flooded the payroll of the institution with individuals who are not working for the entity.
It is being reported that his personal cook, one Watta Saah, who does not work with the LWSC, is on the payroll of the institution and is being paid US$147 while his fiancée’s best friend, one Jamesetta Gaye, is allegedly earning US$800 when she hardly goes to work, according to our source.
Kamara is also being accused of creating a job title that does not exist to accommodate Ms. Gaye. “He created a position just to put his girlfriend’s best friend there, and she cannot even go to work. How can you say she is Debt Collector for Non-revenue Water?” one of our sources noted.
This source described non-revenue water as water that is not accounted for, including leakage of pipeline, water the entity loses by theft, among others.
Another individual, whose name is reflected on the LWSC payroll and does not exist, is one Hawa S. Sewah, Technical Assistant, Water Project, Robertsports City, Grand Cape Mount County.
FrontPageAfrica’s investigation established that there is no Hawa Sewah in the Technical Department of the LWSC yet her name is on the entity’s payroll receiving money from government.
“We do not have any of such name in Robertsport, but her name keeps surfacing on our payroll. The MD is the one who is keeping that person on the payroll. She and Jamesetta’s names are always appearing on opportunities given to the LWSC employees,” our source hinted.
Hawa and Jamesetta were among a team of three persons who were recommended by the Managing Director Kamara to travel to the United States to represent the entity on the invitation by the American Water Works Association to attend the Annual conference, which was held June 9 to 12, 2019.
“There is a need for the LACC and the GAC to conduct audit on the LWSC operations as there are a lot of expenditures that he has done outside of the IAA since he took over the entity.”– Employee, LWSC
Kamara had written Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, requesting him to issue passports to the individuals.
A copy of the request letter in this newspaper’s possession, Kamara recommended Charles B. Sagbah, Assistant Manager, Field Service, Jamesetta Gaye and Hawa Sewah for the US trip.
FPA found out that Sagbah is the only legitimate employee present at the LWSC, among the three.
FrontPageAfrica also uncovered that the Deputy Director for Operations for Motor pool at the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Dackerson Bayo, is also on the payroll of the LWSC on the instruction of MD Kamara.
Bayo is allegedly double dipping as he is also getting salary as he serves as a bodyguard to President George Weah.
Bayo uses his official name Dackerson Bayo on the payroll of the EPS while he uses “Exodus Bayo” to collect his salary from the LWSC.
According to the payroll, Bayo gets US$1000.
Our sources further alleged that Kamara has been carrying on expenditure outside of the entity’s Internal Audit Agency (IAA) policy.
“There is a need for the LACC and the GAC to conduct audit on the LWSC operations as there are a lot of expenditures that he has done outside of the IAA since he took over the entity,” another employee noted.
One of our sources thinks that because of the number of additional names Kamara added to the LWSC’s payroll, the institution, which generates revenue for government, could not pay its employees for April and May 2019.
Because the institution’s current revenue could not match its current expenditure, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning had to step in and “prepay” by giving the LWSC US$138,000 to pay the two months it owed its employees.
The Ministry of Finance collected water and sewer bills from all government institutions in the 2019/2020 budget year which sum up to US$138,000.
Duannah Kamara is also being accused of using the entity fuel and gasoline for his private use though he’s being given allowance for gas and transportation which sum up US$1,900 monthly.
Asked to respond, the Managing Director of the LWSC told FrontPageAfrica that he could not speak to the issues in the absence of all his deputies.
However, he bragged that the institution gives him as MD the opportunity to “personally” employ 16 persons and Dackerson or Exodus Bayo of the EPS is one of those he brought on board. He further stated that he will respond to all the other allegations by providing clearer explanations in the presence of his HR and his principal deputies.
Meanwhile, employees of the institution are calling on the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct an audit on all expenditure carried out by the MD since he took over the entity.