George B. Kailondo, the businessman who was linked to a power theft by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), has denied the claim that LEC instead stole from him.
Recently, this paper reported a story quoting some employees at the LEC accusing former Unity Party District #10 Representative Candidate for Montserrado County, George B. Kailiondo as one of those depriving the agency of thousands of United States (US) Dollars through power theft, but Mr. Kailondo has denied the allegation accusing the LEC of "over-billing" him.
But responding, he said: "They lied on me. How can I who have run for top elected positions in this country engage in such an unscrupulous act to defraud the government? I own so many businesses, only two of them were connected to LEC. I was one of the first persons that got connected to the LEC after they resumed operations.
"And for over six years, they never billed me above US$4000. At the Hotel, Kailondo Hotel, for over six years, my LEC bill was always between US$3000 and US$4000. In January 2012, in my absence while in China, LEC brought new meters and replaced the conventional meters at the Hotel. While there, my manager at the Hotel called and informed me that our bill has increased from US$4000 to US$11,900. This is a business that generates US$15,000. I finally came down and they (LEC) told me to put [the issue] into writing which I did," Mr. Kailondo said.
He said after several attempts to settle the issue with the LEC management failed, he began to run his business with his private generators which cost him lesser as compared to the LEC bill.
"So instead of using the LEC, I have been using my generators. For someone to come and say that I stole current, its beat my imagination. Some of my contenders still think that I am running again and have therefore decided to engage in all sorts of tactics aimed at spoiling my image; I am more concerned about moving my businesses to a next level. My concern now is how we can move this country forward," he said.
On the contrary, a source requesting anonymity, said "For four times, Mr. Kailondo's meter which is situated right in front of his resident on the Old Road has been seized by us as a result of power theft. He and other people usually connive to deprive this agency. He would not deny it because, we have his meter here.
"The reason why we don't want you to mention our names is because this government under whose ticket Mr. Kailondo ran to be a Representative in 2011, would witch-hunt us by dismissing us from this job and I don't want to loose my job. But I can tell you now to investigate, ask him, he would not deny it," our sources who called for strict anonymity revealed to this paper yesterday.
But in an interview with our reporter, Mr. Kailondo said the allegation was a scheme by some individuals to tarnish is image in the country.
"They (LEC) were over-billing us by demanding more in return for less service delivered to us. Seriously, they are charging three times the real amount we are supposed to pay.
So I decided to buy my own generator instead of using their system. I currently use my own generator.
"So how can I steal from them as they are claiming? In fact, they stole from us, they wanted us to pay more than what we were supposed to pay and as a result, I bought my own generators to supply current," he said.
He emphasized that he would not be deterred with their "distractive claims," adding that his focus now is to become a millionaire by 2017.