…denies owing senior employee but told person, “My only wish now is that I didn’t pay you anything and you should consider yourself lucky that you were able to weasel US$6,000.00 from me.”
Makewshar ‘Fip’ Motilall, President of Synergy Holdings Inc, the company
for which the Government of Guyana is currently battling over with the seizure of several pieces of construction equipment described as ‘junk’, has responded saying that some are only about 12 years old.
Motilall in explaining the age of the equipment said that “the machines I brought are between 6-12 years old.”
As it relates to the constant breakdown of the equipment, Motilall said that “the reason for failure was not the age of the machine and typically not an engine issue; it was the terrain and the conditions in which they work…breaking of hydraulic hoses being a most common one because when you are bushing, the tree could easily fall on the hose so it is not a matter of age, it’s conditions.”
He retorted too that, “A brand new machine would have the same failures working in the same conditions.”
Motilall has also denied owing any of the engineers but according to one e-mail correspondence secured by this publication, the controversial contractor is quoted as telling one of his former senior employees, “My only wish now is that I didn’t pay you anything and you should consider yourself lucky that you were able to weasel $6,000.00 from me.”
The currency referred to is US dollars.
Motilall was at the time responding to an article carried in this publication on Saturday last which said inter alia: “The equipment for which the two entities namely Synergy Holdings Inc (Motilall) and the Government are battling over have been described as ‘junk’ by senior personnel flown in from the US and attached to Synergy Holdings to satisfy the contractual obligations to the Government.”
As it relates to the high turnover of senior staff that had been employed Motilall, he says, “First off, there were a lot of changes in engineers and staff but this was because the initial engineers and construction managers that I brought form USA were on an 8-12 months agreement to come to Guyana.”
Motilall also suggested that the personnel “are professionals who would have a hard time dealing with the conditions in Georgetown for this long much less the bush…When the project was initially delayed for over six months, it was not long more before their contracted stint expired and they returned (home).”
He denied that staffers were living in unfit conditions. “My construction workers, mechanics and operators were paid way over the average wages in Guyana… plus I took care of all their living expenses down to supplying the Colgate (toothpaste) and soap.”
Motilall in his rebuttal also argues that “while I am not a civil engineer, I am a chemical engineer and I was intimately involved in several construction projects. I was not sitting in Georgetown enjoying life as the media seem to portray…I was in the bush more than 75 per cent of the time and coordinating food and supplies and work at all my camps constantly.”
He said that the project for which he was contracted to do and failed is “not an engineering wiz, and building this road is not rocket science…the challenge is logistics and remoteness…I personally took this on.”
Motilall, however, is being accused by his employees of constantly dividing his time between Guyana and Florida where he has reportedly moved into an upscale beachfront property complete with security.
In 2010, Motilall’s company was handed a US$15M contract to build and upgrade several roads leading to Amaila Falls, where government is proposing to build a 165 megawatt hydro project. The completion of the roads was key to the financial closure of the hydro project. Last month, government took away the contract from Motilall after constant delays of the project. Many local contractors are now tasked with completing sections of the road.
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