Dear Editor,Well finally and gradually the veil of secrecy that has covered the corruption, nepotism, mismanagement and other wrongdoings at City Hall is being lifted. And it seems that persons are now running “helter skelter” dashing for cover whilst pointing fingers at each other. This is popularly known as ‘passing the buck’.But this is just the beginning, the very surface of the cesspool that is the Georgetown City Hall. As the Commission of Inquiry delves a little deeper, it will confound the citizenry what will be revealed from the fiscal malfeasance, to the nepotism in the human resources, to the wastage of the property rates, to the featherbedding among its ranks.But listening to Royston King and Patricia Chase Green, one gets the impression that they have long lost touch with reality.Here is a newsflash for these two: the City Hall is at its lowest ebb in its history, the coffers are empty, the debts to the contractors, utility companies, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the National Insurance Scheme and insurance are piling up, the City Hall building is on the verge of falling to the ground, the markets are filled with giant rats in addition to the collapse of one of its wharves, the city is filled with mosquitoes, the drains are all clogged, the roads are bad and the street lighting poor, multiple robberies are occurring unchallenged in the city every day while they have just concluded a massive anniversary celebrations.Their old mantra, which is a complete falsehood, is that the revenue base of the Council is too small, that the Council does not have money, which means therefore that they could not mismanage what they do not have and like Scrooge, they are very thrifty, stretching Council’s dollars to the limit to meet all of the municipality’s financial commitments. Nothing could be further from the truth.If King and Chase Green really held the earnest view that the capital city was so penurious, why did they travel around the world so many times first class in the last three years on joy rides? Why then did they give out so many enormous contracts to their relatives and friends? Why did they bump the monthly payroll up to well over $100 million with some persons earning hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars each, per month?No sane administrator would maintain a workforce of close to a 1000 persons, while at the same time farming out to private contractors, most of the municipal services it provides, unless he or she had a pecuniary interest in the contracts that were being given out in violation of tender board procedures, while at the same time having a consanguinity with the many staffers that are padding the payroll.Suddenly, the almighty and powerful King is whining that it is the City Treasurer who is the one that is responsible for managing the City’s finances and not him. Oh really? What an epiphany? Could someone remind King and Chase Green that the buck stops at them as Harry S Truman would say?Regards,Kwasi Sanderson
Three days after two inmates of the Lusignan Prison escaped while working outdoors; the joint operation to recapture the duo has yielded no success.Wanted: Foas ShakirRajendra Deonarine, 22, of Richmond Housing Scheme, Essequibo; and 26-year-old Faos Shakir, of Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara, were clearing overgrown vegetation from theWanted: Rajendra Deonarinepenitentiary’s fence when they made good their escape sometime around 10:30h on Monday.According to reports, Deonarine was serving a two-year sentence for possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking, while Shakir was sentenced to three years for several robbery offences.Director of Prisons, Carl Graham, when contacted on Wednesday evening told Guyana Times that they have exhausted all possible leads that were at their disposal. He confirmed that they have not received any new leads but members of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Prison Service are optimistic that they will recapture the duo.He nevertheless urged members of the public to contact the nearest Police Station once the men are seen. However, the Police have since questioned the relatives of the two men but they have claimed that they were not contacted. Police have reportedly searched several areas including the East Coast Demerara corridor, Mocha Arcadia and Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara.Both the Prison Service and the Police Force are urging citizens to take the necessary precautions in securing their premises.
The two dishonoured Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks who were implicated in a rape and robbery on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) have been charged and are expected to make their appearance at the Suddie Magistrate’s Court today.Twenty-two-year-old Rawlston Reid, of Doch Four Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara (ECD), and Isaiah Rawlins, 21, of Wisroc, Linden, have already been dismissed from the Defence Force.It was reported that the female victim and her boyfriend were at the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground, which is close to the GDF base, for an event and about 23:30h as they were enjoying an evening together, the two ranks attacked them.The soldiers reportedly dealt the young man several blows about his body, took away his money and gold chain, and demanded that his girlfriend have sex with them or else they would rape him.At first, this demand was shut down, but the two ranks severely beat the young man. They then allegedly took turns raping the woman as she wept bitterly and asked them to stop.The young man had no choice but to watch his girlfriend being sexually assaulted. After the ordeal, the young couple reported the matter to the Police. At the Police Station, the couple were told that there were no ranks available to search the area.Family members then took it upon themselves to look for the two perpetrators. Upon seeing the angry mob of residents, the two men escaped.The couple were taken to hospital where the young lady was admitted. The Police subsequently took statements from the two traumatised young people and an investigation was launched.An identification parade was done on Monday afternoon at the Suddie Police Station, and the two perpetrators were positively identified by the victims. Guyana Times was told that while the ID parade was in progress, colleagues of the implicated ranks were heard shouting derogatory remarks towards the victims.The young male victim is an acquaintance of both ranks.
…after piracy attack in Essequibo RiverOne of the men who was arrested for attacking a cargo vessel on the Essequibo River was released on station bail as two of the victims are nursing chop wounds at the Suddie Public Hospital.Deputy Police Commissioner and Crime Chief, Lyndon Alves on Monday confirmed that the incident took place on Thursday last, and is now in the hands of detectives in Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).“One of the victims was at my office this [Monday] morning. I had to engage the detective inspector at Anna Regina to look into the matter. So the police will be investigating that matter,” Alves told this newspaper.He stated that presently, no one is in police custody, adding that the person who was initially arrested has been placed on station bail.<
Wanted: Keon DavidDead: Kurt DuncanSeeta’s bar fatal shootingKeon David, the ex-Policeman who is wanted by the Police in connection with the fatal shooting of Sophia resident Kurt Duncan at Seeta’s Bar on Monday morning, was not a licenced firearm holder.This was revealed by a source close to investigations. The suspect, however, remains on the run, but the Police are making effort to apprehend their former colleague.It was reported that the 32-year-old father of six, of Pike Street, Sophia, Greater Georgetown, was shot once to his chest by David who was at the establishment at the time.Initial reports revealed that at about 2:00h on the day in question, a woman — who was imbibing at Seeta’s Bar— got into a heated argument with a handyman who was at the time wiping the ground.That argument escalated into a scuffle, and Duncan, who was also at the drinking spot, intervened.The suspect then whipped out a gun and discharged a round hitting Duncan to the chest. The injured man was picked up and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.David, on the other hand, left the scene, but the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has since issued a wanted bulletin for his arrest. His last known address has been given as Sophia, Greater Georgetown. He is said to be 32 years old and a former member of the Police Force.Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspect is asked to contact the Police on telephone numbers 226-1389, 226-7476, 911, or at the nearest Police Station.
…as Public Health Ministry yet to recover $5.1M in overpayments to staffersThe 2017 Auditor General report has found that despite a contract to deliver a canter truck and several pieces of critical equipment to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), the entity is still awaiting these items.The Georgetown Public HospitalAccording to the report, the National Procurement and Tender Administrative Board (NPTAB) gave approval for the three contracts to procure a truck, as well as medical and non-medical items that included equipment for thoracic, ENT and neurosurgery equipment.The contract was worth close to $100 million. But at the time of reporting, the $10 million truck and lift, as well as other equipment worth $22 million were yet to be delivered. This includes a patient view station worth $9.3 million, a $9.1 million 1000 KVA transformer, a 7.5 ton ducted package air condition unit worth $2 million and digital baby scales.“The head of the budget agency agreed with the comments made above and indicated that the GPHC granted several multiyear approvals to effectively fulfil the contractual obligations and is in contact with the suppliers to deliver the vehicle and equipment as soon as possible,” the Ministry said in response.In his recommendations, Auditor General Deodat Sharma urged the head of the Budget agency to take action in order to have the items delivered to GPHC… as per the contract stipulations.OverpaymentsMeanwhile, State auditors also discovered the Public Health Ministry not only overpaid several staffers, but has dropped the ball when it comes to recovering the sums which totalled $438,720 for 2017.The report notes that for the period under review, pay change directives for resignations and maternity leave were forwarded late to the Ministry’s Accounts Department. The money, which was paid to six staffers, has not been recovered.In addition, the situation is compounded by unrecovered sums from previous years. According to the AG, the previous out-dated payments total $5.1 million and peaked in 2016, with some $1.7 million in overpayments not being recovered that year.When Auditor General Deodat Sharma gave the Ministry a chance to responding to these findings, the Head of the budget agency noted that several employees were “written to with respect to overpayments.”Despite the Ministry reaching out to these staffers, however, there has been no progress in getting back this money. As a consequence, the Ministry related that measures are in place to publish the names of these employees via print and TV in order to get the refunds.In addition, the Ministry informed the AG that advice is being sought from Attorney General Basil Williams on the way forward. The Audit Office recommended that systems be put in place to prevent reoccurrences and recover outstanding monies.
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie 1 Manchester United will have to do without star striker Robin van Persie for their opening Premier League match against Swansea City after he was given an extended break following the World Cup.The Dutch forward played a key role in helping the Netherlands finish third in Brazil under his now club boss, Louis van Gaal, but has not featured in any of United’s pre-season games. Van Persie, 30, is due to return to training on Monday but having missed large chunks of last season through injury, Van Gaal revealed he would not be rushing the striker into action.“When a player has been on holiday for three weeks they have to train,” the Red Devils boss said.“I’m sorry but players have to train and Robin needs a full training regime behind him before he can play again.“People can criticise me for my decision but I know what to do with players who have had three weeks’ holiday. Hopefully, Robin will get his fitness back very fast but, for now, he won’t play.“Robin wants to play every game, I know that, but so do the other 30 players in the squad.”
0Shares0000France’s head coach Didier Deschamps said that Zinedine Zidane could one day take the job. © AFP / FRANCK FIFENICE, France, May 31 – France coach Didier Deschamps has backed former teammate Zinedine Zidane to step into his shoes “one day”, only hours after the latter’s shock decision to step down as coach of Real Madrid.Deschamps, however, played down suggestions that Zidane’s decision had heaped more pressure on his shoulders ahead of the June 14-July 15 World Cup. “He will be coach” of France, “one day. It will happen when it happens,” said Deschamps, who captained France to World Cup triumph in 1998 and at Euro 2000 when Zidane was an integral part of Les Bleus’ midfield.Zidane, who led Real to their third successive Champions League trophy with a 3-1 victory over Liverpool last Saturday, made the shock announcement to quit Real early Thursday, claiming he was unsure of his ability to inspire the Spanish giants to more victories.“I don’t see myself continuing to win this year and I am a winner, I don’t like to lose,” added Zidane, who was under contract with Real until 2020.Although Deschamps is under contract with the French football federation (FFF) until 2020, he sees Zidane stepping into the role.“For the moment he wants to enjoy some rest and spend time with his family,” he said.“One day he will be the national team coach. I can’t say when, but to me it’s logical.”Deschamps said Zidane’s decision had not affected his plans for France’s World Cup campaign.“I’m not even thinking about it,” he added. “I’m totally concentrated and focused on what lies ahead for me and the players.”France, one of the favourites for the World Cup in Russia alongside Brazil and Germany, face Italy in a friendly in Nice on Friday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Ain’t nobodyLike KOSCIELNYMakes me happyMakes me feel this wayLaurent Koscielny was quick to let the Arsenal faithful know how happy he is with the chant they have for him.Fans were in full voice at Leicester where the Gunners won 5-2, with the France international tweeting his love for the song later. The defender is one of the more popular players and considered to be among manager Arsene Wenger’s top signings.TWEETS: ARSENAL FANS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF KOSCIELNYWhat is the greatest fan chant you have ever heard?
SACRAMENTO – Six lawmakers are scheduled this week to begin the tedious task of ironing out differences between Assembly and Senate versions of the state budget, but this year their job could be easier than usual. Both chambers have produced spending plans for the fiscal year starting July 1 that are remarkably similar to the $131.1 billion budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed earlier this month. “Over the years I’ve worked here, this is about the smallest number of differences between us and the Senate and us and the administration that I’ve seen,” said Craig Cornett, budget adviser to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles. Nu ez is predicting that lawmakers will approve a new budget by the rarely met June 15 deadline. A bill by Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, D-Los Altos, would authorize $2,500 discounts for consumers who buy new cars that emit low amounts of greenhouse gases and impose $2,500 surcharges on new vehicles that produce high levels of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming. Legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, would limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Another Perata bill would set up a discount prescription drug program for uninsured, low-income Californians. A bill by Assemblyman Johan Klehs, D-Hayward, would impose a so-called excess profits tax on oil companies. Another attempt by Cedillo would allow illegal immigrants to qualify for California driver’s licenses. Schwarzenegger vetoed two earlier versions of the legislation. Legislation by Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, would limit use of 25-years-to-life, “three-strikes” prison sentences for nonviolent crimes. A bill by Nu ez would help telephone companies get into the cable television business. A Lieber bill would require the state Air Resources Board to control indoor air pollution emitted by building products, consumer goods, appliances – even cockroaches. An attempt by Sen. Debra Ortiz, D-Sacramento, and Attorney General Bill Lockyer would block Internet sales of cigarettes to minors by requiring that shipments of cigarettes into the state go only to licensed dealers. Legislation introduced by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, with the support of animal rights groups would limit the tethering of dogs.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“I think we are well on our way to meet that goal and objective,” he said last week. “I think we can get there. I really do. … We do spend a little bit more than the governor does … but not by more than 1 percent.” In most years, lawmakers end up in a partisan deadlock over the budget that can drag on for weeks – even months – because California is one of the few states that requires more than simple majority votes to pass a budget. This week also is the deadline for more than 500 bills to pass their initial house, and both the Assembly and Senate have scheduled long sessions to deal with those measures. Here are some of the bills awaiting votes: Measures by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, and Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, would raise the state minimum wage by $1 an hour, to $7.75, and require annual increases to keep up with inflation. Schwarzenegger, who has vetoed two previous attempts to raise the wage, supports the $1 increase but opposes the automatic cost-of-living adjustments.