New Govt to disband SARA – VP Jagdeo

L-R: Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and Clive Thomas

The new People’s Progressive Party Civic Government will disband the the controversial State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA).

SARA was set up in 2017 by the previous APNU-AFC Coalition to recover stolen assets of the State.

However, at a recent press conference, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo pointed out that the body, headed by Professor Clive Thomas, is filled with political appointees.

Professor Thomas is a leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of the political parties in the APNU faction of the coalition.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of SARA, Aubrey Heath-Retemyer was in the past quoted in the press conceding that he has a political affiliation, but did not disclose with which political party he was aligned. Further, Tacuma Ogunseye and Desmond Trotman, two longstanding leaders of the WPA, were also employed by the Agency.

“So right now the unit has to be disbanded… We have to be advised, but right now the people who are there have not done anything and they’re incapable of doing any of this work.”

He went on to say: “We don’t want an agency that uses hundreds of millions of dollars per year to recover $10. We don’t want that; we can’t afford that as a country. It was like a sinecure unit.”

Attorney General Anil Nandlall will have to guide the Government on the way forward regarding the fate of the Agency. Jagdeo said they would have to be advised on how to probe the work of SARA to date, that is, whether to call in another agency, the Police or conduct an audit.