The Auditor General stipulated that GAIBANK foreign exchange losses should be charged to the consolidated fund but this was not done

Dear Editor,
I refer to Mr Justin McKenzie’s SN letter dated January 7, and captioned, ‘Why did GAIBANK never approach the government to make good foreign exchange losses?’ and state that this task was completed, but the PPP/C government did not do its job, even though they accepted the Auditor General’s report and submitted same to Parliament.  The Minster of Finance submits the audit report to Parliament, and since the government of Guyana is the sole owner of GAIBANK, it is their responsibility to make the necessary decisions, having been so advised by the Board of Directors and the Auditor General. In fact, the Auditor General, as part of the good governance structure in the country, stipulated in his letter of December 31, 1993 that the foreign exchange losses should be charged to the consolidated fund based on the Laws of Guyana, Chapter 75:01. Unfortunately, the PPP/C government did not do its job and trying to pass the blame will not work. Had that action been taken, profits as reported by the Auditor General were G$876.0 million with a net worth of G$1,268.3 million (Auditor General letter of December 31, 1993).

On the subject of the Government of Guyana currency devaluation, it is obvious that GAIBANK had no control over the exchange rate with which Mr McKenzie agrees, and it would have been illegal to impose repayment terms on clients at the new exchange rates, as this would have violated their original loan contacts. Furthermore, Mr McKenzie states, “…all through these years GAIBANK’s bottom line progressively got worse since it was necessary to find more G dollars to repay US dollars borrowed.”  This is further proof that Mr McKenzie agrees that it was not mismanagement but the devaluation of the currency over which GAIBANK had no control.

On the claim that rice millers obtained cement at US$1.00 per sack when the black market prices were higher is an interesting ‘after-work argument in a social setting.’ I suppose Mr McKenzie would have preferred GAIBANK to charge black market prices for the IDB financed cement, but obviously, if GAIBANK were to engage in such a black market, it would have been an illegal act, linking the institution and the IDB loan with corruption. In such circumstances, the Auditor General would have had cause to qualify his audit report and the IDB would have withdrawn its support, since this would have been a criminal event, with the police taking up the matter. This of course never happened, so Mr McKenzie should apologize to every rice miller, and the Ministry of Agriculture should disassociate itself from the letter written by Mr McKenzie.

I would not dignify the statements by Mr McKenzie on the subject of party hacks and opportunistic adventurers whom he claims received loans alongside the rice millers who were engaged in cement corruption. However, what I would strongly recommend is that since Mr McKenzie has so much detailed information on these persons, and he has access to the files at the Guyana National Cooperative Bank, he should without delay go to the police and have legal proceedings started against these persons.

Finally, Mr McKenzie writes his story in the mode of someone who was directly engaged in all these transactions. Unfortunately, after checking with former GAIBANK staff, I was reliably informed that no Justin McKenzie worked at GAIBANK.

Yours faithfully,
C Kenrick Hunte


Broadcasting Bill violates constitutional rights

Dear Editor, The Parliamentary Opposition, the Guyana Press Association, the owners of almost every media house in the country, the Private Sector Com-mission, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, the largest amalgam of trade unions in the country, FITUG, the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, Reporters without Borders and the International Press Institute, have all expressed their condemnation of the Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill 2017, and the failure of the government to consult prior to its promulgation in the National Assembly.

Which investor will want to come if they are subjected to this level of trauma?

Dear Editor, I read with absolute shock the blazing and bold headlines in the Guyana Chronicle, on Tuesday,  August 15, 2017, ‘Tracking the Money… Sleepin boss, associates snared in money laundering probe… SOCU tells Gaming Authority investigation on since 2016’. 

Government should decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana

Dear Editor, We, the members of the Guyana American Patriotic Forum (GAPF), are seeking the immediate intervention of the Government of Guyana to halt the criminalization of Guyanese youths who are routinely incarcerated for smoking small amounts of marijuana.

For how many hours did the Albion bioethanol plant operate in 2016 and 2017?

Dear Editor, I refer to the letter by Ms Audreyanna Thomas in SN, Aug 12, titled ‘Molasses would be the preferred raw material for ethanol production in Guyana’ in response to the ongoing conversation on ethanol here.


In the letter captioned ‘Government revenues from state forest permissions is 1/95 of what was earned in 1861 per hectare’ by Janette Bulkan, published in our edition yesterday, a paragraph was inadvertently omitted.

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