Kaieteur News – Every educated lay person has a tiny bit of knowledge about contract law. I signed contracts for 26 years as a UG lecturer so I know UG was wrong to arbitrarily terminate my UG contract in December 2011.
Donald Ramotar was the president at the time. But I chose protocol over self-interest when he was the guest on the Gildarie-Freddie Kissoon Show and did not raise the issue. What the British High Commissioner (BHC) told Timothy Tucker about contract law in relation to his visitor’s visa is not right legally.
Timothy Tucker is no invisible, ordinary citizen. He is a big voice in the business community where he heads the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry. If Mr. Tucker cannot get a visitor’s visa from the BHC then no one in Guyana can obtain a visitor’s visa.
Mr. Tucker told me since June he applied and he and his family could not enjoy a holiday in the UK because he has not heard from VFS Global, UK Office on Cummings Street as yet.
Mr. Tucker gave me permission to quote him after we spoke over my Tuesday column on the BHC’s mistreatment of Guyanese citizens. Since he did not hear back from VFS after months, he spoke to the BHC. She told him, VFS is an independent company and she cannot intervene.
That is misleading and the BHC should apologise to Mr. Tucker. That is not the way contract law operates. When the US contracted out services in Afghanistan, it terminated many such contracts after the companies were in violation of the terms of agreement. The most infamous case was the security firm of “Blackwater Worldwide.”
VFS is contracted by the British Government to handle visa applications. The contract to do so must involve an exit clause. It must state grounds for termination. The company has to abide by UK requirements.
Is the BHC telling Guyanese that if VFS on Cummings Street is delinquent and doesn’t open its offices for weeks, the BHC cannot do anything about that? Is the BHC telling Guyanese that if VFS says that you cannot wear purple tops to enter the office, the BHC cannot do anything about that?
Is the BHC unable to act if in the VFS office there is a poster justifying slavery? So is the BHC telling Guyanese that the contract with VFS Global is one-sided and does not allow for intervention by the BHC? There is an inherent UK interest in the contract with BHC that compels the BHC to act if VFS is misrepresenting the values the UK stands for.
In fact, on the door on VFS is a tiny poster pasted at the bottom that says: “Welcome to the UK.” I did not mention in my Tuesday column that I went up to the door of VFS and gave the security rank a note to the head of VFS.
The note contained my cell number and informed the gentleman that I will be writing about VFS and I would like him to make contact with me. Fortunately, the VFS head was right at the door so I saw when the security rank gave him the note. I never heard from him.
I am assuming that since visa applicants’ communication with VFS is impossible then Mr. Tucker had to resort to speaking to the BHC. Since my Tuesday publication, I received many complaints from people about VFS.
One lady, who gave her name as Tiwari, said her son has not heard back from VFS since he made his application and classes have already started at the university he applied at.
Of course she cannot seek an explanation from VFS since VFS has no communication doors opened either by email or phone and as Timothy Tucker told me, the BHC said she cannot interfere with VFS because it is a private company.
In a forthcoming article, I will once more visit the foreign policy options of Guyana. Please see my article for Sunday, July 31, 2022, headlined: “Some foreign policy advice for President Ali.”
I will end with an encounter in my compound last Saturday. Three women came up to me as I was taking my dog out of the car. They said they are employed by a polling organisation and would like me to fill up a questionnaire. She read out the questions one of which was “Should Guyana have good relations with both the US and China?”
Obviously I answered in the affirmative. In that next column on the foreign policy directions of President Ali, I will sound some dire warnings. I end the way I did on Tuesday – China gives visas right here in Georgetown.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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