26 February 2013

Liberia: 'All Lies'- Liberia's Youngest Chairman of LWSC Denounces News Article

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation Dr. Kimmie Weeks says a recent article published in the People Newspaper was false, misleading and intended to tarnish a reputation he had built over many years.

Dr. Weeks says the article published in the Friday, Feb. 22nd edition of the People Newspaper was "journalism at its very worst" and underscored that the none of the allegations brought against him by the paper were true.

The People newspaper alleged in its article that Dr. Kimmie Weeks had "breached the usual Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) regulations for procuring goods and services by engaging in some dubious transactions surrounding the purchase of electric pumps for the corporation."

At a press conference held in the Board Room of the corporation on Friday, Dr. Kimmie Weeks noted that the corporation had indeed purchased two high lift electric pumps to supply water to Monrovia and its environs but said contrary to the assertions of the People News Paper, the LWSC had received clearance from the PPCC. He presented journalists a copy of the letter from PPCC and said he could not understand why the paper would publish a statement that clearly was not based on facts.

"I have in my hand a letter from the PPCC giving us the authorization to single source purchase these pumps. Unless the publishers of the Peoples News Paper are referencing a different PPCC, this letter is the only thing that we need to make this transaction legal and valid," Weeks asserted.

The People Newspaper also alleged that Dr. Weeks had acted "unilaterally" in purchasing the electric pumps. Weeks responded by presenting a Board resolution to journalists. He said: "the decision to purchase these pumps was made over several months and after several board meetings. In one of the final board meetings, every single member of the Board voted for the purchasing of these electric pumps. How does the People newspaper conclude that this was a unilateral decision."

Weeks says he remains disappointed in the publishers of the paper and has forwarded a complaint to the Press Union of Liberia and has also requested that the corporation's lawyers file a US$1 million dollar lawsuit against the publishers of the People Newspaper. When asked if he would reconsider his decision if the paper apologized, Weeks said that his legal counsel would have to advice him at that point.

Weeks disclosed that the electric pumps in question are currently being installed at the White Plains Water Treatment Plant and when completed would provide increased water supply to the population of Monrovia.

"This is an achievement we should all be proud off, that for the first time since the civil war, most of Monrovia will now have access to clean and safe drinking water. I am disappointed that an insignificant paper like the People's Newspaper will attempt to belittle this extraordinary accomplishment by publishing a story full of lies," Weeks concluded.

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