Liberia: Deputy LWSC Managing Director, Dan Sayeh, Disgraced among Int’l Guests


Monrovia – The former Deputy Managing Director for Technical Services at the Liberia Water Sewer Corporation (LWSC), Dan Sayeh was reportedly disgraced by two employees of the corporation with his assigned government vehicle forcibly taken away from him in a humiliating manner.

Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr., [email protected]/ & Obediah Johnson, [email protected]

Sayeh, who had written the President tendering his resignation but asked to officially leave by the November 30, was attending a partnership meeting at the Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia when the two employees believed to be working for the LWSC stormed the room and demanded the keys to his official vehicle.

He told FrontPageAfrica that the gathering was a partnership meeting with some investors from the Netherlands who are currently visiting the country to make a determination on the rehabilitation of the water plant.

He said the investors are from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and are currently in the country to support the rehabilitation process at the LWSC facilities through the investment of US$60 Million.

Explained Sayeh: “It was disgraceful, in the midst of International guest a man like me was disgraced and my car was forcibly taken away because of my resignation from the entity, they were two employees of the LWSC, one is Reniel Kanneh and one Emmanuel whose last name I don’t know, they walked in the meeting and started demanding my key in a very rude manner, because I never wanted embarrassment before our foreign guests, I gave them the key and when they entered the car, the two of started scattering my belongings in the vehicle that’s how I told my driver to go and take my things from the car.”

According to him, it was a moment of shame and disgrace in the presence of international partners.

“So just tell me what face do I have to go and stand before those people about the continuation of the deal when I was being humiliated in that form and manner, but it has already happened and I am already out of the way,” he said.

When asked if his exit from the LWSC would hamper the deal, Dan replied: “No, I don’t want to believe that the negotiation will be stopped, government is continuity and by me not being at the forefront doesn’t mean the deal should stop, it will continue but me as an individual will not be there to continue the discussion.”  

He has, however, told FrontPageAfrica that he cut short the meeting with the investors and rushed home since he was without a vehicle.

“Yes, I had to ride a commercial car because they force me to give them the car key and they took my car and throw my things that were in the car all around the place before my driver took them,” he said.

Acting on the Order of Duannah Kamara?

The now resigned Deputy Water and Sewer boss claims that the two “unruly” employees told him that they were acting on the instruction of their boss – Duannah Kamara, Managing Director of the LWSC.

There has been news of a deepening rift between Sayeh and Kamara with reports of the latter accusing the former of undermining the administration.

The corporation has been embroiled in problems as its debt grows and concerns of poor performance in providing water supply to customers. 

Workers Protest For Delayed Salaries

Prior to news of Mr. Sayah’s resignation, workers of the corporation were threatening to protest. 

And on Friday, November 22 the workers stormed the compound of the LWSC in demand of delayed salaries and improved working condition.

The workers claimed they were protesting to draw the attention of central government and the public to the refusal of government to settle their seven months transportation allowance.

“The management of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation has been very inhumane to workers of the corporation. They have been giving us very misleading information as it relates to our salaries and benefits. This month makes it exactly five months we have not taken pay; and seven months we have not gotten transportation allowance. But every day they tell workers that you, come to work; if you do not come, we will mark you absent,” said C. Abayemi Cassell, Secretary-General of the LWSC Workers Union.

They accused the management of allegedly living extravagantly as evidenced by their appearances and persistent change of vehicles, while their living conditions remain appalling.

They claimed that donor funding to the LWSC has not been adequately managed to actualize the core values for which the entity was established. 

The protesting workers described working condition at the corporation as ‘modern-day slavery and working in hell’.

“The working condition at the LWSC is like working in hell. We have to bring our own tools from our houses to come to work,” one of the protesters stated.

Cassell maintained that though employees of the agency have been committed to their assigned tasks, authorities of the LWSC continue to make working conditions ‘unfavorable’ for them.

“Every day they will tell us that next week we will take pay. Even the Board Chair, Madam Kebeh Collins told us in October that in two weeks’ time, we were going to get our pay; that did not work,” he added.

‘Unfavorable working Condition’

Sayah’s “disgrace” came a day after the workers’ protest. That was four days after he had earlier sent his letter of resignation to President George Weah informing the President that he would step down at the end of the month.

In his November 18, 2019 letter, he cited “unfavorable working environment at the LWSC” as one of the reasons for his resignation.

He wrote: “Your Excellency, the working atmosphere at the LWSC is unfavorable-represents an affront, accountability, productivity, growth, and more troubling is the supply of safe drinking water and effort to contribute to changing the narratives remains structurally resisted.”

Some described the content of his letter as worded with “disenchantment and allegations” since he was been accused of inciting the workers to protest.

Resignation Accepted

In a letter, obtained by FrontPageAfrica, signed by Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, President accepted Mr. Sayeh’s resignation and demanded that he leave sooner than the November 30 he proposed.

“Please be informed that your resignation has been accepted with immediate effect by the President, instead of on 30 November 2019as requested in your letter,” the letter dated November 22 stated.

“The Board of Directors of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has been instructed by the president to appoint an Acting Deputy Managing Director for Technical Services with Immediate effect.”

Additionally, the letter requested Mr. Sayeh to abide by the “exit declaration” procedure in regards to the Code of Conduct.

The reported embarrassment the former LWSC boss experienced while attending the meeting with the Dutch partners came less than 24 hours after he received the letter from the Minister of State, prompting observers to infer that the two “unruly” LWSC employees were acting on Executive orders to retrieve the vehicle. 

It is, however, unclear the procedural in recovering an assigned vehicle from a senior government official following the individual’s voluntary exit from said position. Efforts made to hear from the General Services Agency, which is the custodian of state logistics, proved futile.