IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe, feels the brouhaha that surrounded the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and IT firm SOFTtribe was unnecessary.
Speaking on The Big Issue, Mr. Cudjoe said the concerns raised in the dispute, which led to SOFTtribe’s contract with the state being terminated, did not warrant the National Security interventions.
The GWCL said that its decision to terminate its contract SOFTtribe Limited long overdue because of challenges with SOFTtribe's e-billing system that were purportedly leading to revenue loses.
GWCL said it lost millions in revenue due to incidences like billing with wrong tariffs and disparities between water consumed and bills.
This notwithstanding, the claimed losses did not require the back and forth, Mr. Cudjoe insisted.
“The quantum involved did not really warrant this public display of unnecessary antagonism. I really did not see the need for this to become public.”
“There is always a margin of error with every technology… even if 10 percent of your customer base were having issues, these are things you resolve amicably.”
Mr. Cudjoe also said there may be persons instigating the tensions and called for a “vested interest analysis” because of the “behaviour of certain actors in governance.”
“Anytime there is a private entity involved in a public utility arrangement, it has always been the case, especially in Africa… Immediately they see there is some lucrative deal, they are all over the place. Some active agent provocateurs are in the system trying to scuttle efforts because they see that the money is big.”
SOFTtribe was the subject of the raid last Monday because it was allegedly refusing to release a database critical to billing customers after GWCL served notice that it will not renew its contractual relations with the IT firm.
But the IT firm denied these claims.
National Security said a court order was obtained and officials, including IT experts, were dispatched to SOFTtribe to secure the database.
The contract between SOFTtribe and the Ghana Water Company was terminated in September 2019 after GWCL issued a letter of termination to the IT Firm. Allegations of extortion
SOFTtribe also alleged that since the inception of the contract till the termination, some persons at GWCLhad been trying to extort money.
The company felt that the contract was terminated because the firm fought off the extortion attempts.
Founder of the company, Herman Chinery-Hesse, has also come out to say he suspects that evidence of the extortion was on the electronic gadgets seized by National Security.