The fact that Regional Chairman for Region 10 Mortimer Mingo was not present on A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) centre stage for the rally held in Linden on Saturday is nothing to shout about.
This is according to several officials downplaying his role in the rally held in Linden despite the fact that up to a fortnight ago he was the Campaign Manager for the APNU’s activities in that region.
Mingo was present at Saturday’s rally but apparently opted to ‘stay in the shadows,’ unlike on previous occasions where he was being featured prominently, inclusive of the line-up of speakers.
Leader of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) Robert Corbin says that the speakers that were put forward represent a national pitch and the fact that Mingo was absent does not say much.
Substantive action as it relates to the internal measures that were supposed to have been taken by the party in terms of a potentially controversial disclosure that was made regarding Mingo and a house lot in the infamous ‘Pradoville II’ is yet to be taken.
He said that the APNU will not be distracted by the Mingo/Pradoville hullaballoo because they are focused on removing the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic from Office.
Corbin told this publication that what he will reiterate is that Mingo is a committed member of the PNC/R and is a loyal supporter of APNU.
Speaking with this newspaper yesterday Executive member of the APNU and potential Prime Ministerial Candidate Dr Rupert Roopnarine said that he is clear that the APNU issued no directive that would have prohibited Mingo from speaking at the rally.
According to Dr Roopnarine, he was also not aware of any resignation (as Campaign Manager for Region 10) letter from Mingo nor was any such letter accepted.
Dr Roopnarine posited that he believes Mingo was just opting to have a low profile.
Meanwhile this publication understands that all may not be well in the opposition Camp as it relates to Mingo.
Credible sources close to the issue opine that Mingo was merely guilty of not fully disclosing the dealing as it relates to the house lot before things blew out of proportion.
In his defence, some in the hierarchy of the APNU particularly in the PNCR faction say that Mingo merely received an offer he thought was being made to his Regional Colleagues but when he realized this was not the case he promptly ensured that he did not fall into the trap.
The official opined too that the issue is merely being used as a smokescreen like an electioneering tactic of a political campaign.
But others in the APNU Executive reportedly aren’t as dismissive and forgiving and had complained and urged that Mingo be placed outside of the limelight until the election blows over.
Mingo has in the past denied receiving any land in the controversial ‘Pradoville II.’
He had issued a press statement subsequent to the allegations where he advised that Dr Roger Luncheon had called him around August 2010 and had informed him that the Government of Guyana was in the process of allocating house lots at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara.
It was disclosed that the land was being given to senior Government functionaries and Regional Chairmen and that he (Mingo) was identified as one of the persons for a house lot.
According to that statement, Mingo was informed that he would be contacted later about the allocation.
Mingo said that he later contacted his lawyer and told him about Luncheon’s offer. He said in a statement, “I was advised that I acknowledge the offer and wait to see what and how I would proceed with the offer.”
Mingo had added that since that phone call he never heard from Dr Luncheon or anyone concerning the said plot of land.
The chairman said that he has not signed any agreement or condition of sale or paid any money for any land at Sparendaam.
Mingo further stated that he has never received any lease, title or transport for the said land. In fact, the Regional Chairman said that he has never even seen the said plot of land.
The Central Housing and Planning Authority in response to Mingo’s position released photocopies of a cheque that Mingo had given to the Ministry.
It revealed that Mingo, of Lot 45, Topira Crescent, Richmond Hill, Linden, issued the $1,500,500 cheque to the Central Housing and Planning Authority on September 3, 2010.
However, according to the documents released by the Housing
Ministry, the cheque subsequently ‘bounced.’
After this, Mingo acknowledged that the cheque was indeed his.
The Region Ten Chairman said that he acknowledged this offer “in the form of a cheque for $1.5M”.
But according to Mingo, after checking with his other colleagues a few days later and finding that they had not been offered similar increments, he “took steps to ensure that no payments would be made.”
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