Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has begun a process which could see trade unionist Carvil Duncan removed from his positions on three service commissions.
According to a release yesterday from the Government Information Agency (GINA) the prime minister has written Duncan “requesting that he show cause why a tribunal should not be established, as provided for by Article 225 of the Constitution of Guyana, to address the question of his removal from the constitutional offices of Chairman of the Public Service Commission and member of the Police Service Commission and Judicial Service Commission.”
The release notes that Nagamootoo wrote to Duncan “in view of the offences for which he has been charged, which are at present engaging the attention of the Court.”
Nagamootoo is reported as having advised Duncan via letter, “that the procedure has been invoked on the basis that the offences for which he has been charged, place him in a position where it is necessary for him to defend the charges before the Court. And further, that there is concern that during this period he will be unable to perform the duties imposed upon him by the Constitution in relation to the aforementioned constitutional offices that he holds.”
Duncan, had been charged in January with stealing $984,900, property of GPL and conspiring with Aeshwar Deonarine, former GPL Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Administration) to steal the sum of $27,757,500, also property of GPL Inc, between May 7 and May 8, 2015. The charges against Duncan and Deonarine stem from payments that were made by them to themselves and which were uncovered by a forensic audit that was commissioned after the APNU+AFC government entered office last year. The money allegedly stolen by Duncan represents retroactive payments for his time on the GPL Board.
Duncan had previously told Stabroek News that he was paid fees owed to him for some six years since the company had not paid its board members, during which time they were forced to use their own money for transportation and other expenses.
GINA notes that Nagamootoo has advised Duncan that the letter is his “opportunity to inform the exercise of his (the Prime Minister’s) discretion to advise His Excellency, President David Granger whether to establish the tribunal.”
The letter which was dispatched on March 29, 2016 requested that Duncan respond within 14 days of receipt, however according to the release to date no response has been received. The release does not state what the Prime Minister has identified as the next step.
Efforts by Stabroek News to contact Duncan for a response proved futile as his phone went unanswered.