AFC ups pressure on Ramotar over NCN probe
The Alliance For Change today upped the pressure on President Donald Ramotar for not taking action on irregularities at state TV NCN which implicated two senior officials of the network.
The irregularities pertained to the deposit of money from GT&T into the private account of one of the individuals and attempts by both to cover up the matter. A subsequent investigation pointed to other irregularities.
As the Minister of Information, the matter was referred to Ramotar and eight months after an investigation nothing has happened. Critics have said that the President should not even haven’t gotten involved but that the matter should have been handed over to the police. Critics have also said that the police themselves should have investigated the matter.
At a press conference today, the AFC said:
“Some eight months (June) after President Donald Ramotar ordered an investigation into financial irregularities at the National Communication Network and some four months (November) since the Audit firm has handed in its report, there has been no move by the Administration to ensure that those who siphoned off the company money into their personal accounts are charged.
This is the highest level of executive lawlessness.
“The deposit of company money into personal bank accounts is not an allegation, there is evidence that this fraudulent transaction did take place. In any other society, those responsible would have been behind bars. For the President to sit on the report from the audit firm while the perpetrators are still being paid by the company or allowed to go free, places the president in a position where he is clearly condoning executive lawlessness.
“If President Ramotar is disinclined to take action in his capacity as President, he is honour bound as Minister of Information to ensure that the state owned and government controlled NCN operates above board and in such a clear case of irregularity, he should have immediately called for those named to face the full force of the law and let the chips fall where they will.
“In addition to the NCN audit report, President Ramotar is also sitting on an audit report on the operations of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) that recommends the immediate dismissal of NDIA’s boss Lionel Wordsworth and the Senior Section Engineer, Aneel Chowbay…
“The audit on fuel consumption and equipment operations and maintenance, was conducted between May and September. It was completed and submitted to the Chairman of the NDIA Board of Directors on September 26, and carbon copied to President Donald Ramotar. Five months on and the President has failed to clean house.
“These clear-cut and proven cases of financial irregularities at two government controlled entities have placed Guyana in a very embarrassing position. This is compounded b the fact that the persons named either continue to work in the agency with the opportunity to continue their illegal behavior or they are given a slight tap on the wrist and sent off to perpetrate such acts elsewhere. They are not made to pay for the wrong they did.
“While the AFC remains committed to working with President Ramotar and his
Administration to move Guyana forward, we remind him of remarks he to his new cabinet in December 2012, `…our nation’s well-being should always be our most important guiding influence’ and call on him to lead by example and put this nation’s well-being ahead of protecting cronies.”