Veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako has described the conflict between Ghana Water Company Limited and their IT service provider SOFTtribe as needless negative publicity.
According to him, the back and forth between the two companies and the intervention of the National Security Council was untidy and avoidable.
Speaking on Newsfile, Saturday, Kwaku Baako said that the negative publicity was “detrimental to the reputation of the company SOFTtribe and the image of National security and to some limited extent the Ghana Water Company.”
GWCL and SOFTtribe a Ghanaian owned software company have been in the news after the latter accused the former of unfairly terminating their contract.
The two companies co-own a water billing software that helps GWCL service its customers. SOFTtribe has accused the National Security of illegally invading its offices under the directive of the GWCL.
Mobile phones of SOFTtribe employees were seized by the National Security and one worker, according to Technical Director of SOFTtribe, David Kwamena Bolton, was detained “and taken to the Ghana Water Company head office.”
This action, according to the Founder of the company, Herman Chinery-Hesse, comes after alleged attempts to extort money from the IT company by persons at GWCL.
Mr Chinery-Hesse said he suspects that evidence of the extortion (which were on the mobile phones but have been securely backed up) was the reason National Security operatives swooped his firm’s Airport Residential office and seized phones .
However, Managing Director of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr Clifford Abdallah Braimah, j ustified the decision to terminate the billing system contract with the IT firm, citing a sharp dip in the utility company’s revenue as one of the key reasons.
Addressing the press at the GWCL’s head office in Accra on Thursday, Dr Braimah alleged that the water billing system developed problems that SOFTtribed seemed unable to solve despite giving the renowned IT company time to resolve.
The four main problems that were impeding GWCL’s operations, according to Dr Braimah included: inconsistency between the balance on statement of account of customers and their water bills. He said this made it difficult to handle customers’ queries.