Dear Editor,There seems to be no governmental agency in Guyana that is devoid of massive corruption, bribery and fraud, which only spells doom and disaster for our beloved country, particularly with the coming of first oil in a few months.The most recent agency exposed in such transgressions is the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) for which some of its operatives have been discovered sneaking around accessing tenders that they should not have, tampering with them, and as a consequence, making a complete mockery of the tender process of Guyana.Of course, such lurid goings-on at NPTAB have been an open secret for a very long time now as there has been for a while, a hullabaloo by some contractors, companies and even by the public, of the skewed manner in which only some entities and individuals are awarded contracts, many times for which they are ill-equipped and trained to do.Even worse, recordings of telephone conversations with very damning information are coming to the surface, involving claims that some senior operatives are coaching their juniors into committing perjury.So now that the cover has been blown at NPTAB and everyone is running for cover, there seems to be a sudden PR blitz coming from that office with unprecedented levels of public announcements, releases and awareness programmes in what is obviously a smokescreen intended to confuse the public about the real happenings there.The hypocrisy of a very senior official there, who in a recent statement to the press claimed that he was not a politician, is quite laughable as in the 2015 campaign season, he was very visible at all of the stops of the ‘Unity Train’ and at the campaign rallies of a certain political party, and who since the elections, has been rewarded with lucrative positions on several State boards. This is quite evident as on one hand, he is holding himself out to be a beacon of moral rectitude while on the other hand, is now alleged to be giving a heads up to junior staffers as it relates to covering up the current saga.If Guyana is to improve its rankings on international indexes on corruption, it is important that agencies such as the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board be staffed by young, competent, qualified, decent and apolitical individuals.Sincerely,Roseanne Rodgers
Dear Editor,Guyanese don’t have to be statisticians to spot that the recent polls conducted by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), was suspicious and fake. CADRES should publicly state who really financed that poll since it is the worst form of propaganda by the APNU/AFC coalition Government as desperation is stepping into the failed APNU/AFC camp.Several questions are exposing the Government, because if President David Granger’s approval ratings are at 94 per cent, why is the Government so afraid to go to an election? How are President David Granger’s approval ratings so high but the APNU/AFC coalition Government was completely swept away in the last LGE?If Granger’s ratings are 94 per cent then Irfan Ali’s ratings would definitely be 500 per cent since this Government is not only unpopular in the PPP/C support base but also in the APNU support base.Imagine last week President David Granger refused to announce publicly that he was coming to visit the Albion Estate in East Berbice, he actually sneaked into Berbice, afraid that the thousands of dismissed sugar workers would picket him for not attending to their cries since these severed sugar workers were left to the mercy of the Almighty God. Why did President David Granger, after four years, decide to visit workers at Albion Estate? The simple answer is that elections will be held shortly and he needs workers’ votes, sorry Granger.The analogy about diabetes that was used by President Granger on the sugar industry should be used on the Government since corruption, incompetence, mismanagement, etc is prevalent in the Government and unless Granger amputates some of the limbs that he has, the diabetes of corruption, incompetence, mismanagement etc would cause the Government to rot to death. The APNU/AFC coalition Government is presently on a “life support machine” fighting for survival.Regards,Zamal Hussain
A female pedal cyclist was on Thursday afternoon crushed to death by a motor lorry transporting a combine along the Albion Public Road, Corentyne, Berbice. The dead woman has been identified as Christina Raghu, 41, of Chesney Squatting Area, Corentyne, Berbice.The bicycle that Raghu was riding at the time of her demiseThe mother of four had just dropped her grandson off at school and was heading home when she reportedly rode into the path of the lorry. Raghu sustained injuries and was picked up in an unconscious state and taken to the Port Mourant Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.Dead: Christina RaghuAccording to one eyewitness, Raghu did not stop after riding out of the school’s street but instead rode onto the main highway. “She just ride out and did not look,” the eyewitness said.The now dead housewife usually takes her grandson to school on bicycle on a daily basis.The lorry that was involved in the fatal accidentMeanwhile, the lorry is owned and driven by a Corentyne businessman. He was taken into custody as investigations continue.
A Norton Street, Georgetown man, Alfie Garraway, who was wanted by the Police for illegal gun, ammunition and drug possession charges, was on Tuesday released on bail when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Alfie GarrawayThe 39-year-old man appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and denied the charges.The first charge stated that on October 5, 2019 at Norton Street, Lodge, he, along with Roseann Ellis, had in their possession 13 grams of marijuana. It is also alleged that on the same day at the same location, Garraway and Ellis had in their possession eight live rounds of .40 ammunition when they were not holders of a firearm licence. Additionally, it is alleged that Garraway and Ellis had one .40 smith and Wesson firearm without being holders of firearm licence.Garraway was represented by Attorney-at-Law Stanley Moore, who, in a bail application, told the court that his client was not at home when the search was conducted. The Attorney added that his client later learnt that a wanted bulletin was issued for his arrest and as such, he surrendered.Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield told the court that on October 5, ranks from the Major Crime Unit went to Lot 71 Norton Street, Lodge, where they made contact with Ellis, who is Garraway’s mother. A search was then carried out and the gun, ammunition and a quantity of cannabis were found in the home. The Prosecutor further stated that Ellis was arrested and taken to the Brickdam Police Station. However, following an investigation, a wanted bulletin was issued for Garraway. He was released on $120,000 bail and the case will continue on November 13.Meanwhile, Garraway’s mother, who is jointly charged with him, failed to make her court appearance on Tuesday and an arrest warrant was issued for her. She was previously released on $60,000 bail.
Pirate massacre…but Justice Minister says 30 arrestedIn light of the recent arrest of notorious criminal “Crackhead”, who was wanted by Surinamese law enforcement for the recent deadly pirate attacks, the Police have confirmed that a total of 13 persons are in custody.Arrested: the notorious criminal known as “Crackhead”However, at a joint press conference on Monday in Suriname, that country’s Justice and Police Minister, Stuart Faith reported that 30 persons have been arrested.The arrests, he noted, were made on water and on land.Meanwhile, Surinamese Defence Minister Ronni Benschop assured that in a week’s time the fishermen could safely return to work at sea.The authorities have not ascertained the motives for the attack, but there are suspicions that it was retaliation for the murder of a captain.The main suspect, “Crackhead”, was reportedly spotted in the boat that attacked the fishermen between May 3 and May 5 in the Wia Wiabank, Suriname.Guyana Times understands that a boat owner who reported the robbery to the Police described the men he recognised during the brutal attack on the fishermen.He reportedly told the Police that “Dick”, “Bolo”, “Crackhead”, “Sanbad” and another man he did not know carried out the attack. The owner also told officials that the suspects were all Guyanese.News coming out of Suriname also stated that the Coast Guard has also brought in a boat and suspects and handed them over to the Police. Upon inspection of the boat, it appeared that the crew could not produce a permit.The people on board also had no identification papers.Fifteen fishermen are still missing. Three bodies have been recovered and five people have survived the attacks.On Sunday, Guyana’s Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan led a team to the neighbouring country where he had the opportunity to meet with the relatives of the missing men. During his visit, Ramjattan recognised the need for an improved coastguard warning system and information sharing.Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who led a team to Suriname, described the attacks as acts of terrorism, and called upon the Governments of Guyana and Suriname to work together in addressing the horrific incidents. He urged that the full force of the law be used to bring the perpetrators to justice.Two Saturdays ago, four boats were attacked by a group of men who brutalised the occupants then threw them overboard. Two days later, another boat was attacked, and the captain was killed. The crew is still missing.Those identified as missing include: Ramesh Sanchara, Ganesh Persaud, Vickey Persaud, Glenroy Jones, Bharat Heralall, Ralph Anthony, and Tiaknauth Mohabir. The bodies that were recovered are yet to be positively identified.