February 25, 2018

Archives for January 2018

‘They want people to give up hope and migrate’

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday urged scores of sugar workers and their families not to lose hope, but to continue to struggle alongside the People’s Progressive Party to secure the freedoms and gains which they have worked and toiled for over the past two and a half decades.
Jagdeo, addressing a crowd at Enterprise Community Centre on the East Coast of Demerara, disclosed that the Government had begun unveiling parts of a systematic plan to undermine the support base of the Opposition with the aim of changing the demographics of the country.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing sugar workers and their families at Enterprise Community Centre

He said that if the Government’s plan succeeded and people lost hope in those communities that were devastated and adversely affected by the decision to reduce the sugar industry and eventually close it, then Guyana’s future would be jeopardised.
“I warned on the campaign trail that this would have happened and it’s happening now…They want us to lose hope and to give up on the industry…they want people to migrate…so that they will (be able to) change the demographics of this country,” Jagdeo explained to the audience.
The Opposition Leader laid the blame for the woes being faced by 4763 workers squarely at the feet of President David Granger.
Jagdeo contended that the decision to fire thousands of workers without a clear plan was “not necessary” as he insisted that it was motivated by political ideology.
“I can’t find any other reason outside of the fact that they want people to migrate and change the voting pattern,” he also contended as he questioned why it was so hard for the Government to utilise one per cent of its budget to keep the industry going as it looked for solutions to deal with the problems facing the industry.
“But they wanted to shut down sugar,” Jagdeo remarked.
Cutting wastage
Jagdeo, who was Guyana’s longest-serving President, chided Granger for allegedly peddling lies and distortions about the amount of assistance and subsidy that were granted to the industry under the previous Administration and by his own Government.
“Granger inflated the subsidy by 32 billion and I pointed out that since they took office, the subsidy has increased three-fold…they put in about 10.5 billion over the past three years, yet in those years sugar workers did not receive a salary increase…they cancelled the (Annual Production Incentive) API and that’s why I called for an audit of the money that went into the industry…,” he explained.
The Opposition Leader was adamant that the Government could find the money to pay the workers now by simply cutting the wastage of taxpayers’ monies on providing Government Ministers and functionaries with the ‘good and luxurious life’.
He dismissed the excuses made by Government as “nonsense”.
“Nagamootoo’s budget grew from 3.3 million for discretionary use…105 million in this year’s budget…that alone leaving out the 400 million we spend on his ministry that does absolutely nothing…personally per month we spend over 10 million on him alone in all of the cost…,” Jagdeo maintained as he told Enterprise residents that “they (Government) can tomorrow find the money…the money is there ….”
The Opposition Leader also advised residents that the Government could have easily passed a supplementary financial paper for $5 billion and pay workers’ severance.
“… but they are turning their own supporters against sugar workers and even our own supporters …. it is a clever strategy, but they want people to beg” as he explained that the Government saw no difficulty with spending millions of dollars on the importation of luxurious vehicles and other facilities, but could not see the need to pay ordinary, hardworking sugar workers their benefits.
“This is where the money is going … this is a wanton waste of resources,” he remarked.
“This is about punishing sugar workers, because they hope that we will just give up on this country, but we are not going to give up…the day we give up, there will be no future for this country and that is why we have to keep struggling to get the kind of country that we want…,” Jagdeo insisted.
The Opposition Leader’s meeting came at a time when scores of workers across the country are complaining about the hardship they are made to face as a result of being unemployed and without an income to sustain their families.

“Shine Buck” jailed for life for raping minor

…“I see no basis for showing you mercy” – Judge tells accused

Following a series of attacks on a young victim, Rohan Daniels, a logger, also known as “Shine Buck” was on Wednesday evening found guilty on two counts of sexual activity with a child family member by a 12-member jury at the High Court. The panel deliberated for about three hours and they were tasked with handing a verdict on four separate counts of child sex activity.

Guilty! Logger Rohan Daniels was found guilty on two counts of child sexual activity

An 11-1 proportion found him guilty on the first count and a proportion of 10-2 determined that he was guilty on the third count. However, on the second count, the jury was unable to return a formal verdict (9-3 proportion), while he was unanimously found not guilty on the fourth count.
According to the particulars of the first and fourth counts for which he was found guilty, “Shine Buck” between April 12 and 13, 2014, and July 23, 2016 performed vaginally penetrative acts on the minor. She was between 10 and 13 years old during the span of the attacks.
After hearing the jury’s decision, Daniels with a stony appearance was unrepentant when the court enquired if he had anything to say. “I am not guilty of this act; that’s all, thank you,” the soon to be convicted man related.
A relative of the Virtual Complainant read out the girl’s statement in court where the child outlined that she lives in discomfort and harbours difficulty relating to males. According to the victim, since the sexual abuse, she often has nightmares and bad dreams with constant flashbacks of the harrowing attacks inflicted upon her. She said she does not play with friends and spends much time self-harming herself.
“I want him to go away for life and I want him to die there; he will be judged by God. I want all men when they see people’s girl children, they must leave them alone,” the victim stressed.
“I feel messed up about what happened to me,” she added. During the trial, it was highlighted that the victim’s mother had walked in when one of the illegal acts were being committed.
In handing down the sentence, Sexual Offences Court Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall observed that she considered the nature of the offences, the circumstances under which the acts were committed and that the accused violated the child in the presence of other siblings and also when the victim’s mother was away at work.
Justice Ramlall stressed that Daniels expressed no remorse after being found guilty and said she saw no basis for the court to show him mercy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for each count and the prison terms will run concurrently. The accused who attempted to shield his face with a book while being led away by Police will at the very least spend the next 40 years behind bars before he has the chance to be paroled.

2 Guyanese among 46 arrested during immigration crackdown in NY

Two Guyanese were among 46 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in western New York, targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and other immigration violators.
According to the ICE agency, one of the Guyanese is a 46-year-old female with convictions for forgery and larceny. She will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of her removal proceedings.

The other Guyanese has been identified a 23-year-old male with convictions for driving while ability impaired and harassment, following his arrest for menacing with a weapon. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
The arrestees (35 men and 11 women) included nationals from 16 countries including Guatemala, Cuba, Mexico, Thailand, Somalia, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Israel, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Honduras, Belize, Guyana, Sierra Leone and India.
Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), 23 offenders, or 50 per cent, had prior criminal convictions. Of the 23 non-criminal immigration violators, four are fugitives and six illegally re-entered the country after being deported.
“Operations like this one demonstrate ICE’s continued focus on the arrest of dangerous criminal aliens as well as those who enter the United States illegally,” said Thomas Feeley, field office director for ERO Buffalo, which covers 48 counties in western, central and northern New York State. “Illegal aliens will not find safe harbor in New York.”
According to the ICE agency, some of the individuals arrested during the enforcement action will be presented for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country.
Individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.

‘Farewell party’ turns into deadly final goodbye

…as 2 dead, 2 critical following accident

What was a bittersweet celebration for four close friends turned into a final goodbye for two of them when they met their demise following an accident at Cornelia Ida, on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) late Tuesday night.
Twenty-six-year-old father of one, Romel Henry, of Lot 20 Second Street, Windsor Forest, WCD and 26-year-old route 32-minibus conductor, Doesh Sukhu of Lot 12 Gap Road, La Jalousie, WCD were both pronounced dead on arrival at the West Demerara Regional Hospital at around 00:30h on Wednesday.

Dead: Romel Henry

Dead: Doesh Sukhu

It is reported that the duo were out drinking with two other friends; one of whom was expected to leave Guyana on Wednesday to permanently reside in the USA.
According to the Police, investigations so far reveals that at around 23:30h on Tuesday, motor car PSS 413 driven by 25-year-old Mohammed Zahirulla Osman of Pakistan Street, La Jalousie with occupants Henry, Sukhu and 29-year-old Rajendra Nandalall of 58 Third Street, Windsor Forest, was proceeding East along the northern carriageway of the Corneila Ida Public Road, when Osman lost control of the vehicle.
After losing control of the vehicle, it crashed into a fence followed by a lamppost before coming to a halt in a yard on the northern side of the road.
The driver and the occupants were rushed to West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) where Henry and Sukhu were pronounced dead on arrival. While Nandalall was treated and sent away, Osman was transferred to Woodlands Hospital where he is a patient under guard.
When Guyana Times International visited the scene of the accident, it was cleared of all debris and residents reported seeing or hearing no accident.
Sukhu’s father, Paul Persaud, related that he got a call at around 00:30h and immediately rushed to the WDRH where he saw his only son’s lifeless body.
“I went to the Hospital and when I went there they tell me to identify the body. It was the two of them, I identified it, and the doctors said that he died on arrival. His body was smooth but no major damage but the back of his head was bleeding,” he related.
“He went with a friend who was scheduled to leave the country last night and they went and have couple beers and they were heading back,” he added.
The elder Sukhu further stated that the Police are yet to inform the family of their findings despite repeated requests. He also explained that his son is a farmer and part-time minibus conductor.
The grieving father said he lived alone with his son and describes him as a humble, peaceful and kind individual.
Meanwhile, Henry’s mother, Saleta Parbudin, said she is unaware of the circumstances surrounding her son’s death since information is not forthcoming.
“I don’t know what time (I received the call) but my cousin called me and said that my nephew ah come with this car to come collect you to go collect Rome at CI (Cornelia Ida). When they carry me, there is no Rome and they carry me to Best (WDRH). I didn’t get to see my son. I hear they said two persons dead already so me say ‘weh meh son?’ ‘Me want see meh son’ and me start scream and me run to the door at the Best Hospital and meh brother and boujee (sister-in-law) bring me home back and me nah get fuh see meh son, till today (Wednesday) meh nah get fuh see meh son,” the grieving mother related.
Fighting back tears, Parbudin added that her son came home from lunch around midday on Tuesday and went back out to his barbershop and never returned home.
Relatives who identified Henry’s body said the young man’s body was badly mangled and suspected his entire left shoulder and leg were broken. They said he also had a gaping hole to the side of his head.
Henry leaves to mourn his wife and nine-month-old son.
Both bodies are at the Ezekiel Funeral Parlour awaiting post-mortem examinations which are expected to be performed on Friday. Police investigations are ongoing.

AFC Exec Member lands in trouble again

…charged for assaulting plantain chip vendor

Embattled Executive Member of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Abel Seetaram on Wednesday appeared at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court charged with illegally wounding his cousin, who is a plantain chip vendor.

Embattled AFC executive
Abel Seetaram

It is alleged that on Sunday, January 21 at Number 11 Village, West Coast Berbice, Seetaram wounded Nateram Rabindranauth.
Magistrate Rhondel Weaver granted Seetaram bail in the sum of G$100,000 on the felonious wounding charge and ordered that he returns to court on February 7, 2018.
It had been reported that the two men had an altercation which led to the incident. It was also reported that Seetaram and his son inflicted a series of blows on the father of one. The embattled politician’s wife was also part of the fracas.
On May 30, 2016, Seetaram was fired from his post as Special Representative to the Prime Minister. Back then, a release was issued stating that the Office of the Prime Minister has “terminated with immediate effect the services of Abel Seetaram as Regional Representative of the Office of the Prime Minister for Region 5”.
Reports are that his firing came on the heels of comments he made on social media, where he lashed out at the AFC for “disrespecting him” after members of the party held an outreach without including him.
He was also involved in another incident a few days before which saw him crashing a new and expensive Government-owned vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.
Reports are that on May 8, 2016, Seetaram allegedly lost control of the vehicle and rammed it into the fence of a businessman. He was subsequently charged with being an unlicensed driver, dangerous driving and breach of insurance.
It is alleged that it was not the first time he has been involved in such a situation which resulted after he became intoxicated.

A direct correlation between crime and unemployment in Guyana

Dear Editor,
Wherever you go in the country and speak to business people, large and small, you will be told the same thing: business has slowed to a stop. Many small businesses have been closing their doors because of the fall in people’s purchasing power.
This is a clear indication that the economy has stagnated and is even in decline. Thousands are losing their jobs daily.
The current news reports are mainly focused on the tragedy of the sugar workers, thousands of whom have been sent home even without severance pay. This is by far the worst incident of job losses. Another demonstration of this is the regime’s disregard for our laws.
However, many workers and self-employed small loggers in the timber industry were also pushed out of employment. This was caused by the Barama Company having almost totally closed. The BaiShanLin company was forced out of business, leaving hundreds unemployed. The impact is felt all over.
Some stores in Georgetown have had to lay off workers, while others have had to stagger them. This is creating under-employment. Many are not able to find work for the whole week.
Even the gold sector, where some growth in income was registered, is seeing a contraction in employment. Big companies have laid off persons, while small miners and even some medium scale operators have been pushed out of the industry. This is due to the withdrawal of duty-free concessions to them for machinery and equipment which they had enjoyed under the PPP/C Administration.
So much for the Government’s talk about small business growth. All hogwash! People are hurting seriously.
However, there is one area that has been experiencing some significant growth, security guards. A run through of the press since the “Change” took place would show this. More new security companies have come on the scene. They have been advertising for guards. This is practically the only form of employment in our country today which is growing.
Some of the security companies that were advertising include Professional Guard Services Inc., R.K. Security, Queensway Security Services Inc., Delta Security Services, BAMS Security Service, GEB Security to name a few. These companies have had several advertisements.
Outside of the security companies, many companies have been advertising for their own security guards. Some big companies — such as Caribbean Containers; National Hardware; Puran Brothers, some private hospitals, banks, etc. and those who can afford, have been employing watchmen for their homes.
Added to this is the growth of the Guyana Police Force. A look at the papers shows reports that for September 2016, some 57 persons were recruited; for December 2016, some 225 law enforcement officers graduated; March 2017, some 85 persons were recruited for a course; June 2017, another 183 were added to the Force; in November 2017, a further 133 ranks were added.
The 2018 National Budget saw employment and local travel and subsistence costs were G$7.7 billion and G$1.1 billion respectively. This grew significantly from 2014, when the figures were G$4.3 billion and G$0.7 billion respectively.
These figures confirm what we all know: that crime has risen exponentially under this APNU/AFC regime. It has been responsible for almost all the new jobs since this regime took power.
Despite the huge jump in security personnel, police, army and private security, the crime rate continues to escalate.
It is known universally that there is a direct correlation between crime and unemployment. With the huge rise in unemployment due to the dismissal of thousands, it is expected that the negative impact on the economy would be great. The stagnation is growing into a recession. This is a very serious situation caused by sheer incompetence and the discriminatory practices of the regime.
It is time the regime reverse its anti-workers and anti-business stance and create jobs in the productive sector of the economy.
As important as security is, such a situation tells of a country in decline.
Sincerely,
Donald Ramotar
Former President

Contradictions and inconsistencies in Govt’s public information policy

Dear Editor,
“We expect ExxonMobil will try to rob us as much as they can, so it is now on us to figure out how best we can defeat them. It is a waste of time at this point saying that they can rob us. That is ABC. That is known. Let us start looking for solutions and safeguards. It is useful in this regard to point out the errors made by other countries and how we can be able to do better.”
This quote is taken from the lead story in the media, and the comment is attributed to Presidential Advisor Dr Clive Thomas.
Here we go again! Not so long ago, it was Imran Khan publicly expressing a personal view on an issue involving Guyana’s relations with India. Now you have Presidential Advisor Dr Clive Thomas remarking that Exxon will try to rob Guyana.
My issue here, like in Imran’s case, is not the merits or demerits of the views expressed, but the process/procedure. ExxonMobil might well be out to “milk” Guyana, but it is not the Presidential Advisor’s place to say that publicly, unless that is the Government’s official position; which would be in contradiction to statements previously made by the President and several ministers, including Trotman, Jordan and Greenidge.
How could a senior government functionary publicly imply that a major investor is a thief? This coalition Government needs to get a grip on its public information policy. It is running ragged with contradictions and inconsistencies, which could have a serious impact on its efforts to be re-elected in 2020.
I have enormous respect for Dr. Thomas. But if it was wrong for Imran, then it has to be wrong for Clive to be publicly expressing personal views as a senior Government functionary, which views may not be the official position of the Government of Guyana.
Regards,
Wesley Kirton

Drama continues as NBS seeks to block former CEO from cashing G$59M cheque

A few hours after issuing a G$59.3 million cheque to its former Chief Executive Officer, Maurice Arjoon, the New Building Society (NBS) said it would be taking steps to “safeguard the sum” since it was only issued “to avoid confrontation.”
The Society, in a bid to prevent High Court Marshals from levying its assets, locked customers and staffers in its head office for over five hours. The standoff came as Arjoon’s lawyers secured a levy for G$59 million in compensation following his wrongful dismissal in 2011.

Former NBS CEO Maurice Arjoon

NBS issued a three-page statement on Wednesday denying unlawfully detaining customers, Marshals and a Police Officer, claiming that it thought it was being robbed.
The financial institution claimed that subsequently members of the Guyana Police Force informed management that the men were Marshals executing a levy.
However, customers locked in the building reported that they were prevented from leaving by security.
“Assuming that they were correct to levy for the Pension Benefits, this payment ought to have been made from the Pension Scheme Funds and not the NBS assets. The Society will, therefore, seek to redress this illegal and improper conduct of Mr Arjoon’s representatives, his lawyers and the Marshals,” the Society noted.
NBS’s management also outlined that the dismissal of Arjoon and two other senior officers had nothing to do with the Berbice Bridge or the intervention of any Government officials at that time. They added that the Society’s investment in the Berbice Bridge was a very lucrative one and has been proven to be a correct decision. It was maintained that Arjoon and others were seeking to cover up their failure to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the performance of their duties.
The Board of Directors of the Society at that time unanimously agreed to the dismissal of the three officers for serious infractions, including gross misconduct and negligent performance of their duties. The payment of G$69 million by these officials in an unauthorised manner and under highly suspicious circumstances caused the Society to suffer a loss by reimbursing the account holder via a court order in the sum of G$71 million, the Society noted.
Building a case
Following the illegal detainment of a number of persons, the Police said that they were hoping to interview all the persons who were locked in as they sought to build a criminal case against the Society’s management.
About 16:45h on Tuesday, a number of NBS staff was allowed to leave the building. Though they all refused to comment, two workmen who were locked in the building related to media operatives that they were prevented from leaving.
“The guard man locked the door. When we told him we wanted to (urinate), he said to (urinate) right in there,” one of the workers related.
“All the customers and so talking to them and they ain’t want move. They ain’t want open the door,” the other said.
After Police gained entry into the building, they arrested several managers and security personnel for false imprisonment. They were later released on station bail as the investigations continue.
Inaccurate representation
Arjoon’s Attorney, Sanjeev Datadin, in a telephone interview with Guyana Times International said that the Society’s statement was “utterly preposterous” and did not accurately represent the events of Tuesday afternoon. He clarified that the Marshals arrived with a single Police Officer and presented the court order to the Inquiries Officer and were told to await the arrival of the Operations Manager.
He noted that this was complied with but after the lockdown, armed ranks arrived on scene.
“They were fully aware that there were court marshals who were wearing ID badges and fully aware of the court orders; they had the court order, it was handed to the staff – the staff went upstairs with the court order. They wanted to resist the levy and they locked the doors, which, by the way, is unlawful. Interfering with a marshal in the course of a levy is a criminal offence,” Datadin noted.
He further stated that his client would have already deposited the cheque and if the Society made any move to revoke that cheque, then it would be contempt of court.
“I would love to see what steps they want to do to secure the money. There is a court order that say they must pay Mr Arjoon, and if they’re not going to pay the man, then surely they are all happily ready to answer the contempt charges,” he reiterated.
“Their lawyers wanted to give a cheque for G$10 million and then we’re going to talk about the rest because they supposedly can’t write a cheque for the amount, a company that made billions in profit can’t write a cheque for that amount….,” Datadin added.
He noted that the story of being afraid of being robbed was “entirely a concoction of convenience”.
The case
The former CEO took NBS to court for his outstanding pension and other benefits in 2011. Arjoon had originally sued the lending agency for some G$550 million in damages.
High Court Judge, Justice Brassington Reynolds subsequently ruled in the dismissed CEO’s favour, awarding him more than G$79 million in outstanding payments and benefits. The court also ruled that he should be paid a monthly pension of G$372,498.
The Judge further ordered that the former CEO should receive financial compensation for the damages he had suffered; and moreover, that he was entitled to his pension and severance benefits, in accordance with provisions stipulated in the laws of Guyana. (Lakhram Bhagirat)

Reintegrating deportees

According to a recent US Immigration report, a total of 137 Guyanese were, for various reasons, deported from the USA in 2017. This, of course, is a significant increase when compared to the previous year (2016), which had seen ninety-three (93) Guyanese nationals being sent back home.
With regard to the rest of the Caribbean region, Haiti saw five thousand, five hundred and seventy-eight (5578) of its nationals being deported in 2017. Similarly, that figure represents a massive increase when compared to 2016, when just three hundred and ten (310) Haitians were sent back home. Also, in 2017, seven hundred and eighty-two (782) Jamaicans were deported; Trinidad and Tobago saw one hundred and twenty-eight (128) being sent back home, and The Bahamas saw ninety-five (95) persons being deported. Other CARICOM nations also saw a small number of their citizens being deported in 2017.
The report was very vague in relation to the reasons for the deportations, and also did not provide much detail regarding the background of the deportees. This, of course, has been a major problem for regional governments, which have always complained that such persons are forcibly being sent back to their countries of birth after years of living in their adopted countries, without adequate information in relation to the deportees’ medical and criminal backgrounds being provided.
CARICOM heads have complained bitterly that the practice was having a severe negative impact on the region, especially as it relates to crime and security issues. They have also noted that very little help is provided by the US and other developed countries in terms of reintegrating the deportees in their country of birth.
It is no secret that while some deportees try as much as possible to turn their lives around in their new environment, many of them gravitate towards crime, which in most cases places a huge burden on the State. For this reason, regional Governments have been lobbying the US authorities to be more understanding as to the tremendous negative impact the practice is having on countries. However, the US officials have resisted the argument that the deportations are to be blamed for the increase in violent crimes in the region.
It should be noted that the US has deported hundreds of convicted criminals to the Caribbean annually since 1996, when Congress mandated that every non-citizen sentenced to a year or more in prison be deported upon release.
Security officials in Guyana have routinely placed the blame for some high-level crimes on criminal deportees, particularly those crimes that occurred during the 2002 to 2004 crime wave that gripped the nation, when the Government at the time was forced to enact the 2002 Amendment to the Crime Prevention Act, which stated that any deportee who poses a threat to public safety can be placed under police surveillance.
Additionally, deportation has caused devastating psychosocial effects, not only for deported persons, but for other family members; and in particular their children, the vast majority of whom have been left behind in the US, Canada, or in a few cases other countries, and who have little or no contact with the deported parent.
There is no need to elaborate on the challenges that confront countries such as ours when persons who have migrated many years ago are sent back after serving their time in jails overseas. What CARICOM governments need to focus on now is establishing an effective deportee resettlement programme for such persons, to cater for their smooth reintegration into the society; so that once again they can become productive and useful citizens. Many would want to believe that most of the persons who are deported are willing to reform their lives, but the absence of an effective and functioning support mechanism makes this process very difficult.
CARICOM and its partners must continue to lobby their US counterparts in relation to information and intelligence sharing regarding criminal deportees, in particular access to complete dossiers on medical and criminal histories. Caribbean leaders must also lobby for more financial and technical assistance to establish re-integration programmes within CARICOM member states, to ensure that each person who is sent back to their country of birth becomes a productive citizen once more.

2018 LGE would confirm AFC’s “dead meat” status

Dear Editor,
Khemraj Ramjattan had predicted before the 2015 national elections that his political party, the AFC, would become “dead meat” should it team up with PNC/APNU. Well, it subsequently contested the elections under the banner of APNU/AFC, and with active campaigning by the party’s leader, Ramjattan.
Having teamed up with APNU, the AFC claimed that it brought in some 11% of the votes; and the AFC leaders and members were given some 40% of parliamentary seats and ministerial positions in the Granger-led government. The AFC faction was given large and important ministries, including Public Infrastructure, Agriculture, Public Safety, and the Prime Ministerial position, with attractive and substantially enhanced remuneration packages which motivated them, at every opportunity, to sing loudly for their supper without rocking the government boat.
This gives the facade of a powerful partnership with ministerial titles and parliamentary seats, but the PNC kept them in their places, so that they support without a squeak of opposition to all the actions of the PNC leader and President, who is dominantly and totally in control of the grouping, having remunerated them well, and with magnificent ministerial and job titles.
However, their conduct and performance of their lawful public duties can only be evaluated as third-rated. Their campaign was deceptive, fooling part of the PPP base, offering them “a good, and even a better life”. The AFC sold out to the PNC. The rice farmers and the thousands of sugar workers who were vindictively, spitefully, racially and politically discriminated against, dismissed, and placed on the bread line as the 2017 Christmas gift for themselves, their families, and surrounding communities, now agree and confirm the “dead meat” status of the ‘political prophet’ Ramjattan.
Let Trotman tell the nation of his half-hearted campaign, how many votes he brought to the coalition, and the secret Nassau understanding with Granger. Many, like prophet Ramjattan, predict that Trotman is easing his way back into the PNC with an eye on a leadership position in the PNC.
The declared results of the 2015 elections gave the combination a one-seat majority with a one-vote win of the seat for Region 8. Some people argue that we have a Government with a seat which was won by one vote, and consequently a one-vote majority Government.
The reported declaration by Trotman and other AFC leaders that the AFC was considering contesting the 2018 local government elections independently is welcome news. The reality of this is good, and will confirm their status as “dead meat” or otherwise. It would be useful information for Granger’s assessment. The voters may be required to bury the “dead meat” AFC party, or freeze the meat. The voters will not be fooled again.
Yours faithfully,
Joshua Singh