The women arm of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is calling for the immediate removal of the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Three, Mr. Donald Gajraj, following sexual harassment allegations against him.
At a press conference today, Tuesday July 9, General Secretary of the GPSU’s Women Organisation, Debroah Murphy [ag] expressed outrage at the incident.
The Accounts Clerk 3 of the Regional Democratic Office of Region 3 earlier this month alleged that the REO put his hand in her blouse and fondled her breast on June 18, while she was in his office.
The young lady was since transferred to the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH).
As a result of the incident, the GPSU is now demanding that the REO and his deputy be removed from office until the investigation is complete by the police and for the Public Service Ministry to launch its own investigation into the matter.
Additionally, the Women Organisation is also concerned that the complainant was transferred to an institution which has no vacancies to fit her qualifications.
As such, they want the REO removed and the complainant reinstated.
Second Vice President of the GPSU’s Women Organisation, Dawn Gardener said, “If we have such allegation, it would be professional for you to move the accused away from the scene since the accused may tamper with evidence. Now you have moved the VC [Virtual Complainant] and has the accused remaining there in the same capacity, we would not have a fair investigation conducted there.”
She said that there are several sexual harassment incidents against the REO by the same young lady.
According to Gardener, the Union has advised the young lady to show up to work every, however, she sits at a desk with nothing to do all day.
Gardener said from investigations conducted by the GPSU, it was revealed that there are some employees who witnessed the incident but refused to give statements against the REO, for fear of victimization.
The REO is also the Accounting Officer of Region Three.
In response reports that the Permanent Secretary of the Local Government Ministry stated that the complainant was transferred because of her ‘attitude’, Gardener said that the GPSU never received such reports.
Gardener believes that if this was the case, then an investigation should have taken place into her attitude before a decision was taken to transfer her.
The Union is also seeking the support from other organisations to ensure that justice is served.