25 February 2013

Liberia: Kimmie Weeks Threatens Legal Action

The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation-LWSC on Friday, February 22, 2013 in a major conference at it offices on Front Street threatened a US$.1M lawsuit against one of Liberia's newest newspaper, the People's Newspaper for a story it published in its Friday edition Vol. 1 No. 20 entitled: "Corporate Thievery? LWSC Board Chairman Linked".

According to the People's Newspaper in its Friday edition, "the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation the LWSC's Board Chairman Dr. Kimmy Weeks allegedly breached the usual Public Procurement and Concession Commission the (PPCC) regulations for procuring goods and services by engaging in some dubious transactions surrounding the purchase of electric pumps for the corporation."

The paper went on by saying that Dr. Kimmy Weeks placed an order for two units of KSB 300-700 electric pumps with accompanying spare parts valued at US$.526.218 from A & N Exports INC. Florida in the United States of America last year August 2012. The paper said in "his purported attempt to yield enormous power and stifle corporate manners" which it said, Dr. Weeks without any regard to the usual established procurement process went ahead to place the order for the pumps which according to its investigation, revealed that the cost price including CIF, Insurance, FOB and freight was far less than what was quoted in the invoice presented to BIVAC for inspection.

According to the LWSC's Board Chairman Kimmy Weeks, in a letter dated August 27, 2012 to the Minister of Finance Amara Konneh, he requested a duty free privilege for the electric pumps and according to him efforts exerted so far indicate that towards working in bringing the capacity of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation back to its pre-war status, he continued that two electric pumps and accompanying parts have arrived in the country. "We are formally requesting duty free privileges for these pumps," he stated.

According to him, investigation revealed further that the procurement exercise for the importation of the pumps into the country was not only done outside of the competitive bidding process where determination can be made for the lowest price but the deal was said to have been sealed between the board chairman and his importers.

The LWSC Board Chairman said, the LWSC has informed its lawyers about the damage that the paper has caused the Corporation, singling its Board Chairman out, which has been a serious embarrassment for a man that has built his characters over the years.

Dr. Weeks said the lawsuit will serve as a deterrent for those journalists and media institutions that are involved in blackmailing reputable people for personal reasons.

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