Kaieteur News http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com Online Edition of Guyana's Leading Daily Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:43:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trotman tells BaiShanLin, Vaitarna … Start value added operations else… http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/trotman-tells-baishanlin-vaitarna-start-value-added-operations-else/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/trotman-tells-baishanlin-vaitarna-start-value-added-operations-else/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:49:24 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359943 Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman

Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman

By Kiana Wilburg
Major logging companies, BaiShanLin Forest Development Inc and Vaitarna Holdings Private Incorporated (VHPI), have been running the same, old, unfulfilled promise of creating considerable value added operations to Guyanese.
But Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, explained that after meeting with both companies, they have promised to get their wood processing facilities up and running within months. Trotman noted however, that the companies this time around will not escape sanctions, for should they fail to make good on their promise then their contracts will be reviewed.
He made these statements following questions by this newspaper at his post cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency yesterday.
Trotman, who is also vested with some responsibility for the natural resources of the nation, explained that Government will be looking at the concessions that have been granted to certain, if not all companies in the forestry sector.
The Minster of Governance was asked if the Granger administration intends to examine the concessions granted to the two logging giants with a view to determining how much the nation has truly benefitted. Trotman said that this requires some sort of study or review.
He added, “We have to look at jobs, taxes paid, concessions for duty free vehicles, and equipment versus what has been given back in terms of value added operations. But yes, that review is ongoing.”
He was then reminded of statements he made while in the opposition, that the contracts between the logging companies and the past administration should be disclosed for public scrutiny. Trotman was questioned whether Government will pursue this route.
The Minister said, “I suppose you mean take action. We have looked at these matters…and we are reviewing all agreements; seeing where there has been compliance or violation and how we could tighten up.”
Presidential Advisor on Sustainable Development, Dr. Clive Thomas, had said that the behaviour of the two logging companies which have benefitted significantly from Guyana’s forest resources is absolutely “unacceptable”.
He said that he will be recommending to the David Granger-led administration that some of their concessions be taken away.
“Guyana cannot continue to be giving out hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth in these tax breaks or concessions, and we aren’t benefitting from value added operations. If companies make a commitment to do so, then the ethical thing to do is to deliver what was promised. If not, their concessions should be taken away. They need to face sanctions of that nature or probably something stronger.
BaiShanLin and Vaitarna have become logging giants in this country and by its own actions, it is clear that we should review all of their concessions. I would be advising the President of taking such actions. My position on this is clear; they need to cut off some of their benefits,” the Economist said.
He continued, “This is obviously not part of how one promotes the suitability of an economy and an industry and we cannot continue to go this route. Allowing this sort of behaviour to continue sends a dangerous message to other potential investors and local companies. What has the Guyana Forestry Commission done regarding such infractions? Is this not important?
“We really need to change the landscape of the way business is done in the logging industry and eliminate this kind of slackness we allow these companies to get away with. This is not about whether you are foreign or not. At the end of the day it is what is right for the development of the country and quite frankly, these two companies have just been taking and taking and not fulfilling their promises of considerable value added operations.
“It has been years now, so what can possibly be their excuse? They need to face serious sanctions.”
At the press conference yesterday, Trotman made reference to some of those very statements made by Dr. Thomas.
He said, “I noticed that Thomas made some pronouncements and he does have responsibility for asset recovery and looking at Government’s arrangement in that regard; it’s whether Government is prepared to act on his recommendations at this time. Some of the Ministers learned about his comments through your newspaper and it will come up for discussion.”
The Minister of Governance said that he was not in a position to say at that time whether the administration would be slashing concessions, but emphasized that their concessions are being reviewed.
In 2014, BaiShanLin blamed the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) for delaying its application for its wood processing factory. In one of its advertisements, the company stated that in 2008, it applied to the “Government of Guyana, through the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and other agencies, to lease lands to set up a factory to process logs and engage in value-added production, such as the making of furniture, craft and hardwood flooring.”
It had said, then, that it was experiencing delays.
Kaieteur News later reported that GO-Invest had had no such application. BaiShanLin had nothing to say when this was revealed. This caused many, including the then opposition, to challenge the previous government to make public the investment agreement it signed onto with the Chinese logging company. This was never done.
In April, the company then blamed the “hostile” media reports during 2014 for dispiriting financiers.
In a statement, the Chinese company had said that it is concerned about the apparent “misrepresentations and false reports” being carried by some sections of the media on its operations in Guyana. It identified this publication as the leader of the “hostile” campaign and even cited a KN article with the headline: ‘BaiShanLin delays US$70M wood processing factory for gold, housing, logging.’
But in its statement, it did not deny that it was approved ‘US$70M’ for certain activities.
With regard to the wood processing plant in the Linden area that was to be constructed, BaiShanLin, one of the largest exporters of the country’s prime species of wood, had complained that it has indeed suffered major setbacks in completing its wood processing facility that will create hundreds of jobs for Guyanese.
It claimed that these “setbacks” directly relate to lack of adequate funding from its financiers, who, since last year “when these sustained attacks began,” became concerned about the “soundness of investing further in what appeared to be a hostile environment.”
Amidst harsh criticisms of its operations during 2014 and earlier this year in several quarters, BaiShanLin insisted that it has consistently remained well within the law/regulations governing the forestry sector.
It has been reported on extensively, by insiders and other well-informed critics, including Dr. Janette Bulkan, a forestry specialist, that BaiShanLin practices landlordism.
The Timber Sales Agreement (TSAs) which governs logging does not allow that. In fact, the company has become the third largest holder of state forests in the country.
Additionally, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI) had said that given the conflicting reports on whether BaiShanLin and Vaitarna operations are in conformity with local laws, specifically the Guyana Forestry Commission Act and the Environmental Protection Act , their contracts should be made public. It had issued this call to the past administration, but this was also ignored.
In view of the public outrage at the extent to which these two companies were said to be exploiting the forests resources, TIGI also called on the past administration to place a halt on their operations. But this was as the old adage goes; “throwing water on duck’s back.” Instead, the Donald Ramotar Government chose to defend the two companies.

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Govt. approves lowering of Berbice Bridge tolls http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/govt-approves-lowering-of-berbice-bridge-tolls/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/govt-approves-lowering-of-berbice-bridge-tolls/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:48:57 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359952 Government has approved tolls to be lowered for the Berbice River Bridge.

Government has approved tolls to be lowered for the Berbice River Bridge.

Vehicle tolls on the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) are to be reduced. The announcements are to be made by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, during his budget speech next month.

Speaking during the weekly post-Cabinet press briefings yesterday, Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, said that the matter was a critical promise made by the coalition Government while it was in Opposition and on the campaign trail for the May 11 General and Regional Elections.

On Tuesday, the matter of the tolls came up for discussions with Minister Jordan briefing the Cabinet on several options.

It was agreed that the tolls will be lowered. Among a number of measures to help the bridge company recover from the financial fallouts will be a subsidy from Government.
Initial figures have been agreed on and negotiations will now start with the stakeholders on the way forward.

Questioned yesterday, Trotman admitted that BBCI is a private company but there are existing legislations which empower Government leeway when it comes to the setting of fares. Government, he stressed, is not going to dictate what the fares would be but will enter into negotiations with the company.

The Minister noted that the Bridge Company has the right to recover returns on its investments but as a “responsible Government, we do have a right to represent the people.”

He disclosed that Berbicians from Regions Five and Six have been demanding for some time that the fares be lowered.

The complaints would have come from parents of school children, taxi and bus drivers and even farmers.

Regarding the investments of National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in the bridge and the possible implications for other investors, Trotman noted that the interest of the people “right now is paramount to concerns about NIS. Whatever we do will not interfere with the management of the company, or the right of the company to recoup or recover expenses.”

The bridge which connects Regions Five and Six was commissioned in December 2008 after some US$40M was spent under a public-private partnership model.

Before that, persons had to make do with ferries that plied the Berbice River.

However, drivers and others have been complaining about the tolls. A car crossing the bridge has to pay $2,200.

Attempts to lower the fares under the PPP/C administration failed as the BBCI and the then Government argued that the administration had no say in the dealings of a private company.

NIS, controlled by the state, had some $950M in the bridge.

The bridge itself is claiming that it is not making monies, writing NIS last year asking that it be excused for not paying dividends for 2014 because revenues had fallen.

With regards to outstanding dividends that BBCI owes NIS, Trotman disclosed yesterday that the Finance Ministry will continue to pursue but “we believed that we must keep our commitments to the people.”

There have been warnings that the bridge, because of its financing, was heading for trouble.

There have been questions about the bridge directorship which is reportedly top heavy with representatives of the private investors but few from the state.

Behind NIS, the single largest private shareholding belongs to Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop through the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC) and Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII). Ramroop is a close friend of former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The other investors are New Building Society, Secure International Finance Company, Hand-in-Hand, and Demerara Contractors.

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Bandit shot dead in confrontation with police http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/bandit-shot-dead-in-confrontation-with-police/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/bandit-shot-dead-in-confrontation-with-police/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:47:28 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359956 A bandit was fatally wounded by law enforcement officers who responded to a robbery under arms report that occurred in the vicinity of #61 Village and #63 Village beaches.
The bandit was identified as Delroy Cort. The body is currently at the Skeldon Hospital mortuary awaiting post mortem examination.
Information gathered by this publication unto press time last night stated that a couple was walking on the entrance of the Number 61 Village beach when they were pounced upon by two armed gun men and taken on to the beach.  The male and female victims were robbed of two cellular phones, $60,000 cash and a gold chain.  Efforts to contact the couple proved futile.
Meanwhile, a community police who was in the area, observed what was happening and chased after the bandits after alerting other officers to what had occurred.  According to, Police commander ‘B’ Division Christopher Griffith, when the officers responded to the report, the bandits shot at them. He explained that the officers returned fire and killed Cort, while his partner in crime escaped.
According to Griffith a shotgun and two spent shells were recovered from the scene.
Police investigations are continuing.

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Former Minister, assistant on bail for attempting to steal eight Govt. vehicles http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/former-minister-assistant-on-bail-for-attempting-to-steal-eight-govt-vehicles/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/former-minister-assistant-on-bail-for-attempting-to-steal-eight-govt-vehicles/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:46:08 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359960 Charged, Jennifer  Westford and Margaret  Cummings

Charged, Jennifer Westford (left) and Margaret Cummings

Former Public Service Minister, Dr. Jennifer Westford and her former Chief Personnel Officer, Margaret Cummings, were greeted with flashing lights from cameras, as they made their way into the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday to answer charges against them.
The room was solemn, even foreboding. There was a bench at the northern section of the courtroom on which two Prosecutors sat.
The Magistrate entered the courtroom and asked the former Minister to stand in the prison docks. She was attired in a grey pants suit with leopard print shoes. Her assistant and co-defendant, was attired in a black skirt suit.
Dr. Jennifer Westford was slapped with four charges of attempted larceny. She pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to her by Magistrate Ann McLennan.
The charges alleged that between July 17, 2014 and June 23, 2015, Westford attempted to transfer eight state vehicles to four persons, namely her husband, Gary Beaton, Osbert McPherson, Wayne Walker and Delroy Lewis.
The former Minister of the Public Service was placed on $200,000 bail for each charge and ordered to return to court on August 10. Westford was not alone in court.
Her former Chief Personnel Officer, Margaret Cummings, also faced charges relating to attempt to transfer state vehicles. She was charged with four counts of forgery.
Cummings pleaded not guilty to the charges which alleged that she forged documents for the purchase of the eight motor vehicles.
She was released on a total of $1.2M. She will also be returning to court on August 10.
Westford and Cummings were represented by Attorneys Eusi Anderson, Keisha Chase, Bibi Shaddick and Dexter Todd.
Westford is the first high-profile member of the former government to face corruption-related charges. The police had initially sought the DPP’s advice more than a month ago, but they were instructed to provide additional information to that which they already had.
In early June, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, had told the media that it was brought to his attention that some documents  were sent to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), purportedly signed by Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry, Hydar Ally.
This was done under Ally’s letterhead, but signed by someone else. “He had no knowledge of this transaction,” Minister Harmon had stressed.
It was Ally who directed Harmon to the discrepancy in the paperwork forwarded to GRA for the transfer of eight vehicles.
In light to the overwhelming evidence, the vehicles were returned to the government.

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Another former Minister faces criminal charge http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/another-former-minister-faces-criminal-charge/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/another-former-minister-faces-criminal-charge/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:45:41 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359969 – Bheri Ramsaran to be arraigned for threatening language  

Dr. Bheri Ramsaran

Dr. Bheri Ramsaran

After months of anxiety, former Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran will head to court to answer a charge of threatening language.
The charge, which comes a day after his former ministerial colleague Dr. Jennifer Westford, was marched before a Magistrate, was advised by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who took one day to look at the file on the matter.
It stemmed from remarks made by Ramsaran to female activist Sherlina Nageer during an altercation outside the Whim Magistrate’s court.
The former Health Minister allegedly told Nageer that he could “slap her for the fun of it,” and have her stripped.
Nageer had filed the complaint three months ago and the police reportedly took their precious time to complete the investigation, which was delayed by the apparent reluctance of Ramsaran to give a statement.
In the interim, Ramsaran was forced to step down as Health Minister, following a wave of protests.
It was on April 20, last, that Dr. Ramsaran was recorded outside the Whim Magistrate’s Court telling Nageer to “F off”, and referring to her as a “little piece of s**t.” He was also recorded saying that he would have her “slapped for the fun of it,” and saying he could “have some of my women strip her.”
Dr. Ramsaran was Health Minister at the time and the activist had queried his presence outside the Whim Magistrate’s Court with other PPP supporters, after former President Bharrat Jagdeo was charged for allegedly making racially divisive statements at Babu Jaan, Corentyne.
Even after issuing an apology, Dr. Ramsaran was later recorded labeling Nageer as a “miscreant,” and saying that she was in need of “psychiatric help.”
He was roundly condemned for his statements and the outburst eventually led to former President Donald Ramotar relieving Dr. Ramsaran of his ministerial duties.
Many believe that Ramsaran would have gotten off scot free had it not been for a change of government.
He is expected to appear at the Whim Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Charlyn Artiga, the same Magistrate dealing with the case against former President Jagdeo.

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State agencies not directed to prosecute PPP members – Ramjattan http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/state-agencies-not-directed-to-prosecute-ppp-members-ramjattan/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/state-agencies-not-directed-to-prosecute-ppp-members-ramjattan/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:44:53 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359971 Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, has dismissed the contention of the opposition People’s Progressive Party that the Granger Administration is putting pressure on the police and the Director of Public Prosecution to persecute its members.
Ramjattan, in an invited comment, told Kaieteur News that there are procedures that are used to investigate before charging persons who ought to be charged for criminal action.
“It is not at the direction of any administrative officer but at the behest of the information that comes to the police,” Ramjattan said.
The PPP in a statement issued on Tuesday night, said that pressure is being exerted on the DPP to advise in favour of bringing charges against members of the opposition.
The opposition party had also stated that it had observed efforts by the Granger Administration to persecute its members using the Police and the Courts to do so.
The PPP called on the DPP Chambers, the Guyana Police Force and the Judiciary, to act independently of any political interference.
Moreover, it has registered its concern over what it described as the increasing attempts by the APNU+AFC administration to give orders and directives to constitutional office holders, which by its very nature, constitutes a serious threat to our democracy and the erosion of the doctrine of separation of powers.
The statement came a few hours after news broke that the DPP had advised that charges be laid against former Public Service Minister, Jennifer Westford.
The DPP has also advised that charges be laid against former Health Minister Bheri Ramsaran.
Westford has already appeared in court on four charges and was released on $800,000 bail. But Ramjattan pointed out that it was not the administration that instigated action against Westford.
He said that it was in fact Permanent Secretary, Hydar Ally, a candidate for the PPP/C at the recently held General Elections, who brought the matter to the attention of Minister of State Joseph Harmon.
Ramjattan said that it was on that basis that the administration took the appropriate action to have an investigation done, so that justice could prevail.
“Should we divert our ears away from criminality? If they are going to feel the pinch, so be it! It is not persecuting,” the Public Security Minister declared.
To support its arguments that the present administration was exerting pressure on arms of the law, the PPP recalled statements made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, who was quoted in sections of the media as saying, “I think there is a lot of pressure on the relevant Ministers to ensure that people are prosecuted.”
According to the PPP, Greenidge’s statement is not the only one which is centrally directed to exert pressure on the DPP’s Chambers, the police and ultimately the courts.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon, it said, was purported to have publicly declared, “We are going after the big fishes.”
“Clearly, the aim is to achieve a goal that is consistent with a politically-motivated agenda of the Granger Administration,” the main opposition party stated.
But Minister Ramjattan retorted, “They will have their day in court and if they provide proper defence, then the court will have to dispense justice…but we will ensure that culprits and felons do their time,” Ramjattan said.
“All who feel that they could deal with public property in a cavalier fashion, we will deal with them. They must never feel that it is their private property,” the Public Security Minister stated.
The Chamber of the Director of Public Prosecutions also weighed in on the matter.
In a brief but pointed response, the DPP suggested that it was unfair to blame the DPP for the charges, since she was only acting on the basis of investigations carried out by the police.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) wishes to state that all legal advice given to the Guyana Police Force in relation to criminal matters is based on statements contained in the files, and the law in relation to the statements in the files.
“The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is an independent office and prides itself on being independent,” the DPP said in a statement.
Efforts to contact the Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud for a comment yesterday were futile.

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Police called in to probe $120M fraud at Public Service Ministry http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/police-called-in-to-probe-120m-fraud-at-public-service-ministry/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/police-called-in-to-probe-120m-fraud-at-public-service-ministry/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:43:01 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359976 Police are investigating what is believed to be a major fraud to the tune of over $120M at the Public Service Ministry.
While refusing to “name a (former) Minister directly”, Government yesterday admitted that the Ministry has again come under scrutiny. This time, “tens of millions” appear to be missing.
The Ministry was headed by Dr. Jennifer Westford and has been making the news for a number of missing vehicles.
Dr. Westford appeared in court yesterday with her former assistant, Margaret Cummings, to face charges relating to the attempted theft of eight Government-owned vehicles during the run-up to the May 11 elections. Both were granted bail.
Speaking during the Government’s weekly post-Cabinet press conference, Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, hinted that the figure may be in the vicinity of $120M in cash.
He warned that there is an ongoing investigation with things “bubbling up from the deep” by the day. He stressed that he is not “pinpointing a Minister”, but rather attention is being paid to the activities of the Ministry.
A senior Government official said that monies were withdrawn over a period of time, reportedly for use in the various regions. However, while the money was withdrawn, it was not delivered to where it was supposed to go.
Government officials were tightlipped but said that they believe the monies were stolen, and that is why the matter has been handed over to the police.

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Body with throat slit found in mining pit http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/body-with-throat-slit-found-in-mining-pit/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/body-with-throat-slit-found-in-mining-pit/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:41:05 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359982 Police in the interior have arrested three men who they believe could provide vital information on the murder of 29-year-old Rasharda Dusrah.
The body of Dusrah who reportedly hails from the Essequibo Coast, and who was residing at Station Street, Kitty, was discovered in an abandoned mining pit at Oku Backdam, Puruni on Tuesday, with a gaping wound to his neck.
Police in a press release said that they are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Dusrah’s death, which is the second to be recorded in the interior for the week.
The decomposing body was brought to the city yesterday. It is at present lying in a mortuary awaiting the Pathologist’s examination.

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Big jail don’t tek li’l children http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/big-jail-dont-tek-lil-children/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/big-jail-dont-tek-lil-children/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:40:54 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359973 All de Holy Books seh that people mustn’t thief. When you thief, you shall be beaten wid many stripes and sent to jail. In some country you does lose you hand and you foot and you does dead.
Under de Pee Pee Pee govt headed by de man who resemble de devil, plus Donald Dumb, dem never read none of de Good Books but dem two got a diary that says thiefing is acceptable, and not petty thiefing but wholesale thiefing.
Dem boys use to warn you-all but you-all think was joke. A visiting Prime Minister refuse to tek he hand out he pocket to shake Jagdeo hand. De man wanted to mek sure that he had passage fuh go home.   He hold on pun de last set of US dollars in he pocket.
But dem boys did know that this style couldn’t continue forever. Change had to come. Now that de change come de first man to end up before de court was Dr. Jagdeo.
Dem boys seh that he got de most jail time staring he in he face. Other doctors following very close behind he.
Yesterday Dr. Eastford end up before a magistrate fuh thiefing de govt vehicles. Today, Dr C fuh Berry going in front another magistrate because he threaten fuh bax a woman and fuh get he woman dem fuh strip de girl. He gun know he fate.
Dr. Run Sammy run out of Guyana thinking he gun escape charges. He don’t know when Uncle Sam gun hold on pun him right deh.
As fuh that one Dr. Luncheon, dem boys seh he can’t go to court because even in court he gun lie. De amount of lies he tell daily fuh de last 30 years, he got to go straight to de gallows.
Then you got de one and only Dr Shaatie, that scamp who always seh how much money Guyana mek every year only fuh he and he kavakamites siphon off.
He got to go to de Essequibo Boys School fuh spend de rest of he life because big jail don’t tek li’l children.
As fuh Dr Sam, when he get charge he would go to Courts on Main Street, rather than de High Court. He so dotish. He mo dotish than Donald de Dummy.
And Donald going straight to jail all because he stupid. He give way de Gee Ess wuk in de party and he help create that devil, Jagdeo.
Talk half and watch how Lot 12 gun be de new PPP Doctors Quarters.

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Sean Hinds remains silent but police not giving up http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/sean-hinds-remains-silent-but-police-not-giving-up/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/sean-hinds-remains-silent-but-police-not-giving-up/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:38:27 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359992 Although self-confessed former death squad member Sean Hinds remains tightlipped about his role in criminal activity, senior Police officials say they are not giving up on getting a statement from him.
Hinds remained in custody up to late last night, three nights after he turned himself in to police with his lawyer, Nigel Hughes.
Kaieteur News understands that detectives questioned Hinds about a ‘serious offence’, as well as about his alleged links to a ‘death squad,’ which reportedly operated with the knowledge of senior police ranks.
However, they reported that he is not cooperating, claiming that he has nothing to say.
One of the issues that police wanted to question Hinds about was the allegation that he conducted surveillance near the home of Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo.
Nagamootoo had stated that on Tuesday, July 14, the security detail attached to his home noticed a strange car parked close by.
He alleged that Sean Hinds was identified as the occupant of the car, and that the occupant of the vehicle sped away as the security staff approached.
Hinds has denied this claim.
He had said in a recent television interview that he was prepared to speak with Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, about the work of the ‘death squad,’ but had indicated that he was unwilling to cooperate with the police.
It is not yet clear if Harmon will accede to his request, given Hinds’ position with regard to the police.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum last evening told Kaieteur News that they have managed to secure a copy of Hinds television interview and they are in the process of examining its contents.
“I made an official request to the Director of HGP TV Channel 17 and he made a promise to supply the recording…today he did,” the Crime Chief said.
Breaking his silence on allegations that have swirled around him for years, the former bodyguard of fired Town Clerk Carol Sooba recently revealed on television that he was a member of a ‘death-squad’ which was set up to target criminals who were behind a spate of killings following the February 23, 2002 Mash Day jailbreak.
He claimed that the ‘death squad’ worked with members of the Police Force and he was among members who uplifted arms from CID Headquarters, Eve Leary.
It was headed by the late Alex Williams who had close links to former Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj.
Hinds claimed that he decided spill his secrets after attempts were made to implicate him in the killing of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing.
Hinds said that he has taken the precaution of “making two or three tapes” which would be distributed to the media in the event that he was killed.
Given his continued silence the police might have no choice but to release him after the statutory 72 hours have elapsed.

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Questionable qualifications, mismanagement causes removal of E-Governance Head – Harmon http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/questionable-qualifications-mismanagement-causes-removal-of-e-governance-head-harmon/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/questionable-qualifications-mismanagement-causes-removal-of-e-governance-head-harmon/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:33:39 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=360013 Alexei Ramotar was sent on leave from heading E-Governance Information Communication Technology (ICT) Initiative, because of mismanagement and his questionable qualifications.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, addressing a public gathering at the Stabroek Square, Georgetown, said that the ICT initiative was meant to digitize and connect governmental agencies through an internet database located at the Castellani House, Georgetown.

The project was jumpstarted by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).

Minister Harmon said that Ramotar’s questionable appointment, because of his qualifications and the suggestion of nepotism which surrounded the multimillion dollar project at the time, could have resulted in ICT initiative failure.

“When the budget was announced I questioned the qualifications of this young man to run such a project,” said Minister Harmon. He recalled a “fight” he had with former Minister of Finance, Ashni Singh, who criticized Harmon for “chasing away young people from business”.

According to Harmon, when he further questioned Singh on the qualification of the former President’s son, the former Minister could not provide an answer.

Ramotar was responsible for liaising with top Government officials like Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, on the affairs of the US$32M fibre optic cable. Minister Harmon said that in addition to the US$32M, Ramotar had advised that the project would cost US$20M to fix as a result of damage incurred to the Brazil to Georgetown cable.

“The same man who was responsible for making the thing work, (Ramotar) was saying that it cannot work,” said the State Minister. As a result of the ineffective cable operations, the PPP/C administration had contracted the services of Faisal “Dax” Mohamed to repair the US$32M instrument.

The said contract had faced much criticism from media outlets for its vague terms and conditions which hugely benefited Dax through numerous concessions. The agreement stated that Dax would undertake the repair and maintenance of the fibre optic cable from Brazil. This contract was for an initial 25 years with an option to renew it for a further 15 years thus, giving Dax a total of 40 years of cable rights.

The PPP/C administration also provided Mohamed with the necessary support to receive and transmit data by way of the cable after granting the company an operating licence.
Additionally, Mohamed would, for free, be able to use the Government-owned fibre optic cables and structures including, roads, the poles, access to repeater stations among other facilities.
The company, Dax Contracting Services, would also be provided with tax exemptions and incentives, including but not limited to tax holidays, remissions, tax waivers and duty free concessions on equipment, spares, tools and vehicles.
Harmon had said that the “beneficiary” of the contract, was awarded the agreement as the result of a relationship shared between a family member of the contractor and the E-Governance Head.

It was this suspicious mismanagement of the ICT initiative, said the Minister, was the reason for new administration launching a full audit into the E-Governance project. Earlier in the month, Ramotar was sent on leave with immediate effect from his post as the project head to facilitate investigations into the ICT initiative.

“I will say to you that we are finding all sorts of irregularities,” said Harmon.

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Nurse poisoned at work by jealous colleagues http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/nurse-poisoned-at-work-by-jealous-colleagues/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/nurse-poisoned-at-work-by-jealous-colleagues/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:30:56 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359974 The story of a nurse attached to the New Amsterdam hospital being poisoned after she left her bottle with drink in a fridge in the ward, has sent shock waves across the country and throughout medical fraternity.
The police were called to the New Amsterdam Hospital yesterday afternoon to investigate the case of poisoning which occurred at the hospital.
According to information nurse, Tameca Carter, reported for work around noon. She left her bottle with her drink in the fridge in award and left to attend the funeral of a colleague. She was with a number of other nurses.
Nurse Carter reportedly returned to work around 15:00 hrs and retrieved her drink. No sooner had she taken a mouthful of the drink than she started to feel a burning sensation in her stomach.
The nurse collapsed and was rushed from the ward to the emergency unit of the hospital where she started to vomit blood. She was immediately tended to by a number of doctors.
She was stabilized while the bottle with her drink was taken into possession by the hospital authorities.
The police were called in and took possession of the bottle with the remaining portion of the drinks to be tested.
All of the nurses that worked in the ward are to be interrogated as the police continue their investigation.

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Stabbed 17 year-old… Mother throws her hands up in frustration http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/stabbed-17-year-old-mother-throws-her-hands-up-in-frustration/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/stabbed-17-year-old-mother-throws-her-hands-up-in-frustration/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:26:41 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=360008 The mother of 17-year-old Adonie Pharbo, who was brutally stabbed to death some three weeks ago on the West Ruimveldt front road, has voiced her frustration at the slothfulness of Police in bringing her son’s killers to justice.

Kaieteur News understands that three teens have been fingered in the stabbing incident.

Driven with vexation and frustration, the mother has opted to pull herself away from the royal round around to get justice for her son.

She said that ever since she had ceased visits to the East La Penitence Police station where the matter was reported, she has not received “word” on any development in her son’s case.

Despite it may seem like she has given up completely, the devastated woman said that she has left her son’s killers in the hands of the Almighty; like many others she believes that “God don’t sleep”.

According to the youngest among the suspects who has since been arrested and placed on station bail, the stabbing was done by his elder brother while he and another older brother restrained the helpless teen.

Reports had stated that, Pharbo, aka ‘Buju’, of Lot 112 Freeman Street East La Penitence had just left the Alexander Village Masjid where he went to break his Ramadan fast with prayers, when while on his way home he was allegedly cornered by the three teenage suspects and stabbed about the body.

After lying on the ground for a few minutes, the mortally injured teen was picked up and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation by members of the Masjid.

Pharbo’s distraught mother explained that he did not have any problem with the young men who aided in his death. She said that it was his older brother who had shared an old grievance with the men, but he was caught up in the cross fire in the dispute which was thought to have been settled a long time ago.

From indications, the aim of the attack was not only to harm Pharbo but ‘kill’ him. Kaieteur News was told that during the attack one of the young men who was no more than 20, was heard saying “Boy me aint went and pray… kill this f@#*&@ boy”.

Kaieteur News understands that the men had tried to attack Pharbo some time ago while he was walking with his girlfriend, but he managed to run home while the girl ran into a bus.

According to initial reports Pharbo, a miner, had moments earlier left the Alexander Village Masjid after a time of Ramadan prayers, when he was attacked by three young men.

His best friend, who referred to him as ‘my brother’ was given the tip that he was being stabbed. Upon arriving at the scene he saw a large crowd, and Pharbo was gasping for breath.

In a frantic state he began questioning who had done that to him but a response was not forthcoming. After some time and many vehicle operators refusing to transport the badly wounded teen to the hospital, someone from the same Masjid eventually arrived with a car, rushing him to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

The car in which Pharbo was being transported arrived at GPHC with an entourage of motorcyclists who honked their horns frantically to clear way for the teen.

With his entire body covered in blood, the teen was wheeled into the A&E unit where he was later pronounced dead.

Relatives who arrived shortly after broke out in loud wails after learning of his demise. Anger and grief filled the atmosphere at the hospital as youths from the East La Penitence area and the Masjid filled the compound and vented their emotions.

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Digicel Nationwide Schools Football Competition… Christianburg/Wismar, Chase Academy reach final http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/digicel-nationwide-schools-football-competition-christianburgwismar-chase-academy-reach-final/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/digicel-nationwide-schools-football-competition-christianburgwismar-chase-academy-reach-final/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:25:18 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359949  (from left)- Jaleel Hamilton and Ryan Hackett pose for Kaieteur Sport yesterday.

(from left)- Jaleel Hamilton and Ryan Hackett pose for Kaieteur Sport yesterday.

– Annai and Waramadong to contest third place

Three-time defending champion Christianburg/Wismar once again subjected nemesis Waramadong to another year of misery after cruising to a comfortable 4-0 win in the feature semi-final game of this year’s Digicel Nationwide Schools Football Competition yesterday, at Leonora.
The victory meant that they’ve now reached the final on five consecutive occasions and should start as firm favourites to retain their title.
Earlier, Chase Academy beat Annai 3-1 in a battle of two teams who were appearing in their first national semi-finals and will now go up against the Lindeners for the title on Sunday, at the National Stadium.
In the highly anticipated feature game, Christianburg/Wismar silenced the large gathering of supporters of Waramadong after five minutes when mid-fielder Dequan Hercules’ tame cross from the left side trickled through the nervous hands of the opposing goalkeeper into the back of the net.
It was a positive start for the Lindeners and definitely not the kind of start that Waramadong

(from left)- Omar Brewley, Dequan Hercules and Kendolph Lewis take a photo op following their win over Waramadong yesterday at Leonora.

(from left)- Omar Brewley, Dequan Hercules and Kendolph Lewis take a photo op following their win over Waramadong yesterday at Leonora.

had hoped for.
Omar Brewley then commenced his destruction when he scored the first of a brace in the 17th minute after firing into the right side of the goal following a pinpoint pass that left him one –n one with the goalkeeper.
He returned ten minutes later to give his team a handy 3-0 lead after being left unmarked from a cross from centrefield.
Waramadong looked solid in centrefield, creating some neat buildups, but Amaniki Buntin and company were too strong in the air and the ground and effectively shut down several threatening plays to head to the break with 3-0 advantage and one foot already in the final.
Waramadong was presented with a wonderful opportunity to pull one back after being awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box, but the usually efficient Ashton Ward’s spot kick which was sent down the middle was competently saved by the dependable Tevin Crawford to keep their advantage intact.
With Christianburg/Wismar players appearing to tire, Waramadong lifted the tempo and won three consecutive corners, but again Buntin and company was equal to the task, erasing every attempt.
Kendolph Lewis, who has been in prolific form recently, eventually notched his name on the scoresheet when he was sent through from centrefield and he delivered a fierce low shot past a hapless goalkeeper in the 85th minute.
The scoreline stayed that way until the final whistle sounded.
Chase Academy were equally impressive in their march to the final with Ryan Hackett and Jaleel Hamilton netting in the 39th and 85th minutes respectively, while an own goal in the 44th minute completed their tally.
Garville Daniels’ 33rd minute strike had briefly given Annai the lead.
Annai sent their supporters into frenzy when he raced on to a ball thrown in from the left side, before firing past the goalkeeper.
The goal seemed to ignite a strong reaction from Chase Academy as Hackett, Kelsey Benjamin and Andre Trotz raided with much frequency, before Hackett scored.
It started with a weighted pass from Benjamin, who found Hackett on the right side and the stocky youngster eased past his marker to fire into the right side of the goal and level the proceedings at 1-1.
They then took the lead on the stroke of half time courtesy of an own goal when a cross from the left side was inadvertently booted into the goal by a defender.
Five minutes before full time Hamilton took full advantage of a weak clearance to unleash a powerful shot past the goalkeeper to seal the win and a place in the final.

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‘Pretty face’ turns self in http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/pretty-face-turns-self-in/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/pretty-face-turns-self-in/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:25:15 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=360006 An Albouystown man for whom a wanted bulletin was issued for the killing of a Mocha man, at Turning Point, Tucville, has surrendered to the police

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed that Edward Skeete called “Pretty Face” turned himself in with his lawyer yesterday.

Skeete, who was freed just five months ago for the murder of businessman, Bedi Ramjewan, was wanted for the execution-style killing of a Mocha, East Bank Demerara resident, Rayon Clementson, 27, who was shot on July 14, and succumbed two Fridays ago at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Initial reports had indicated that Clementson, who was known to the police, had only sustained a bullet wound to the upper right thigh. Another man, Ayodele Solomon, 32, was shot in the back during the same attack.

According to reports, Clementson and Solomon, of Tucville, were in the vicinity of ‘Turning Point’, located near Arapaima and Jackson Streets, Tucville, when someone shot at them.

Kaieteur News understands that Solomon, who was taken to the GPHC by a taxi driver, alleged that he was hit by a stray bullet after someone shot at another individual. After being shot, Clementson took refuge in a nearby trench. Police took him out of the trench and took him to the hospital. Although he was clearly in pain, Clementson was conscious and did not appear to be severely injured.

However, he subsequently died.

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All set for Bush Lot United Emancipation horserace meet Sunday http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/all-set-for-bush-lot-united-emancipation-horserace-meet-sunday/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/all-set-for-bush-lot-united-emancipation-horserace-meet-sunday/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:24:41 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359904 Jack In My Style and Street Prince looking ready during practice for Sunday’s Emancipation Horse race meet at Sea View Park, Bush Lot West Coast Berbice.

Jack In My Style and Street Prince looking ready during practice for Sunday’s Emancipation Horse race meet at Sea View Park, Bush Lot West Coast Berbice.

An action packed day of racing is anticipated come Sunday 2nd August when the Bush Lot United Turf Club (BLUTC) holds their first race meet for the year at the club’s track Sea View Park, Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice. The activity was pushed back by one week due to inclement weather.
With the extra week gained a number of owners, grooms and trainers have used the bonus time to their benefits in fine tuning their animals for the big day which will be the restart of the 2015 racing season.
Most of the animals have been able to put in some extra work on the track while a few more entries have been entered for the meet.
According to racing pundits, the racing fraternity cannot ask for a better venue to restart the season since the BLUTC has over the years been classified as the most improved track.
Eight action packed races are slated for the day with a prize package of over $5.5M up for the taking which includes cash, trophies and other incentives. Over 60 horses have entered.
A number of top class animals have been entered for the meet which will make it even more spectacular.
The Feature event is for horses classified  ‘C’ and lower with the kind compliments of Beverage  Giants Banks DIH Limited for a winning pocket of $1M and trophy over 1600M from a total package of $2M.
With most of the top C class horses in the country down to compete with the likes of Spit Fire, Jack in

Jack In My Style and Street Prince looking ready during practice for Sunday’s Emancipation Horse race meet at Sea View Park, Bush Lot West Coast Berbice.

Jack In My Style and Street Prince looking ready during practice for Sunday’s Emancipation Horse race meet at Sea View Park, Bush Lot West Coast Berbice.

My Style, Diplomatic Cat, Princess She is Not, Unsettled, Bridal Stone Corner and the newly imported Guyana Time among others, the event is expected to be a scorcher.
The race for three year old West Indies Bred animals which has a take home pay of $350,000 and trophy, is also expected to be a grueling battle as the animals renew their rivalry with the likes of Strom Bird, Country Girl, Keep On Swinging, IT MY Choice, Gold D Cova and Settling Star looking to settle their old score over 1200M.
A top notch field that includes Captain Crook, Mansoon Fresh Again, Work Force, Plum Plum, Good Will Boy, Unsettled and Red and Lovely has been entered in the E1 and lower 1500M event for a first prize of $350,000 and trophy.
A large field which includes Rosetta, Dream Come through, Precise Gold, Shantal, Honest Penny, Sent From Above, Cat Messiah, Today Is My Lucky day, Campador, Princess Page and Bird man are among the horses entered for the G2 and lower race for the winners’ money of $300,000 and trophy over 1300M.
The two year old animals will be making their entry into the racing circle with the likes of Firing Time, Jumbo Gift, Maid of the Cat and Willie Poo entered for the 1000M race for Guyana and West Indies bred and born animals for a winning money of $300,000 and trophy.
I and lower and three year old Guyana Bred horses over 1300M will battle for a winning take of $200,000 and trophy which will see the likes of Amazon Warrior, Mary Ann, Secret Escape, Little, Royal Cash and Cat Messiah competing.
The J and lower event has the likes of  Famous Pride, The Gump, Flying Object, Regina, Secret Escape, Party Time  and Little will be competing for a first prize of $180,000 over 1300M.
The final event will be for animals classified K and lower over 1300 M for a winning pocket of $140,000 and trophy respectively. Among the entries are Ranch Boy, Amigo, Blue Lightning, Secretariat, Regina, Liquid Lion, Chronic, Silent Warrior, and Plane.
Race time is 12:00 hrs. The event will be conducted under the rules of the Guyana Horse racing Authority. (Samuel Whyte)

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CDB offers to help in sugar, energy needs http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/cdb-offers-to-help-in-sugar-energy-needs/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/cdb-offers-to-help-in-sugar-energy-needs/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:24:15 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=360003 President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other members of the Cabinet who met with President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Williams Warren Smith and his team, during the meeting yesterday.

President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other members of the Cabinet who met with President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Williams Warren Smith and his team, during the meeting yesterday.

President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. William Warren Smith, says that the institution is prepared to work with Guyana in an effort to help the country realize its full potential in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Shortly after meeting with President David Granger and Ministers yesterday, at the Ministry of the Presidency, Dr. Smith said the bank will grasp at the opportunity to work with Guyana to address green energy.

Speaking on the challenges facing the sugar industry in Guyana, Dr. Smith described the possibility of transforming that sector by exploring renewable energy options.

Dr. Smith said that while his institution can’t resolve all of the issues, technical assistance can be given with the aim of resolving some of them. “What we can do is provide the technical assistance where you can acquire the expertise to advise you on the transformation of that industry so that it can realize its true potential.”

“Energy efficiency is an area which is frequently overlooked; in the discussion about reducing the cost of electricity and the cost of energy generally, but it is really the starting point for making a determination as to how you should address your energy costs,” he said.

The banker explained that the CDB recently established the Renewable and Energy Efficiency Unit, which has been set up in collaboration with the Government of Germany.

Germany will be providing technical assistance to staff of the CDB with the aim of addressing all of the key renewable energy options that are available.

“When we look at Guyana we see unlimited opportunity in both the climate adaptation side and also in the renewable energy and energy efficiency side,” Dr. Smith said.

He said that the Government has signaled its interest to work closely with the bank and offer any assistance necessary. “There is hardly any form of renewable energy that Guyana does not have, with possibly the exception of geothermal. But you have wind, abundant hydro power potential and solar. We have capabilities in all of those areas and what we want to do is design an intervention program here that is consistent with your needs,” Smith said.

However, in designing a programme, Dr. Smith said it is important to give consideration to the peculiarities of the country.

“For example, Guyana is a very large country with areas of relatively small population, and a population that is far apart so that we believe that renewable energy solutions are ideal for those types of circumstances,” he said.

Dr. Smith said a team from the CDB would have to conduct in-depth discussions with local experts as to how best the geographic challenges can be addressed.

“Some of those resources are grant resources, meaning you don’t have to pay back, which makes the economics of implementation of renewable energy very much within the reach of the poorest of the Caribbean countries.”

Another major reason for pursing this initiative, Dr. Smith said, is because bringing down the cost of electricity would also mean making Guyana’s economy more competitive. “You’ll be able to become internationally attractive for the export of goods and services and it will help to improve the quality of life for your people,” Smith added.

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Kuru Kuru man loses arm… Police yet to apprehend assailant http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/kuru-kuru-man-loses-arm-police-yet-to-apprehend-assailant/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/kuru-kuru-man-loses-arm-police-yet-to-apprehend-assailant/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:23:41 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359990 Glenford Kitt on the day of his discharge from the GPHC  GPHC.

Glenford Kitt on the day of his discharge from the GPHC
GPHC.

More than a month after having the lower part of his right arm severed by another man, Kuru Kuru resident, Glenford Kitt, is still hoping for justice as Police appear to be doing nothing in apprehending the alleged attacker.
Kitt has indicated that his wound has healed, but he still wants justice and has intentions of seeking help from higher authority.
Just after midnight on June 17, last, Kitt was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), with what a bystander at the institute described, with his arm hanging.
He was released from GPHC male surgical ward a few days later. He left the hospital in pursuit of justice but such has since been delayed.
According to reports, Kitt had gone to a house in Kuru Kuru to confront one of its occupants concerning a matter, when he was attacked from behind.
At the time, he was attempting to take matters into his own hands, because the police at Timehri Station had refused to look into a matter which he had reported.

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GTUC says unclear how Dr. Rodney’s died http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/gtuc-says-unclear-how-dr-rodneys-died/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/gtuc-says-unclear-how-dr-rodneys-died/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:22:13 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359988 …no evidence of Burnham involvement
After listening to the evidence provided by 29 witnesses, the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) has concluded that there is nothing to support that the former Working People’s Alliance (WPA) leader, Dr. Walter Rodney was killed as an act of state terrorism.
As he spoke at the final public session of the Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday, Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) lawyer, Brian Clarke, made it clear that there was no evidence provided to the Commission that showed exactly how Dr. Rodney died.
The GTUC lawyer said that he was making submissions from a neutral perspective and that from the inception of the inquiry, the umbrella trade union body believed that Guyana deserves closure from that particular chapter to his history and further an end needed to be brought to the use of Dr. Rodney’s name as a wedge.
He said GTUC would have liked to see the Commission to a “fruitful conclusion” and that it remains to be seen what remains from evidence that has not been subjected to cross-examination.
Industrial Struggle
As he made his final submission, the GTUC lawyer made it clear that the period under review contained economic challenges and that along with the socio-economic situation in Guyana posed difficulties in the industrial relations context.
“There was an industrial crisis in Guyana,” said Clarke as he added that industrial relations climate was important because it is within this context amongst other things that each political party aimed to gain traction and extend their support base.
According to Clarke, the political, social and economic situation in Guyana during the period under review (1978 – 1980) is encapsulated in part by the Sophia Declaration.
This is where the nation’s former leader, Linden Burnham declared “It is not sufficiently appreciated that education and training in and out of the formal system are an integral part of the national development process.
That explains why they are so many misfits whose energy and potential lie idle and unused so far as the national programme and objectives concern. Ours is a war. It may not involve a clash of arms and the unleashing of weapons of destruction but it is still a vital struggle, one against poverty, ignorance, unemployment, hunger, exploitation and we cannot afford the luxury of unemployed citizens, especially youth who seek to get and not to give.”
The lawyer referred to Dr. Rodney’s speech, The Struggle Goes On, delivered on July 20, 1979 in which the politician said, “Let us make it clear that we are not asking persons to enter because of support for our ideology. We are asking for an active effort of our people for national reconstruction and national unity on the basis of common sense, patriotism, decency and honesty.”
He spoke, too, of Rodney’s intent to have dialogue with businessmen, and various professionals like lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects “challenging them to take a stand against what is going on at a political level. We are challenging them to recognise that the workers in society in all sectors have a common cause.”
Clarke also cited Dr. Nanda Gopaul’s book, Resistance and Change, in which he described how the working conditions of sugar workers had deteriorated massively during the 1978 – 1980 period.
Government Interference
He spoke too of Government interference in jobs as well as scholarships selection which led to career stagnation and loss of job prospects. He reflected that Dr. Rodney was a highly qualified and able man but found extreme difficulties landing a job in his field during those times.
“There were allegations that (discrimination) was largely against the WPA members and once you’re associated with that party, it was difficult to land employment,” remarked Clarke.
He posited that discrimination those days was based on partisan politics. Dr. Rodney, who had earned his PhD in African History by age 24, had returned to Guyana from Tanzania, Africa with his eyes set on copping the Director of Caribbean Studies position at the University of Guyana, which had been opened just over a decade before.
The political stalwart, instead, received a letter which stated that there was no “suitable opening” for someone with his qualifications. The GTUC lawyer said that members of the party Dr. Rodney co-founded, the Working People’s Alliance, was being monitored in the workplace as supported by Special Branch reports submitted to the inquiry.
The result of this was that some members were summarily fired. The lawyer pointed out that the WPA had a role in strikes especially in the Bauxite industry.
“The period between 1978 and 1980 was challenging and at boiling point. There is a link between the rising attempts at causing civil unrest as a result of labour relations and an explosion with Dr. Rodney being at the center of both events.”
1980 Bomb Blast
As he examined the probable cause of the June 13, 1980 bomb blast, Clarke posited that it was the device that was given to him by Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Sergeant, Gregory Smith that killed him. A relationship existed between the two he said.
Clarke said it was unclear, however, whether Dr. Rodney died as a result of state terrorism on part of Smith, or alternatively whether he died as a result of misadventure or because he failed to comply with the instructions provided by Smith.
He said that it was Donald Rodney who handed the device and related the instructions to his brother that night, not Smith since Dr. Rodney was sitting in the car and his brother was sent to Smith’s house.
“There is no conclusive evidence that indicates how that package exploded,” Clarke said adding that the cumulative force of the evidence does not point to one specific outcome.
He said if the device was indeed triggered by a radio detonation, it is not outside the realm of possibility that the signals could have perhaps been crossed and accidentally detonated the device.
Clarke argued that if a plan was to get rid of the Opposition members by force and it culminated with giving Rodney a bomb under the guise of testing a walkie-talkie it seemed improbable especially when you consider the way Father Bernard Darke was killed just one year before.
“The evidence does not point conclusively to the fact that this was a mastermind plan. It is inconceivable,” said the GTUC lawyer as he added that it was one year and a month after Father Darke’s killing that Rodney met his demise.
“How do you go from common thuggery to a mastermind plan in less than a year? The two were mutually exclusive,” said Clarke.
GTUC lawyer said that it is unclear whether Dr. Rodney was killed as a result of state terrorism or misadventure. No evidence, he insisted, existed to show that the Burnham-led government was linked to Dr. Rodney’s killing.
He remarked that Smith seemed to have gone AWOL and there is no evidence that the GDF was a party to Smith’s interactions with Dr. Rodney and Smith, the construction of the device that killed Dr. Rodney or that the GDF was involved in the triggering of the device.
GTUC is the umbrella association for 22 affiliated unions and over 70,000 workers, making it the largest trade union group in Guyana. It has been in existence since 1940.

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Cabinet fine-tuning code of conduct for Ministers, MPS http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/cabinet-fine-tuning-code-of-conduct-for-ministers-mps/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/cabinet-fine-tuning-code-of-conduct-for-ministers-mps/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:21:26 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359986 The new Government is set to approve new regulations to govern the way Ministers and Parliamentarians behave in office.
The proposed code of conduct was discussed Tuesday by the Cabinet of Ministers and will be used as a guide for not only Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs), but holders of public office, says Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman.
The code of conduct will address issues of transparency and corruption, misconduct in public office and bribe taking.
Over the years, the behaviour of public officials has seen very little actions or sanctions taken against public officials despite persistent allegations.
The new administration had vowed to pass laws that ensure sanctions against guilty persons.
According to Trotman, within three weeks, the Cabinet of Ministers will be meeting in a retreat to discuss and approve the Code of Conduct.
The Ministry of Governance had been looking at best practices that prevail in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and even Africa.
The regulations will be adjusted to fit the Guyana situation.
The retreat with the Ministers will propose with the possibilities of using the Integrity Commission for investigations and charges where necessary.

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PMTC/Jumbo Jet ninth annual Guyana Cup set for August 16 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/pmtcjumbo-jet-ninth-annual-guyana-cup-set-for-august-16/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/pmtcjumbo-jet-ninth-annual-guyana-cup-set-for-august-16/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:20:56 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359928 From left Nazrudeen Mohammed, Christopher Jones, Vic Ouditt, Gavin Hope, Gavin Jodhan, Errol Nelson at the head table during yesterday’s launch.

From left Nazrudeen Mohammed, Christopher Jones, Vic Ouditt, Gavin Hope, Gavin Jodhan, Errol Nelson at the head table during yesterday’s launch.

Turfites will be in for an exciting day of activities when the Port Mourant Turf Club in collaboration with Jumbo Jet Auto Sales stages its ninth annual Guyana Cup on Sunday August 16 at Port Mourant race track starting from 12:00 hrs.
Eleven (11) races are carded for the day with the feature event being the A1 and Lower which goes for a distance of 1800m and carries a total prize package of $7.5 million.
Speaking at the launching which was attended by President of the Guyana Horse Racing Authority Vic Ouditt, Digicel Events and Sponsorship Manager Gavin Hope, Banks DIH Limited Outdoor Events Manager Gavin Jodhan and Water Brand Manager Errol Nelson, Director of Sport Christopher Jones said that the Government of Guyana has committed to the development of horseracing and congratulated the organizers. “Noting the fact that this is the ninth year of running, it shows that the organisation has the capacity to coordinate the event, of course we know there are corporate sponsors and I would like to commend them as well.”
“The Government is very supportive of the Guyana Cup and of course in whatever way we can the Government is prepared to lend its support,” Jones said.
Ouditt pointed out that the Guyana Cup has brought the sport to a new level.
“We are very happy that Jumbo Jet continues to host this event. They have brought the sport to a new level in terms of the quality of horses that have been imported,” he added.
Race coordinator Nazrudeen Mohammed Jr said this event is the largest in Guyana, and jockeys and stables across the Caribbean do look forward to it.
Hope informed that Digicel has been associated with this meet for a number of years. “We would contribute to the development of any sport. This event is one of the biggest event and we will continue to support it,” he said, adding that they want to see the sport attain new heights.
Nelson expressed gratitude to the organizers for having Banks DIH on board. He stated that their continued sponsorship demonstrates the entity’s commitment towards the development of the sport.
Meanwhile, interested horse owners are required to deposit a 50 percent non-refundable fee by August 8. The balance of entries must be paid in full on or before race day.

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Rusal Contractor makes claims against Region 10 REO http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/rusal-contractor-makes-claims-against-region-10-reo/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/rusal-contractor-makes-claims-against-region-10-reo/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:20:44 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359984 A contactor of Rusal Guyana, Arnold Barkoye, recently made claims against Mrs Yolanda Hilliman, Regional Executive Officer (REO) in Region Ten for not keeping up her end of a contractual agreement resulting in non-payment.   According to Mr Barkoye he was contacted to do a series of works in Region Ten, over a period of time.
To date his attempts to get a hold of Mrs Hilliman regarding his payment have proven futile; all attempts have been in vain.
When Kaieteur News contacted the office of REO, the officer refused to comment on the matter.
It was alleged that during last year, Arnold Barkoye was contracted by Mrs. Hilliman to complete the Ituni playground which was already half-done by another contractor.
He subsequently finished the said project within seven months but was never compensated for his expenses for work done. He also noted that his vehicle was used for a period of time and no payment was ever made to him.
The contractor is of the belief that he is being spited by the Regional Officer for various reasons.
In excess of $1.5M is allegedly owed to the Mr. Barkoye for various projects he completed in Region Ten. He is now pleading with the relevant authorities to obtain the monies owed to him by Mrs Hilliman.

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Police statistics show… GT, Berbice, ECD continue as accident centres http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/police-statistics-show-gt-berbice-ecd-continue-as-accident-centres/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/police-statistics-show-gt-berbice-ecd-continue-as-accident-centres/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:18:37 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359994 …Linden/Kwakwani records no fatal accidents at half-year mark

 

As the Guyana Police Force (GPF) continues to compile its statistics on traffic offences for the year, reports have shown that Divisions ‘A’ through ‘C’ continue to be the areas where the majority of the country’s fatal accidents occur.

Thus far, the Police Force has released traffic statistics for the year through to June. According to the information provided, by June there had been 45 recorded fatal accidents in the country. From these 45 accidents there were 56 recorded deaths.

The statistics further showed that Division ‘A’ (Georgetown/East Bank), Division ‘B’ (Berbice) and Division ‘C’ (East Coast of Demerara) recorded the most fatal accidents in Guyana.

While the Georgetown/East Bank division saw the majority of the nation’s fatalities with 17 deaths, Berbice and the East Coast closely followed; Berbice recorded 15 road fatalities at the end of June while the East Coast Demerara recorded 16.

The figures recorded in Divisions ‘A’ through ‘C’ are at least three times the number seen in the other divisions. Divisions ‘D’ (West Demerara/East Bank Essequibo), ‘E’ (Linden/Kwakwani), ‘F’ (Interior locations) and ‘G’ (Essequibo Coast and islands) recorded five, zero, one and two fatalities respectively.

This year’s statistics thus far do not vary much from others provided by the Police Force over the years. Georgetown/East Bank, Berbice and the East Coast have long been identified as problem areas for the GPF when it comes to road fatalities.

According to the GPF, for the same period last year Georgetown/East Bank had recorded 23 deaths from 21 accidents while this year there were 17 deaths from 17 accidents. This represented a decrease of deaths by 26 per cent, the police say.

The other problem areas did not see declines; at the end of June 2014, the police say that there were 13 deaths from 11 accidents while at June 2015 there were 15 deaths, also from 11 accidents. This was an increase in deaths of approximately 13%.

For the East Coast Demerara, there was a dramatic increase in deaths of 167%. In 2014 there were six deaths from six accidents, for this year thus far there have been 16 deaths from 10 accidents.

Divisions ‘D’ through ‘G’ saw similar trends last year. In fact, there were declines in all of these divisions except the interior locations. The biggest decline (200%) was seen in Linden/Kwakwani. In that division, there was no recorded fatality at the end of June. Last year, the division had recorded two fatal accidents from two accidents.

Meanwhile, amongst the categories of vehicles involved in fatal accidents from January to June 2015, private cars accounted for the majority of vehicles.

According to the police statistics, 26 private cars were involved in fatal accidents. The second most affected category of vehicles was motorcycles, which recorded 10. Furthermore, motor lorries recorded nine, while minibuses, pedal cycles and hired cars recorded 8, 5 and 3 respectively.

The GPF is currently in the process of compiling traffic statistics for the month of July.

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K&B Mining, YK Investments continue relations with Boyce/Jefford Classic http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/kb-mining-yk-investments-continue-relations-with-boycejefford-classic/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/kb-mining-yk-investments-continue-relations-with-boycejefford-classic/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:18:05 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359947 Proprietor of YK Investments Pawn Shop, Marlon Yenkana (right) hands over his contribution to a representative of Boyce & Jefford Classic, Claude Bennett at his Regent Street location.

Proprietor of YK Investments Pawn Shop, Marlon Yenkana (right) hands over his contribution to a representative of Boyce & Jefford Classic, Claude Bennett at his Regent Street location.

Accountant at K&B Mining, Anisa Husain (right) hands over the sponsorship cheque to Colin Boyce yesterday at their Church Street location.

Accountant at K&B Mining, Anisa Husain (right) hands over the sponsorship cheque to Colin Boyce yesterday at their Church Street location.

K&B Mining and Hardware Supplies and YK Investment Pawn Shop yesterday renewed their relationship with the Boyce & Jefford Track and Field Classic via sponsorship, when both they presented their contributions for the August 15-16 Championships.
The Mining Company and YK Investment Pawn Shop have been supporters of the meet for six consecutive years. Accountant, Anisa Husain on behalf of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mining Company, Hema Persaud, handed over their sponsorship.
Meanwhile, Marlon Yenkana extended a similar gesture to the organisers, stating that the meet has become “a very big sports competition for Linden and all Guyana”. The upcoming Boyce & Jefford Classic will feature athletes from five Caribbean countries, including the region’s leading athletics nation, Jamaica for the first time in Guyana.

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National Blind cricketers get $2.5 Million from Lotto fund http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/national-blind-cricketers-get-2-5-million-from-lotto-fund/ http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/07/30/national-blind-cricketers-get-2-5-million-from-lotto-fund/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 04:17:59 +0000 http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/?p=359979 Guyana Blind team at the T&T airport on their way to St Lucia

Guyana Blind team at the T&T airport on their way to St Lucia

Team confident of doing well in St Lucia

By Sean Devers

The Guyana Blind Cricket Association (GuyBCA) is scheduled to compete in the West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WICCBVI) Competition which started yesterday in St Lucia.
The Guyana team, which arrived in St Lucia on Tuesday evening after being in-transit in Trinidad, has six B1 players and 31-year-old Vice-Captain Ganesh Singh, a former West Indies blind player and current member of WICCBVI, expressed confidence that the team will give a good account of themselves.
We have been doing a lot of work in preparation for this tournament with sessions of the National Gymnasium which we were allowed to use by the National Sports Commission (NSC) and its Director of Sports Christopher Jones.
“The Government provided us with $2.5 million from the Lotto fund while the NSC Bus took us to the airport and will come back to pick us up when we return home and we would like to thank them for their timely assistance,” Singh explained.
Singh also informed that the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) also contributed $50,000 and the Guyana Times $100,000 since Singh works at that Media House.
Theresa Pemberton is the other Guyanese on WICCBVI and Singh said that although the Regional Body for Blind Cricket in the West Indies would love to cover the cost for air tickets and accommodation for all of the teams they are not in a financial position to do so.
Patrick Howard, the team’s leading batsman over the years has now retired from the game due to ‘bad knees’ and is now the Head Coach of the closely knit unit.
Howard says the team has benefited from the injection of young blood and because they are unable to participate in many recreational activities as sighted people, the players are eagerly looking forward to this trip.
Desmond Fraser, the ‘Adjustment to Blindness Officer’ is going on the trip to ensure the players remains confident and their spirits are high.
Guyana, who have its youngest team this year, have never won a title in the eight-year history of the competition although their best effort was in 2008 when they took the third spot.
Jamaica are the defending champions for the 40-over Competition while Trinidad and Tobago won the T20 title last year.
Guyana Blind Cricket Team: Ganesh Singh, Relon Sumner, Kevin Douglas, Anthony Robinson, Crystal Aulder, Musa Haynes, Douglas Tika, Gordon Sandiford, Leroy Phillips, Sean Mitchell, Malita Bailey, Teshawn Rodney, Ceion Rollox, Vishaul Mohabir
Officials: Theresa Pemberton (Manager), Patrick Howard (Coach), Cecil Morris (Assistant Coach), Desmond Fraser (Adjustment to Blindness Officer)

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