Dear Editor,The fourth National Budget for the APNU/AFC coalition Government was presented to the National Assembly despite the majority of the Guyanese population, through the Opposition Leader has declared no-confidence against the APNU/AFC administration for the mismanagement of affairs in GuyanaSince the 2011-2015 period when the APNU and the AFC were the combined opposition with a dangerous weapon of a parliamentary majority, they have used it deliberately and conveniently to take Guyana down the path of destruction. The combined opposition, during that period, who promised a good life and a better future, deliberately, by their vindictive actions destroyed the very foundation upon which they are presently collapsing now.How can people sleep at night knowing that they are guilty of not fulfilling the role the electorate gave them? During the 2011-2015 period the lack of support for major national development projects such as the Amailia Falls Hydroelectric plant, the CJIA expansion, Marriott hotel, a Specialty Hospital, the blocked security measures that would have prevented money laundering and many other measures that are contributing towards a failed APNU/AFC government.During this period the APNU/AFC/PNC was determined not to support any projects that would further enhance the popularity of the PPP/C, regardless of how much the entire nation stands to benefit.Unfortunately, the APNU/AFC coalition government can’t recover from their present collapse, despite presenting four consecutive budgets. We can conclude: From a destructive opposition to a failed Government.Your sincerely,Zamal Hussain
Dear Editor,Each time there is a sitting of the National Assembly, I would habitually take a walk to Demico House across the street, and to parts of Stabroek Market to interact with vendors and laborers during the lunch-break. I do this because I need to know how decisions we make in Parliament affect the lives of ordinary Guyanese. Very often they would comment that Ministers of Government are so aloof, they would never do what I’m doing until they’re campaigning for votes.This was evident when the entire Cabinet descended upon the Stabroek Market square, inviting vendors to “meet and greet your Minister” on Christmas Eve after they were earlier declared persona non grata.But they were scared from before. On the day of the No-confidence Motion, they were expecting thousands of supporters to amass in front of Parliament building, but only managed to scrape the barrel down to a disappointing hardcore few.Now that this elitist group of APNU+AFC Ministers need people, they’re now shamelessly asking them to come out in defence of the Government, the same Government that neglected them for three and a half years.Now we see Ministers dancing and partying with DJs when not too long ago, these same DJs were being hounded and forced to shut down the music by the 2:00 am curfew.The point has already been made by former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, other prominent lawyers and the Guyana Bar Association on the validity of the No-confidence Motion as it relates to Nigel Hughes’ fuzzy maths.I will only ask if those who now question the passage of this motion would have objected and demanded that Government needed 34 votes to defeat the motion had all 33 members of Government voted against it. I guarantee, this would never have happened and Nigel Hughes would not have come up with his jumbie equation to stir-up trouble.Immediately following the fall of the coalition Government, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo held a Press Conference in which he admitted that the opposition’s motion “was approved by a majority of all the elected members of the House.” This admission of defeat was echoed by President Granger and several Cabinet Ministers.Editor, you may recall that in 2014 Carl Greenidge, until recent, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview, that “because a no-confidence vote in the Government is a major issue over the performance of the Government, the behaviour of the Government and the breaking of the law by the Government, it needs to be followed by the resignation of the Government and the calling of national elections.” But I wonder if he shares the same view now.Despite previous admissions that the government has fallen, we’re now being told that Cabinet is looking at the legal implications, and is likely to go to court to seek a reversal of the no-confidence vote taken in favor of the Parliamentary Opposition. The audacity of this Government to still have Cabinet meetings, flies in the face of Article 106 (6) of our Constitution which explicitly directs the entire Cabinet to resign.Article 106 (6) of our Constitution is unambiguous. It clearly states that “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.” This government has fallen, the President, the Cabinet and rest of Ministers must resign now! And since the APNU+AFC are so convinced that they have done great things for Guyana and its people, they should have no problem calling new elections now.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP/C Member ofParliament
The demolished Dread Shop structureDemolition of “Dread shop”In a press release by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) on Friday, it was indicated that the demolition of the 48-year-old business known as “Dread Shop” at the Stabroek Square, Georgetown, did not breach any court order.According to the release, the “Dread shop” was an unlawfully erected formation, as it fell within the district of the “council area” as stated under the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01. It was stated that numerous reports were made to the M&CC, alleging the involvement of immoral activities being permitted at and around the entity.The M&CC’s statement highlighted that notice to vacate the premises was given to the “Dread Shop’s” owners by the council in ample time. It was then the proprietors began engaging the courts without informing Council. Thus the Mayor and City Council contended they were never restrained by any court order, since they were not involved in any proceedings pertaining to this matter.It was further highlighted that had the council been aware of an existing court order against the removal of the illegal structure; they would have abided by the judicial orders.Proprietor of the business Anthony Forde’s lawyer Nigel Hughes however, had accused City Hall of disobeying the court order. According to Hughes, the dispute over the “dread shop” is presently ongoing in the Court.“This has got to be the most outrageous act I’ve seen in a long time because [the matter is] actively going to mediation on the recommendation of the Court of Appeal and then they failed to turn up at the mediation and the Court of Appeal still has conduct of this matter and they believe they can disregard this act,” Hughes posited.The attorney explained that after he called the City Engineer on Thursday afternoon, Town Clerk Royston King then confirmed that demolition had indeed happened.“I believe that where people decide that they are not going to obey the law of the land and where they are not going to obey the outcomes of the court proceedings to deal with this particular piece of property then we are in a very dangerous state,” the attorney had posited.Hughes had further said: “There is a dispute right now between Mr Patterson’s Ministry and the City Council about who actually owns this square because it was donated by the Russell family [while] the Ministry [of Public Infrastructure] claims it is their territory and the city council claims it is their territory.”Meanwhile, also slated for demolition is the nearby “Island Snackette” which has been in operation for a similar time.Proprietor Abeola Fung told this newspaper that her family has invested “millions of dollars” to improve the standard of the business. They claimed that City Hall said their structure will also be torn down. Fung further related that some years ago City Hall had approved a plan for rehabilitation works to their structure.City Hall has been relocating vendors and stall owners in a move it said will see a transformation of the Stabroek Market Square. While some vendors have welcomed the change, others have protested the short-shrift initiatives of City Council, viewing them as “unfair” and “uncaring”.
Breached Mahaicony DamAfter two months of flooding in the backlands of Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, the lives of farmers and residents are stabilising as the major sections of the breached dam along Perth Canal has been sealed,The state of the breached dam at Strath Campbell on May 12according to farmers.Farmers on Wednesday explained that most of the water has now receded their farmlands.According to information, the two major breaches mainly responsible for the flooding have been sealed by the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary-Agricultural Developmental Authority (MMA-ADA) and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) after Guyana Times had highlighted the issue.This publication was told that other sections of the dam considered as ‘low areas’ will also be built up to prevent overtopping by the Mahaicony River during high tides.One farmer who expressed satisfaction over the corrective works, have however cautioned that the current rainy weather signals that the recent rehabilitation is “temporary” and noted follow-up rehabilitation works would be needed in the dry weather.He opined that this entire situation could have been prevented if officials of the MMA-ADA had heeded earlier pleas of farmers who had stated that the prolonged period of dry weather was ideal for the breaches to be sealed.On Sunday Guyana Times reported that MMA-ADA General Manager Aubrey Charles as saying that the breaches were almost sealed. Charles had also related that the MMA-ADA would have assessed other sections of the ‘quick dam’ on the Perth Canal to ensure that the level of any “low sections” would be raised to prevent water from the Mahaicony River spilling over and cause more flooding.Charles opined that after these works are complete, any additional flooding would be as a result of new breaches along the dam.It was only Friday last that Guyana Times reported that the unsealed breeches caused some amount of flooding to recur.It was on May 20 that MMA-ADA had undertaken initiatives to ensure the rehabilitation of major breaches along the Perth Canal after Guyana Times reported on the plight of farmers in the area.The MMA-ADA general manager had explained that the spring tide overflow caused soil erosion which facilitated the widening of the breaches, occasioning the severe flooding.The dam at Perth Canal was rehabilitated some seven months ago when dry weather had prevailed but it collapsed shortly after. Farmers had lamented the fact that they suffered significant losses as they had the expensive undertaking of pumping water out of fields.
Victoria double murderDouble murder accused Cyon “Picture Boy” Collier is once again on trial at the High Court on charges in relation to the murder of two brothers.Double murder accused Cyon “Picture Boy” CollierCollier is before Justice Priya Beharry-Sewnarine and a mixed Demerara Assizes jury charged with the murder of brothers Ray Walcott and Carl Andrews, who were fatally shot on September 23, 2006, at Victoria Four Corner, East Coast Demerara. The trial commenced on Tuesday, and continues today.This is the third trial the accused is facing for the double murder after the previous trials ended with the jury being unable to arrive at a unanimous verdict.In his previous trials, Collier was called upon to lead his defence and he offered unsworn statements from the dock, claiming that he was “innocent of this crime”. The accused claimed that he was in Linden when the two brothers were killed.He reiterated his claims that he was kicked repeatedly to his scrotum, causing him to suffer from hydrocele, and forced to confess to the crime which he knew nothing about.Collier also faced another murder trial in 2014 and was found not guilty of the murder of Chandrapaul Persaud, 34, who was fatally shot in an armed robbery at Nonpareil, East Coast Demerara, on September 30, 2006.Persaud had just exited his vehicle at his residence when he was attacked. He was shot by one of three gunmen.In that trial, the Court heard that around 18:50h three men entered Persaud’s premises armed with guns and robbed his family of jewellery and money.One of the men then shot him dead. The wife of the deceased later identified the shooter as Collier.
Banks DIH Limited has honoured 24 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) students, whose parents are employees and shareholders with the company. The simple ceremony was held at the sports club of Thirst Park, Georgetown on Saturday.The children were all seated with their faces agleam with excitement and their proud parents besides them.Banks DIH communications manager Troy Peters disclosed during the ceremony that the bursary awards are an important event on the company’s calendar of activities since it demonstrates the commitment to the educational development of their shareholders and employees children.The bursary awardees along with Banks DIH Ltd officals at the Award ceremonyPeters told the children that they are being rewarded for the sacrifices they have made but also pointed out that this is just another stage of their educational pursuit. He encouraged them to keep climbing the ladder of success.He further added that Banks DIH recognises the sacrifices and dedication of parents and guardians, teachers and all the other persons who have contributed to the success of the awardees.Delivering the feature address was engineering executive of Banks DIH Gavin Todd, who was once an awardee himself and a recipient of a D’ Aguiar scholarship in 1989. He urged the students to continue striving for success: “Today Banks DIH Limited is joining with your loved ones saying thanks to you for showing us your potential strengths and potentials. We honour you with bursaries which will, among other things, assist you in secondary school over the next five years. We assemble so that we can reflect on your performances and importantly encourage you to think or even dream of much more successes.”He challenged the students who felt they could have got more out of their efforts but did not, to prove themselves and when the next opportunity presents itself. He noted that the success will be “sweeter”.“All of your next big date five years from now will go a far way towards shaping your future and that is why I am telling you today that the start is now. Go into that mould from which you will emerge with more success.” Todd encouraged.He further explained that Secondary School life will be a mixture of much fun and lasting memories but it must be punctuated with very serious work.
Vendor Savitree Persaud (partially hidden)Come what may, rain or shine, vendors in the Anna Regina Market, Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam) remain optimistic that things will improve and that their lives will get better.This belief motivates the many vendors to turn out daily even though they lament that business is not as profitable as in previous years.Many of the businesses have faced challenges over the past few months, as the Anna Regina Town Council, in efforts to create a more conducive environment for vending, have dismantled stalls and displaced many vendors; however they continue to vend with their makeshift stalls.A visit to the busy market on Friday revealed that business started later than usual, as it takes extra effort and time for the vendors to assemble their makeshift stalls before organising their items for sale.According to vendor Savitree Persaud there are too many vendors and less customers. Persaud sells fruits and vegetables and explained that business for her is very slow and not profitable: “Nothing is happening, people not buying, things so slow, everyone think Friday money will roll but nothing selling, noting doing.”Another clothes and food vendor Cora Coates explained that she was forced to merge two stalls into one in an effort to meet her needs; she also blamed the recent action of the council for her present hardship.Coates also pointed out that business is very slow and blamed it, in part, on the struggling economy. She said that many persons continue to vend under the circumstances so that they can earn an honest living and provide for their family.Another vendor Jenifer (only name given) who sells only on Fridays explained her business is very slow and attributed this to the struggling rice industry: “Imagine it is midday and nothing aint sell. I didn’t even sell $1500 yet, and I have to hire a car to go to the market; this year it really hard.”Like other vendors, Maylene Nurse and a Ms Walcott said that their businesses are in trouble. Walcott related that she is exercising patience and hoping for this best. Nurse has been vending over 40 years and described this year as the slowest in terms of sales.Many vendors blame the slow business on the sluggish rice industry. Many of them have called on government to stimulate the industry by offering some form of incentives/assistance to rice farmers so that the industry may continue to flourish and boost the Region Two economy.Better price for rice farmers means more business for local investors, were the chorus of the vendors.
Hip-Co King Takun J is headlining a new track hitting the airwaves this week that is pushing the envelope and tapping the consciousness of Liberian youth with the anti-corruption message. The song “Gbagba Is Corruption” is based on the children’s book Gbagba written by Robtel Neajai Pailey, illustrated by Chase Walker, and published by One Moore Book (OMB). The track forms part of a grant Pailey secured from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to pilot Gbagba in schools across Liberia with an initial donation of 1,500 books. Takun J was commissioned under the grant to write and record the song. Grant implementer One Moore Book (OMB), which publishes culturally sensitive children’s books for countries with low literacy rates, plans to disseminate copies of Gbagba to 10 rural schools this year, as well as monitor the implementation of a teacher’s guide developed in consultation with Liberia’s Ministry of Education.“Gbagba Is Corruption” joins the canon of anti-corruption songs popularised by politically conscious musicians such as Takun J, who blends Liberian colloquialisms with Hip-hop beats. He was an obvious ally in bringing the children’s book Gbagba to a wider audience. Now played on radio stations in Liberia, with a strong online presence across the globe, “Gbagba Is Corruption” is also available for free download at the OMB website, www.onemoorebook.com.OSIWA, which focuses on governance and transparency issues in West Africa, has funded the Gbagba pilot because it “believes the fight against corruption needs to start with teaching children the values of accountability and integrity, which opens the space for an honest discussion of how corruption adversely affects them in their homes, schools, local communities, and within the national landscape on a broader scale.”Gbagba, meaning ‘trickery’ in the Bassa language, was published to critical acclaim in 2013 as part of OMB’s Liberia Signature Series. It was subsequently launched in Monrovia, Liberia in February 2013 at the University of Liberia; Washington, DC (USA) in November 2013 at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS); and London, England in December 2013 at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).A Liberian writer and researcher, Pailey said: “I wrote Gbagba because I wanted to start a ‘revolution from below’ by giving children the verbal tools to question the confusing ethical codes of the adults around them.” Since its publication, the anti-corruption children’s primer has been adopted by the Liberian Ministry of Education as a supplemental reader for 3rd to 5th graders.Gbagba has been featured in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune, The Washington Informer Newspaper, Voice of America, Pacifica Radio’s ‘Africa Now!’, Vox Africa’s ‘Shoot the Messenger’, Transparency International’s UK blog, and the Royal African Society’s blog.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Medical experts are of the opinion that Monrovia’s West Point, congested with over 100,000 residents, including fishermen and women and children, could be potential targets for the deadly Ebola virus.But the fishermen and women in the borough have told the Daily Observer that since the outbreak of the deadly virus, situation of its spread in the slum community has not yet become prevalent.A dozen of the fishermen and women told our reporter that amidst their unending plight and misery, they believe the God of Heaven will continue to protect them from the deadly Ebola virus.However, some of the fishermen and women were quick to clarify that a week ago some dependants of the fishermen and women in the crowded community have died of suspected Ebola cases.They (fishermen and women) declined to state specifically the number of Ebola casualties.Owing to the grim picture of the situation, fishermen and women noted that they were earnestly praying that such calamity would not visit their crowded community in Monrovia.The fishermen and women, most of them in a worried but hopeful mood, sounded urgent calls on the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and global partners to place top priority on the slum and deprived communities in Monrovia and its environs.“Don’t bring bad luck on us in this crowded community that has remained relatively an Ebola free zone in Monrovia,” the fishermen and women warned.“It is indeed our prayer and supplication that our nation will once more be resurrected from the shackles of the deadly Ebola virus that has claimed so many lives,” the fishermen and women pleaded.In separate interviews with leaders of the West Point Fishermen and women Association, they appealed to the medical and financial global partners to consider all slum and deprived communities in Monrovia as their main focus.West Point Fishermen and women Chairperson Darlington Blamo called on the Liberian Government and global health partners to step up a vigorous Ebola virus awareness campaign in all slum and deprived communities in greater Monrovia.“We need a large number of the Kiosk buckets, chlorine and other critically needed medical gears for health workers and other support partners in fight against the deadly Ebola virus in West Point and other areas in Monrovia,” Mr. Blamo pleaded.He further explained that immediately following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, “we strongly advised our fishermen not to make any attempt to go fishing at the moment in the deep sea.In an instant encounter with an 88-year-old woman of the West Point Community on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, she sounded a passionate appeal to the MOHSW and other global partners in the fight against the Ebola virus to not neglect the slum communities in Monrovia.“I do not want my grand and great grand children to die as a result of the deadly Ebola virus that has engulfed the nation on nearly every front in the country,” Madam Dekontee Wesseh Blamo cried out.The octogenarian Madam Blamo, who speaks relatively good English, also appealed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Cabinet to once visit the West Point Community and evaluate the challenges, constraints and progress.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
CICA Motors Liberia Incorporated formerly Reelin (Liberia) Inc., the distributor of TOYOTA, YAMAHA and BRIDGESTONE Products in Liberia, has donated two brand new vehicles, Land Cruiser Ambulance and HINO truck to the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) to fight the deadly virus in Liberia. The total cost of the two vehicles is put at US$97,000.CICA Motors Liberia Incorporated is the Liberian subsidiary of the CFAO Automotive Group in France and Liberia’s exclusive distributor of the world-famous Toyota brand. The company sells broad range of cars, including commercial.Presenting the vehicles to the LNRCS yesterday, the Managing Director of CICA MOTORS LIBERIA, Mr. Marc Boisgarnier said the vehicles was intended to be used by the LNRCS’ Ebola response.He said when CFAO group first took over REELIN last December; nobody knew that the country would be faced with such an epidemic.Mr. Boisgarnier: “No one told me that I will have to wash my hands and take my temperature every day. In fact, nobody could imagine that hundreds of people would have die and continue to die of the virus.”The director of CICA Motors Liberia asserted that Ebola is a virus that can be everywhere; it is a virus that requires a lot of energy and means to fight against it.“That is why we decided locally to contribute in donating these two vehicles to the Red Cross in its fight,” he added.According to him, the LNRCS is good customer of the company. It usually purchases vehicles and motorcycles from them (CICA). He stated that being aware of the work LNRCS is involved in on the field, “We decided to donate these two vehicles to the entity. We are sure that these vehicles which are known for their durability will accomplish the nature of their work,” he added. The manager of CICA Motors further disclosed that TOYOTA MOTORS CORPORATION, which manufactured the vehicles also decided to contribute directly to this fight against Ebola. He disclosed that would make more vehicle donations in the coming weeks under the name of TOYOTA.“We are proud that our group also decided to do some donations to Guinea and Sierra Leone because if we do not fight in all the terrain where the epidemic is, we will have less chance to win,” said CICA Motors boss.Receiving the keys to the vehicles, the president of the Liberia National Red Cross Society, Mr. Emmanuel O. Kparh, thanked CICA Motors Liberia for the gesture, saying, it could not have been no other time for the vehicles than now, when they are going to be essential to the Ebola fight.“The Red Cross is very pleased with the donation made by the CICA family and these vehicles will be used to help remove Ebola dead bodies from communities and other areas for burial,” Mr. Kaprh said.The Liberia Red Cross president said the entity is doing all it can to help government fight the deadly Ebola disease.Meanwhile, District # 13 Representative Saah Joseph said the anti-Ebola campaign is not about who wins but it is about Liberians working together.Rep. Joseph stated that the business community, too, is equally doing all it can to ensure that the virus is kick out of Liberia.He told the gathering that he will remain committed to the Ebola fight.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)