Chairman of SOFTtribe, Herman Chinery-Hesse, has revealed that revenue of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) improved significantly when the IT firm introduced an innovative customer billing software.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, he said both SOFTtribe and GWCL won various awards for the innovative water billing system that has now become the source of deep disagreements between the two firms.

“When our system came, Ghana Water themselves admit, they got [many] awards; they jacked up their revenue by 14%…and I am sure it will go further up,” he said.

Armed security operatives on Monday swooped the offices of the software development powerhouse and seized the mobile phones of its staff.

Technical Director, David Kwamena Bolton, said the heavily armed men presented what they claimed was a court order to confiscate mobile phones and electronic equipment of the company’s staff.

Mr Bolton alleged that the court order presented at the Airport Residential office of the company was unsigned and unsealed.

“They confiscated all our phones. Initially, they wanted to take our laptops then they decided not to take them. So currently, none of our technical staff or directors is without phones and we can’t operate as a company, he said Tuesday on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday.

The security swoop comes at a time when the renowned software company is challenging GWCL for unfairly terminating a water billing software contract that started in 2016.

Highly placed sources at National Security have told on Tuesday that the rapid surprise visit was done on behalf of GWCL with the sole purpose of safeguarding the database access “which had been deliberately blocked by the company.”

Mr Chinery-Hesse is convinced the mobile phones were confiscated to destroy evidence that an influential person at GWCL had been attempting to extort money from SOFTtribe since winning the contract in 2016. 

Chief Commercial Manager of GWCL, Cynthia Ackah, also told the Super Morning Show on Tuesday that earlier this month GWCL wanted to back up its data but technicians realised that they had been taken off.

“Mr Bolton said they were aware but they didn’t have any comment on that.  It was strange because our own water billing system that we have back up we can’t so we have to bring National Security in to protect our customer’s information,” she said.

She said because the matter of customer information bordered on national security, she thought informing the agency was in order.

But reacting to Mrs Ackah’s claims, Mr Chinery-Hesse said it was strange that GWCL was trying to back up its data because, under the terms of the agreement, it was SOFTtribe that backs up the data and subsequently sends them to the water company.

He suspects that the abrupt termination of the deal is part of a sinister move to short-change the Ghanaian software company and steal its intellectual property.

Mr Chinery-Hesse has warned that SOFTtribe will fight any unfair attempt to tarnish its global reputation and destroy its investments in the water billing software.

He said if the state-owned GWCL wants to terminate the contract, it must strictly abide by the termination clause under the deal.