Jun 11, 2016 News
Officials from the Global Friendship Foundation (GFF) are refuting suggestions that the Foundation may have misused an $8M donation that the non-profit organization received from China to beautify the city.
The money, in the form of a US $40,000 cheque, was handed over last December to Waynewright Orderson, who is one of its senior members, and was City Hall’s former Protocol Officer.
A senior City Hall official stated yesterday that Orderson was questioned by a senior officer from the City Constabulary about the donation.
There were initial suggestions that the Chinese Embassy had made the donation to City Hall.
Orderson declined to confirm that he was questioned, but said that he would hold a press conference next Monday to respond to “all the inaccuracies” that are being made to “discredit” him and the Foundation.
In a release yesterday, the Global Friendship Foundation acknowledged “The receipt of a grant to the tune of US$40,000, which is the equivalent of $8 million, from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guyana.”
“This grant is being used to facilitate the undertaking of a number of enhancement and beautification projects in Guyana’s capital by the Global Friendships Foundation in collaboration with the Embassy of the PRC.”
“The Foundation which enjoys positive alliances and functional cooperation with a number of embassies and foreign missions in Guyana holds itself to the highest ethical standards, and was very distressed and unhappy to learn of suggestions in some quarters that the US$40,000 grant was misplaced, could not be accounted for, or was intended for another agency.
“These assertions are furthest from the truth, and is with malicious intent to cause harm and bring into disrepute the good name and high standing of the members of the foundation both individually and collectively,” the release stated.
“To make it pellucid, the GFF is publicly stating that it is collaborating with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guyana, and is keeping the Embassy apprised of all developments.
“It shall inform the public at the appropriate time when the projects are completed, of the works that were done and the benefits to be derived by the various communities. The Foundation is properly managing the grant and shall be providing comprehensive financial reports to the Embassy which is its funding agency for this project.
“The Embassy has expressed its satisfaction and approval with the systems and arrangements in place.
“The Foundation wishes to reiterate the fact that it is a totally independent non- governmental organization and is in no way affiliated with, governed by, or answerable to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown, or any other organization or entity.
“It is an independent organization run by volunteers who are totally committed to bringing together people through culture, sport, and education and carrying work and projects for the betterment of the society.”
Kaieteur News is in possession of letters that former Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green had sent to Waynewright Orderson, in which Green had expressed concern about how the grant was being used.
Green had suggested that some of the funds be used to enhance and illuminate the Lodge Community Ground.
The former Mayor had described himself of “the patron” of the Foundation, but has subsequently disassociated himself from the Foundation.
In one letter dated May 12, 2016 to Orderson, former Mayor Green stated: “You confirmed during a conversation in April that the cheque has since been cleared, and therefore, available to you and the GFF.
“Efforts to obtain from you what proposal or projects were proposed for the utilization of these funds proved futile, but you claimed as recent as yesterday, and again today, 12th May, 2016, that you have submitted proposals to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, but you could not furnish the details since your computer was impounded at City Hall and therefore, could not retrieve the said information.
“On checking again with the People’s Republic of China Official, they confirmed as recent as mid-morning today that they are not in receipt of any proposal or project for the utilization of these funds from the Global Friendship Foundation.”
Responding to Green, Orderson had lauded the former Mayor’s proposal, but said that the playground project would “all but exhaust” most of the China grant.
Instead, Orderson said that the Foundation “prefers to…include as many areas and projects as possible, rather than a singular venture, which would result in the benefits being enjoyed by a wider spread of communities and citizens.”
The response led former Mayor Hamilton Green to state to the Foundation’s Vice-President, Amanda Rafeek that “it is now apparent that the foundation has launched out, on its own program and process, inconsistent with its original mandate.
“As such, be informed that I hereby ask to disassociate myself with the foundation, and subject to any advice from you, I will inform potential donors and the public of my decision.”
Green had also sent copies of his letters to the Commissioner of Police.
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