Aug 07, 2020 News Comments Off on Owner of Ocean View COVID Hospital now demands over $52M in rent
Controversial $1.6B Hospital…
Businessman and owner of the newly renovated $1.6B Ocean view hospital, Jacob Wilfred Rambarran, is threatening to take steps to repossess the property over rent monies to the tune of millions.
Rambarran has been silent for months about the arrangement while the previous A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) administration claimed to have expended over $1.6B to renovate and transform the building from a hotel into a infectious diseases hospital.
In fact, the entire negotiation between the owner of the hotel and the government was done in secret save for the sum expended to renovate the facility.
The APNU+AFC had initially claimed that the building was being rented from Rambarran but later issued a notice of compulsory acquisition for the property.
However, in breaking his silence yesterday, the businessman in a letter to the new government, through his Attorney R. Satram, is now saying that he never entered into negotiations with the former government for the compulsory acquisition of the property.
As such, Rambarran said that the notice should be treated as unconstitutional and ineffective in law.
In the letter dated August 6, 2020, the businessman said that as the owner and sole shareholder of the Ocean View Hotel Limited, he is demanding the new Government pay all arrears of rent due amounting to over $52M within 14 days of the date of the letter, failing which he will terminate the existing tenancy and take steps to recover possession of the property.
According to the correspondence addressed to Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, Rambarran explained that in early April he was approached by representatives of the Ministry of Health to lease the property for the purpose of establishing a facility to create the capacity to treat and otherwise deal with COVID-19 patients.
According to document, the health officials outlined an urgent need for the facility to accommodate the expected increase of COVID-19 cases as estimated by PAHO/WHO.
The hotel was then visited by a number of officials representing the State including doctors, engineers, officers of the Guyana Defence Force, staff of the Ministry of Public Health and members of the COVID-19 taskforce.
Subsequent to this, the letter noted that a tenancy agreement was reached with the Ministry of Health for one year at a monthly rental of $13M since, at the time, the government did anticipate that they would need the property beyond one year.
According to the letter, a lease was drafted following approval by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and other officials.
However, the letter outlined that after it was submitted to the Ministry of the Presidency it was never executed —no rent whatsoever, was ever paid to Rambarran.
According to the letter too, the Government later issued a notice of compulsory acquisition of the property, without entering into any negotiation of purchase with the businessman.
In light of the foregoing, Rambarran is claiming that the notice is unconstitutional and ineffective in law.
“You are respectfully reminded that Article 142 of the Constitution safeguards our client’s right to possession of his property. Our client demands the payment of all arrears of rent due within fourteen (14) days of the date of this letter, failing which he will terminate the tenancy and take steps to recover possession of the property,” the letter outlined.
The letter followed hours after the newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Anthony, described the recently-commissioned Ocean View Infectious Diseases Sanatorium as “an absolute disaster” even vowing that a full investigation will be carried out.
Dr. Anthony, moments after his appointment, told media representatives the Ocean View Hospital is “literally a shell”, adding that the previous administration merely refurbished a building but not much else.
“One would have thought that the facilities would have been there but what you have is a space and there is nothing else,” Dr. Anthony noted.
The newly appointed Health Minister also noted that even more alarming was the cost to equip the building.
Former Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, had put the price to acquire the needed equipment for the sanatorium at “three times” the $1.6 billion construction cost–something the new government would have to find.
Sep 18, 2020Guyanese Vivian Harris owns Restaurant in Florida By Sean Devers One of six boxers to win world titles for Guyana including the two females, Shondell Alfred and Gwendoline O’Neil, 42 year-old...
Sep 18, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 16, 2020
Sep 16, 2020
There is a letter in yesterday’s Stabroek News that all young scholars need to study and importantly contextualize the... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Once again, Guyana is causing regional and international worry following two sets of killings of young... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]