I note with concern a release made by the Chairman of the Elections Commission in relation to my request for ‘’Renewal of contract “ with the Elections Commission.
I am not very surprised at his posturings since he is well known for this type of behaviour, making unsubstantiated allegations.
However, let me deal with the real issues :
1.Declaration of Results
I note all the rantings about change in formula and manipulation of numbers, etc. This is a clear attempt to discredit me so that Commissioners would not support my retention. Nevertheless, it did not work as was expected, since those who were aware of the facts could not have been moved.
The OAS has made its position clear on this matter and so I would not bother to repeat that here. For the entire period leading up to the declaration, the OAS had a representative at my desk overlooking all that was being done and there was nothing ‘irregular’ since Commissioners were also present.
The fact of the matter is that the results presented to the Commission for ratification was what was presented to me by the Information Techno-logy section.
2.Publication of the Information Technology Manager post
In contrast to what was reported, the information was sent to the “Economist newspaper “, proof of which I have. However, before the publication could have been made, the Commission decided to re-look at the job description and requested that the advertisement be withdrawn. The refunded cheque was signed and receipted for by the Chief Accountant on 04/04/2013. The Human Resources Manager also signed on the invoice as evidence that the cheque was returned. Any notion that action was not taken is ill conceived, mischievous and misleading.
3.Crossing borders on visits.
I note reference made of crossing borders. The Chairman must tell the nation who commandeered three of Gecom’s vehicles , along with drivers and fuel and with an entourage of relatives, friends and a former High Commissioner toured the savannahs and crossed the border to Boa Vista and had a lavish time in that city. This trip was well reported in the media at the time and could be found in the archives.
It is also important to note that a Nissan Patrol donated to Gecom was damaged on this very trip and the windscreen is still to be repaired.
4.Issues in relation to the accounting officer
The issue of toners. This matter was raised by the Secretariat after info was circulated that toners were replaced in a machine in the IT Division by a certain individual.
The Chief Security Officer at that time was mandated to conduct an internal investigation. The report provided information pointing to a certain individual who was involved. However, the matter was never discussed in order to bring those responsible to justice. The report was ducked for obvious reasons.
The issue of films
The Chairman must tell the nation about the $31 million worth of films provided to a local firm. The contract was a two- paragraph document in favour of the Company. The whole arrangement was so engineered to protect those involved from accountability by ensuring that no one in authority is answerable. To add insult to injury the Stores Superintendent was requested on behalf of Gecom to sign the contract.
We need to know how much money was recovered.
As for the issues raised not “one” was raised prior to my departure from Gecom. However, the Chairman feels that I would not respond and allow him to tarnish my good character.
Let me provide facts which can be checked and verified at several levels. The Chairman’s tantrums started in 2002. He notified me that he was to attend a Commonwealth/IFES- sponsored conference in Mauritius and requested Gecom funding to travel. This was provided, but upon return he did not provide bills for the entire amount spent.
The documentation presented in relation to expenditure was inadequate . This was submitted as is and when the State Auditors presented their draft report in 2003 the matter was extensively highlighted. (See Audit Query #542 of 2002.)
As Accounting Officer it was my responsibility to ensure that corrective action was taken swiftly and so I wrote him on the 21—03—2003, see my memorandum of that date on the subject Audit Query # 542.
That was the beginning of all the threats to get rid of me. He continued making statements about me with subordinate staff who promptly reported to me what was being discussed at the level of the Secretariat.
He has said to me many times that he would not support my renewal of contract whenever it was up for renewal. (Really, I don’t mind). However, if this is the behaviour of someone who is supposed to have a fair understanding of due process, then the nation must know what to expect.
Due process requires that persons be given a fair opportunity to respond to any issue of concern. The need to slander me was so urgent and well- orchestrated that the media did not provide me the opportunity to respond to such allegations . Nevertheless, I would continue to set the record straight.
Those with whom I have worked at Gecom know that the so-called issues raised by the Chairman are fabrications to get at me.
Why matters from 2006 are now being raised when responses have been prepared and laid years ago?
Why were these not raised before I left Gecom?
Finally, I challenge the Chairman to provide evidence of notification to me of the allegations he made to the press. Let him know that a person is entitled to due process, and in this case I can provide verifiable information on all the issues raised.
However, the Chairman waited until I left, to raise them hoping that I would not respond. These are not issues, these are fabrications to discredit me.
Finally, I reject all notions of wrong-doing and let those who feel that by running to the press the real issues could be addressed understand that they are mistaken.
I look forward to the publication of my response so that justice may be served.