The PNCR this morning said that it will be dealing internally with the recent disclosure that its Region 10 Chairman Mortimer Mingo had attempted to pay for a house lot at the controversial ‘Pradoville 2’ Scheme.
Responding to questions at an APNU press conference, PNCR executive member Lance Carberry said that the party has “well documented mechanisms” for dealing with such matters. “But I want to make it clear Mr. Mingo, like any other member of society has a constitutional right to decide where he will, in fact purchase land,” Carberry said. He said though that questions could be asked about Mingo’s political judgment on the matter.
Pressed further on the issue, Carberry said that: “the party has its own internal ways of dealing with these matters. And these matters will be dealt with, as they are dealt with; normally, confidentially and internally”. According to him, if there is a need for the party to make a public statement the party will do so.
Mingo, the PNCR’s top official in Region 10, was brought into the fray after Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon testified on the President’s behalf at the High Court on Wednesday that Mingo was one of several Afro-Guyanese who had been offered house lots at Pradoville 2.
The housing scheme has attracted searing criticism from sections of the public including the PNCR over the lack of transparency and preferential services to it.
Following Luncheon’s testimony, Mingo issued a statement on Thursday which said: “Some time on or about August 2010 I received a telephone call from Dr Roger Luncheon, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, who informed me that the Government of Guyana was in the process of allocating house lots at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara where the radio antennas were located, and that these plots of lands were being allocated to senior government functionaries and Regional Chairmen. He further said that I had been identified as one of the recipients for a house lot and that I would be contacted later as to how the allocation would be made.
“I immediately contacted my attorney-at-law on the offer that was made to me by the Head of Presidential Secretariat and he advised that I acknowledge the offer, and wait and see what and how they would proceed with the offer.
“Since then I have not heard from the Head Presidential Secretariat or anyone concerning the said plot of land. I have not signed any agreement or condition of sale, or paid any money for any land at Sparendaam, or received any lease, title or transport for that land from the Government of Guyana. In fact I have never seen the land.”
Mingo, however, did not say that his acknowledgement was in the form of a cheque dated September 3rd, 2010 and that he had later moved to have it dishonoured.
On Friday, Minister of Housing Irfaan Ali called a press conference to display the cheque which he said was payment for the land at Pradoville 2. The minister said that the cheque for $1.5 million was dishonoured by the bank and he produced the evidence to this effect.
The cheque, made out to the Central Housing and Planning Authority, was signed by Mingo but did not state what the money was for.