Scandalous – no one knows anything about the $30B loan, SOCU and SARA MIA

first_imgAlmost two years since the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), through the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), took a $30 billion loan, ostensibly for investing into GuySuCo, no one knows what the loan was taken for and what it has been used for so far. The average Guyanese citizen does not know. Sugar workers do not know. Now we are told that even NICIL itself does not know. Guyanese have been asking for almost two years what happened to the $30 billion, and no one has been able or willing to give an account.Neither NICIL nor the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) was willing to be accountable, and their posture was it was nobody’s business. The Agriculture Minister, in fact, admitted he did not know anything and pronounced rather proudly he did not care and did not want to know. The Finance Minister insisted that the Agriculture Minister was in charge of GuySuCo and, therefore, the loan. The President and the Prime Minister showed no interest.But two weeks ago, in a rare sharing of information, the Finance Minister indicated that another interest payment, the sum of $132 million, was made, presenting the information as though that was all the interest the Government has paid for the loan so far. Shockingly, two days ago, NICIL stated that, in fact, thus far, almost $800 million has been paid out in interest on the loan.Adding to the shock, NICIL revealed that over $7 billion of the $30 billion loan has been disbursed by NICIL to GuySuCo, but the Head of NICIL bemoaned the fact that he did not know what GuySuCo has done with the money. Further, the NICIL Head said that the loan was in jeopardy and that Guyana’s creditworthiness was threatened, because GuySuCo has failed to indicate what it has done with the money.The possibility now exists that the lenders – the bondholders, including GBTI and NIS, might recall the loan. NICIL, it turns out, disbursed more than $7 billion on “good faith”, like playing a game while burdening the Guyanese people.In all of this, Minister Holder has shown absolutely no interest in the $30 billion loan and no curiosity in how it was being used. As Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, he has a legal responsibility and a political duty to demand accountability. He has never done so. He has abdicated his political duty, and is guilty of political malfeasance.More seriously, there are questions surrounding his legal responsibility of accounting for $30 billion. How could he not know what happened to $30 billion? How is it that NICIL disbursed more than $7 billion of that $30 billion to GuySuCo and the Minister did not know what it was disbursed for? Did this Minister ever ask for an accounting? If he did ask, were GuySuCo and NICIL guilty of disregarding the Minister’s legal request? What would Cabinet do if GuySuCo and NICIL refused to provide answers to the Minister?In the meanwhile, GuySuCo continues to flounder. With a low target of just over 100,000 tons for 2019, it is unlikely that GuySuCo will meet its target and, in fact, sugar production for 2019 might well be the lowest for many decades. Little or no investments have been made in improving the factories that still operate. Field operations have suffered because roads and canals have not been adequately maintained, field operations have been negatively impacted, because field equipment have been poorly maintained and are insufficient. Diversification plans have stalled.Even as operations continue to flounder, workers continue to be demoralised. These workers have not been provided with any wage increases since 2014. There were zero per cent increases in wages for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.Some of the sugar workers who lost their jobs are still waiting for their severance payments. The promised investment in other economic ventures to provide jobs for the unemployed sugar workers has not yet materialised. In fact, after spending more than $100 million for rice production at Wales, virtually no paddy was produced and after spending some $50 million on aquaculture, not a single fish has been reared.While $30 billion is being squandered, while there are scandalous non-transparency and accountability, the closed sugar estates have been scavenged. The promised privatisation has become a well-guarded State secret. No one knows what is happening with the planned privatisation. This past week, the privatisation specialist at the SPU was fired.There are rumours of secret deals. This past week, one of the rumours that emerged is that a consortium of Indian, Ghanaian and Guyanese investors are about to take over the closed Rose Hall Estate. Clearly, if there is a time for the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) and the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) to act, this whole GuySuCo fiasco screams for them to step forward.Dr. Leslie RamsammyJune 3, 2019last_img read more

Adidas red-faced over All Black mix-up

first_img0Shares0000Adidas has said sorry after a video produced ahead of the All Black’s clash with France on Saturday mixed up two of the New Zealand players © AFP/File / Lukas BarthWELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov 24 – All Blacks sponsor Adidas apologised Thursday for an embarrassing promotional video blunder in which the sportswear giant confused Malakai Fekitoa with his teammate Julian Savea.The clip, produced ahead of New Zealand’s clash with France on Saturday, features Savea staring down the barrel of a camera saying “on November 26, I will take on Paris”. But the match footage that flashes up during the video shows Fekitoa in action for the world champions, not Savea.Adidas, which has sponsored the All Blacks since 1999, said it regretted the error.“We sincerely apologise to all fans for any offence our promotional video may have caused,” Adidas New Zealand country manager Quentin Bleakley said.“We will be rectifying our video as soon as possible.”Both players share Polynesian heritage — Fekitoa was born in Tonga, while Savea is a Wellingtonian with a Samoan background.Further compounding the gaffe, Fekitoa is ineligible to play in Paris after receiving a one-match ban for a high tackle on Ireland’s Simon Zebo last weekend.It is not the first time an All Blacks sponsor has found itself in hot water.When New Zealand were hosting the World Cup in 2011, Telecom NZ came up with a marketing plan urging fans to give up sex as a way of supporting the national team.The “Abstain for the All Blacks” campaign was swiftly kicked into touch when the public labelled it crass and pointless.With a winning percentage of around 80 percent — the equal of any team in world sport — the All Blacks are arguably New Zealand’s strongest global brand, recognised even where rugby is not commonly played.They have attracted global sponsors such as Adidas and US insurance AIG, which has had its name emblazoned on the All Black jersey since 2012.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Gor ponder relieving AFC of Imbalambala

first_img“Officials of the Kenyan Premier League champions say Imbalabala has told them he is ready to make the big move to KÓgalo and dump Leopards which he has served for five years now.“Imbalabala is one of the senior players disgruntled by the situation at the Den where they have not been paid their October salaries and are owed winning bonuses,” SuperSport wrote.“We are considering his request, he is a big player and if he is serious we will place on offer for him. Gor is open to any good player,” a Gor official who declined to be named informed the website ahead of the opening of the December transfer window.An Imbalambala coup would further inflame the pitch rivalry between the clubs that have been stoked in recent years by defender Eric Masika and midfielder Timona Wanyonyi moving in the opposite direction in the past three seasons.The versatile skipper who started out at central defence but was shifted to defensive midfield by the Dutchman lifted the GOtv Shield trophy with Leopards last season and has put in a decent shift despite the underwhelming campaign to emerge as a crowd favourite.Leopards’ players informed Capital Sport on Wednesday that some were facing eviction and were contemplating a mass exodus from the Den following non-payment of their dues despite reports sponsors Mumias Sugar had remitted monies to the Executive Committee to remunerate them.On the revolving coaching door at Leopards, Kasavuli told SuperSport.com the club executive will audit the performance of the team in the just concluded season and make far reaching changes in the technical bench and the playing unit.“He is a good coach tactically but we are not happy with some things about him. How he spends his time harassing the match officials. I cannot commit if he will stay, that will be a joint decision if the executive committee,” he added.After running their archrivals close for KPL honours last season, Leopards slipped to sixth in a campaign they flirted with relegation under fired head coach James Nandwa and Abdallah Juma in temporary charge before the Dutchman took over and steadied the ship mid season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, November 13- Champions Gor Mahia are pondering a sensational raid into their archrivals AFC Leopards’ Den and make away with their popular captain Martin Imbalambala SuperSport.com reported Thursday.According to the website, the dizzying days at the faltering Leopards are far from over after their chairman, Allan Kasavuli, declined to offer any assurances on the future of Dutch head coach Pieter De Jongh who is away on holiday.last_img read more

Science World is coming to the Peace Region

first_imgThe Community Science Celebration is taking place at the Fort St. John campus of Northern Lights College on Saturday, March 4th from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. VANCOUVER, B.C. — Science World will be bringing its unique and entertaining science shows to Peace Region next week, sponsored by BC Hydro.Science World’s On The Road team will be in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and other Peace Region communities between February 20 and March 3, visiting schools and participating in a Community Science Celebration on March 4.“BC Hydro is proud to be a sponsor of Science World’s On The Road tour—a program geared towards engaging northern communities with shows, demonstrations and challenges,” said Cynthia Dyson, Director of Corporate and Marketing Communications, BC Hydro. “We’re excited to be part of the initial conversation in inspiring future science and technology leaders, while educating the community about electrical safety.”- Advertisement -Science World’s travelling team visits over 30,000 students each year at schools outside the Lower Mainland who might not otherwise have a chance to visit Science World’s main location in Vancouver.In addition to the school shows, the team will also be presenting four workshops in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek:The High School Leadership Workshop at North Peace Secondary School on February 20The ‘Big Science for Little Hands’ Workshop for Early Childhood Educators at the South Peace Child Care Resource and Referral Centre, in Dawson Creek on February 28The Surprising Science Workshop on the Lakeview Learning Centre in Dawson Creek on March 1The ‘Opening the Door’ teen networking event at Dawson Creek Secondary on March 2The team will wrap up its trip to the Peace Region with a presentation at the Community Science Celebration. The free community event will include eye-popping shows, demonstrations and challenges, along with an opportunity to meet all the people in the community doing cool science, technology, engineering and math every day.Advertisementlast_img read more

Rolling Thunder lobbies for vets

first_imgWASHINGTON – President George W. Bush likes a serene White House most Sundays. Every now and then, though, he is ready for rumble. Leaders of Rolling Thunder, the motorcycling group that raises awareness about missing veterans, roared right up the mansion’s driveway on Sunday. Bush, just back from a weekend at Camp David, stood alone outside the South Portico to meet them. No Memorial Day weekend in the capital is complete without the ritualistic rumble of Rolling Thunder. For 20 years now, the nonprofit group has led a “Ride for Freedom” along the National Mall, a full-throttle demonstration in support of soldiers held captive or missing in action. “How you doing, Artie? Welcome back,” the president told Artie Muller, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit group. Muller led 13 visitors who came calling on eight motorcycles. The guests included Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, whose Harley-Davidson was decked out with patriotic bunting. Bush gave out handshakes and hugs, took a look at the gleaming bikes and then invited his visitors into the Oval Office. Rolling Thunder seeks a full accounting of veterans who are prisoners of war or are missing in action. It also advocates for fair treatment of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has been critical of Bush’s Veteran Affairs Department on that front. Afterward, Muller said he presented a series of concerns to Bush. Among them were the way the Defense Department classifies missing and captured troops and the plight of soldiers who have been discharged from military hospitals and are having trouble supporting their families. “He’s always been very honest with us and supportive,” Muller said. “He feels that these issues need to be addressed.” Bush held a similar greeting at the White House in 2004 for Rolling Thunder. The group endorsed him in both his presidential bids. Overall, tens of thousands of motorcyclists took part in Sunday’s rally; major streets were closed for the event. The riders began at the Pentagon, crossed the Memorial Bridge and gathered at the somber wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On Monday, Bush planned to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

No drama! West Ham star dismisses speculation about his future

first_img Winston Reid 1 Winston Reid insists he is not affected by all the speculation surrounding his future at West Ham and says he will continue to give 100 per cent for the club this season.Reid has yet to agree a new contract with the east London club and can walk away as a free agent at the end of the current campaign.The New Zealand international has been one of the star performers for the Hammers over the last few years and has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal in January.But, despite the uncertainty surrounding his future at Upton Park, Reid is adamant the contract situation is not playing on his mind and he will continue to show his best form for Sam Allardyce as the club looks to maintain their position in the top four.Reid told the Newham Recorder: “It doesn’t really affect me. It is just one of those things that has been going on in the background.“I know where I am and just get on with it. I have always given 100 per cent for this club for as long as I have been here and I will continue to do that.“It is not something that bothers me, it is just part of being a footballer and it is no big drama.”last_img read more

Exclusive – Top stars DO care about playing for England, insists Hodgson

first_img1 Roy Hodgson insists the Premier League’s top stars DO care about playing for England.The Three Lions boss is on course to take the national side to his third major finals next summer, having previously overseen disappointing campaigns at Euro 2012 and last summer’s World Cup in Brazil.That has led to criticism of the players, with a disappointed and disillusioned public believing the star names in the squad are more interested in success with their clubs and the rewards that come with that, than they are in pulling on the white jersey of their country.Hodgson, however, is having none of it.In an exclusive interview with Sport magazine, he insisted: “I would defend the players to the hilt on this. We have had failures, when going out of Euro 2012 on penalties, and in particular at the World Cup. But I would never believe or listen to anyone telling me it is because the players didn’t want it enough.“I think freeing people of the stress and pressure of expectation is a very easy thing to talk about, but very hard to actually then achieve. We have to try and make certain, as we go forward with a very young group of England players, that they are capable of accepting this pressure.“We can’t change it – we can’t ask the media to treat us more kindly or not ask too much from us. We can’t ask the fans not to want or expect or hope that England might win tournaments. That’s a given. It’s always going to be there, so we have to breed players who are mentally strong enough to say: ‘I know this, I understand this, but I trust in myself and my ability, and I believe that my teammates and I are good enough to do it’.“That is what we are constantly talking about and working on. I get so little time with the players on the field, so a lot of my job is on that leadership front, about man-management.”To read the full interview with Roy Hodgson, visit the Sport magazine website England’s players celebrate victory over Slovenia last_img read more

‘I miss it so much!’ Arsenal get emotional over ten year anniversary

first_img The final match at Highbury is advertised outside the stadium – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… How Highbury looked while it was being built in August 1913 – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… 10 10 In their final game at Highbury on May 7, 2006, Arsenal players celebrate scoring in their 4-2 win over Wigan – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… 10 Arsenal get ready to play in front of the Clock End for the final time – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… Arsenal fans around the world were a bit emotional on Saturday morning as they marked the ten year anniversary of leaving Highbury.Having made it their home since 1913, the Gunners then moved to the Emirates stadium, only around the corner, but supporters are still clamouring for the old days even though a decade has passed.On 7 May, 2006, Arsenal defeated Wigan 4-2, with Thierry Henry, fittingly, scoring a hat-trick as Arsene Wenger’s men bowed out at their famous home, but Highbury has, and never will, be forgotten.You can see how Gunners supporters reacted to the ten year anniversary of leaving their great old stadium below, while you can also see some amazing images of Highbury and its heroes by clicking the right arrow above… Gunnersaurus sits alongside Thierry Henry and Ashley Cole after the match – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… 10 Arsenal legend Charlie George shoots on goal in 1974 – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… 10 Arsenal play Birmingham on the opening day of the 1933/34 season – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… 10 10 10 10 Arsenal play a Vienna XI at Highbury in 1933 – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… Inside the Highbury changing room in 1938 – Click the right arrow above for more pictures… 10 Legendary stars Ian Wright and Tony Adams share a kiss on the pitch after winning the Premier League title in 1998 – Click the right arrow above for more pictures…last_img read more

DONEGAL MAN IS APPOINTED CHIEF OF THE AMERICAN ARMY

first_imgA County Donegal man has been made the third most powerful man in America.Martin E Dempsey was inaugurated as the Chief of Staff of the American Army at a ceremony at the White House.General Dempsey is the grandson of John Og Devenney, who left Ranafast in West Donegal for America in 1926. Last night his relations across West Donegal were toasting his success.He will now oversee 600,000 soldiers in 135 countries around the world and is now third in command behind President Barack Obama and Defence Secretary Robert Gates.Having graduated from Westpoint Military Academy in 1974, Dempsey rose quickly through the ranks and has seen action in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq as well as serving in the Philippines and Germany.General Dempsey’s first cousin Donnchadh Devenney revealed yesterday how the decorated Chief of Staff is very proud of his Irish roots. “He is very proud of his roots and so are the rest of his family. His sister Susan is due home here in Donegal in the summer months.“He keeps in touch about all that is happening in Ireland and knows and can be heard singing plenty of Irish songs. It’s good to see he has never forgotten where he comes from,” said Donnchadh from his own home in Ranafast.He also revealed how the Devenney family homestead from where Martin’s grandfather emigrated 85 years ago is still lived in today.Donnchadh added “It’s great to see someone from Ireland having done so well for themselves and still to remember where they came from. “His grandfather left the old train station in Crolly with four of his friends to find a better life in America and they were played off by the local Ranafast band which they were members of. “It’s great to see that something good came of it and that an Irishman and the rest of his family have done so well for themselves,” he said.EndsDONEGAL MAN IS APPOINTED CHIEF OF THE AMERICAN ARMY was last modified: March 26th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Vote for Measure R to restore integrity

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’By allowing City Council members to serve an additional four years, Measure R would give elected officials more time to make a difference and an opportunity to tackle the big issues. Measure R would also amend the City Charter to create powerful restrictions on lobbyists and bring an end to special interests’ access to City Hall. These restrictions include prohibiting free gifts to elected officials, tightening controls on campaign contributions and imposing tough reforms on contract bidders. In addition, Measure R would ban lobbyists from being appointed to any city board or commission. By passing Measure R, voters will ensure that lobbyists will no longer be able to “buy votes” at City Hall. Measure R would stop special-interest groups from influencing city officials by toughening disclosure rules for millions of dollars of independent expenditures made in elections and requiring greater disclosure by candidates in all political advertisements. It would also increase restrictions on former elected officials’ ability to lobby the city after leaving government service, and require current officials, their staffs, and city commissioners to attend mandatory ethics training. A vote for Measure R is an opportunity to rein in the special-interest groups and bring an end to the “pay to play” era at City Hall. IN 1993, as a mayoral candidate, I urged residents of Los Angeles to support term limits for all citywide elected officials. I was right then – about the need to eliminate career politicians in city government by creating a fixed term of service. And I am right again today, when I urge you to support Measure R to extend City Council service from two to three terms and reform ethics rules to bring integrity back to City Hall. Term limits remain essential to a healthy government. They prevent politicians from getting too comfortable. They enforce accountability, and require elected officials to deliver on their promises. However, the two-term limit at City Hall has created a high-speed revolving door, eliminating institutional knowledge and the historical perspective integral to tackling complex civic problems. Currently, the longest-serving member of the council has been there only seven years. Seven other members are due to be forced out of office in 2009, and five more in 2011. Today’s eight-year limit discourages long-term government commitment to major city problems such as tackling traffic congestion or increasing public safety. Elected officials are reluctant to invest their time and resources into ongoing projects that they will never see completed or consider a political risk. The constant changing of council leadership, focus and priorities results in the abandonment of citywide efforts and district-specific projects. Ethics reform at City Hall is long overdue, and Measure R is the answer. Extending term limits combined with increased restrictions on lobbyists and campaign contributions would protect City Council members from the influence of special interests and afford them the time to do their jobs ethically and effectively. I urge you to vote yes for Measure R on Nov. 7. Bring integrity back to City Hall. Richard Riordan is a former mayor of Los Angeles.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more