Former President John Mahama has caused the wrath of the Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) for defending managers of a 'compromised' software of the state water provider without cross-checking the facts at stake.
Dr. Clifford Braimah is upset that the former President did not cross-check his facts from GWCL regarding the fracas with the SOFTtribe Limited (SOFT), a local software developer, before rushing to lend support to the latter.
“Somebody is asking you to pay 25 per cent (as bribe or kickback) in 2016 and why didn't you find it necessary to take that case to the police, the security agencies for investigations?” Dr. Braimah fired at a news conference to challenge the company's allegations.
The documents which the IT firm displayed to support their allegations, he said, were those “that they had written to us, especially on the allegations dating back to 2016; and when I received the letter, I was taken aback.”
He wondered why the kickback demand by the company in 2016 did not merit a law enforcement intervention but was just allowed to lie low by the previous administration.
Dr. Braimah was addressing the media on the controversy stoked by the action taken by National Security operatives in recovering the 'compromised' software of the company from the IT company shortly after the former President's remark.
According to the Managing Director, the issue the IT company put out on the public domain only popped up when a letter of termination was released to them, saying “we pay SOFTtribe over GH¢1 million every month ($180,000) though they had brought an initial charge of $493,000).”
“Once they themselves (SOFTtribe) came to tell us that the system was being compromised, it's a cause for alarm”, Dr. Braimah said, adding “we started experiencing challenges afterward.”
In pointing out the challenges the GWCL was experiencing as a result of the compromised software being managed by SOFTtribe, he mentioned the balance of statement of accounts which, according to him, varied from water bills, a situation which made it difficult to handle customers' queries.
Overbilling & Under billing
He also pointed at situations of under billing and overbilling of customers as a result of the state of the compromised software.
The Member of Parliament for Mion, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, for instance, he said, complained about receiving a bill of GH¢10,000 within a three-month period at his residence up north.
Continuing, he said a lady customer reported to GWCL that she had been credited with GH¢3,000 worth of water undeservingly.
Another case in point, he said, were instances of some domestic consumers complaining of being billed with commercial rates while others and in another instance a man, who lives within the affluent Roman Ridge area with a swimming pool in his house, said he got GH¢0 as his bill.
Immediately the National Security raid occurred, Mr. Mahama took issues with the eventual recovery of the 'compromised' software when he condemned what he said was a harassment of a Ghanaian company by the National Security apparatus.
“Regardless of what disagreements may exist between SOFTtribe and the Ghana Water Company Limited, the forceful entry into their offices by armed National Security operatives is unacceptable.
“Over the years, SOFTtribe has proven to be a leader of local content innovation in IT. They are one of the indigenous companies that have introduced various digital solutions and impacted positively on payroll management and crime prevention, among others. And their footprints stretch beyond Ghana.
Mr. Mahama's statement, according to Dr. Briamah, was uncalled for because he did not give the GWCL a hearing.