Mar 31, 2016 News
— Says many were given to those who helped the coalition campaign
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon is holding out that his decision to appoint businessman Brian Tiwarie,
as a Ministerial Advisor on Business Development, was above board.
In fact, he intends to set the record straight on the matter at a press conference when he returns from a business trip overseas.
Harmon, who is expected to return today from New York, told this newspaper that he is aware that the appointment has since been rescinded.
He however emphasized that the facts of the matter are being twisted. He firmly believes that the criticisms which have since ensued regarding the matter are all part of a wicked plot to jeopardize his political career.
Harmon told Kaieteur News that Tiwarie’s appointment was a mere “honorific title.”
The Member of Parliament said, “I will do a full presser on the matter when I return but this is what I will say in the interim. These are what you call honorific titles and this has nothing to do with a person getting or drawing down any particular benefit from the government…”
The Minister of State added, “In fact, we have issued several instruments like these to persons both from the APNU and the AFC side and you would notice that I have signed it for many persons who have helped us in the campaign and those who have the capacity to help us further.”
Harmon made it clear that the matter has “nothing to do with issues of transparency and accountability and corruption.”
“It is nothing of the sort,” he added.
The Member of Parliament emphasized that criticisms to the effect that his decision failed to adhere to
the principles of responsible governance are only part of a “sinister plot that is playing out.”
He reiterated that he will deal with this matter specifically at a media briefing very soon.
Tiwarie is one of Guyana’s biggest contractors when it comes to infrastructural works. Under the previous administration, BK International won several contracts, including one to construct the East Bank Demerara four-lane extension, the West Coast Demerara road improvement project and the troubled $600M Supenaam wharf, which is now facing problems and has to be repaired.
He has branched off to other businesses including mining, quarrying, real estate and aviation.
The businessman was also heavily criticized by the coalition administration for doing slapdash work. But when the APNU+AFC assumed office, Tiwarie immediately offered his help to spruce up the city. His company also clashed with Government on the management of the Haags Bosch dumpsite project.
The businessman’s appointment as a ministerial advisor was not announced by the Government but was signed by Harmon, on January 19, 2016.
When Government released a document to the media stating that it revoked Tiwarie’s appointment, it did not go further to explain why it chose to make the decision.
Over the weekend, Tiwarie reportedly accompanied Minister Harmon to China on state business. (Kiana Wilburg)
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