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After dumping Charlesco Enterprise another international scandal hits WFP

After dumping Charlesco Enterprise another international scandal hits WFP

The UN agency, World Food Program (WFP), which is making the news headlines in recent times on front pages of various local tabloids/ newspapers for turning down a payment to a Sierra Leonean investor and Manager for Charlesco Logistics Company, Charlie George Williams, to the tune of Eighty Million Leones (Le80M) for transportation and crane services within Port Loko District in Sierra Leone. After dumping Mr. Williams in Sierra Leone, a Kenyan Contractor, John Felix Natala Simuyu, had also tendered his bitter complaint to Central Base Journalists Sierra Leone (CBJSL) about a case of breach of contract against him by a WFP agent, one Wycliffee Wanjala.

According to a letter written by the legal representative of Mr. Simuyu to WFP Country Office in Kenya on the 9th day of September 2021, his client leased his truck with registration number KBQ 781P to WFP through its agent, Mr. Wycliffee Wanjala, an agreement the so-called WFP agent subsequently took over on the 10th September, 2021.

The letter continued that Mr. Simuyu was appointed and contracted to lease his truck for the transportation of Cargo to Congo. The letter highlighted that the terms of the said agreement were, inter alia, that is to say; Mr. Simuyu was to supply and WFP was to hire his truck for transportation of Relief food items or cargo to Congo.

“That Mr. Simuyu was to supply the vehicle with experience and competent drivers for a maximum of ten days, when the trip would be completed and the truck returned to him”, the letter stated, adding that during the continuance of the said agreement, WFP would pay Mr. Simuyu the sum of US dollars 4800.

The agreement spelt out that WFP should keep the vehicle in good and serviceable order and condition during the subsistence of the contract, that the costs of maintenance and running expenses of the trucks shall be borne by WFP, that the agreement was subjected to the laws of Kenya.

According to the legal representative, he was further instructed that while purporting to act in accordance with the said agreement, adding that WFP management directed Mr. Simuyu to embark and invest heavily on safety, health and environmental adjustments in order to meet his Vehicle Safety Management Guidelines (VSMG) and STOPS agreement.

That WFP only provided 2, 500 USD deposit for fueling, and he released his truck together with a driver for a trip to Congo. It was revealed that despite the fact that the ten days for which the truck was hired had passed, WFP refused to release the truck back to Simuyu, and as a result, he continues to suffer loss and damages.

“We are instructed to inform you that your purported continued holding onto the truck beyond the ten days that you contracted was wrongful and unlawful, and my client had suffered substantial special damages as a result of your breach”, the letter outlined and mentioned that the balance USD 2, 300 equivalent to Kshs 230000 loss of anticipated profit, based on previous experience (5percent mark up) wasn’t paid.

The letter further demanded WFP to honor the balance payment and delivery of the truck immediately within seven days or else shall institute the appropriate legal proceedings against WFP for breach of contract and without any further warning.

The note disclosed that WFP would of course be liable to pay the costs of such anticipated legal proceedings, advancing that as a gesture of good will from Simuyu, they have instructions to refer the matter for settlement through the process of arbitration, in case WFP find the proposal acceptable to them.

In that regard, Mr. Simuyu, in a sad mood, informed CBJSL that “I lost that truck to the bank after two months of not working because WFP had tied it down as storage for their cargo, worst I never got paid”, Mr. Simuyu concluded.

However, CBJSL has received latest development from WFP Country Office in Sierra Leone that they had on March 9th 2022, paid the sum of Thirty Five Million Leones (Le35M) out of the Le 80M agreement for crane service to transfer generators to four locations within Port Loko District.

Mr. Williams therefore encouraged the management of WFP to display justice to him as a local investor by promptly honoring payment of the remaining cash to avert further exchange or dispute in doing business.

By Mento & Emmanuel.

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