By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has revealed that the APNU+AFC government has appointed thirty persons in the United States and Canada as “Honorary Titles,” who are responsible for promoting the government’s image in the Diaspora.
Harmon only made the revelation about these appointments when he was questioned by the media on Wednesday, December 02 at a post cabinet media briefing, after it was brought to the public’s attention by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party.
When asked to disclose the names of these persons, the Government Minister said he does not remember the names, pointing out that they are “persons who have distinguished themselves in the Diaspora in the US and Canada.”
He claimed that these 30 persons are not being paid for promoting Guyana.
Meanwhile, the appointments only came to light with PPP Parliamentarian and former Attorney General, Anil Nandall revealed during a press conference at Freedom House on December 02 that 27 persons in the US and four in Canada were appointed as “Presidential advisers” on Diaspora matters.
Nandlall cited the lack of transparency in appointing these persons and the fact that no public announcement was made by the Ministry of the Presidency.
“We want to know who these people are, how they were selected, what their qualifications are, what are their sectoral responsibilities, what are their portfolios, what are their remuneration packages; offices are going to be rented for them, expenditures are going to be paid, light bill and phone bills are going to be paid, utilities expenses are going to be paid.
“We need to know these things. We are getting this information not through the public announcement but through other methods,” the former AG told the news conference.
Additionally, PPP Parliamentarian, Gail Teixeira made it clear that the President has the right to appoint as much advisers as he wants but it’s the secretive manner in which the appointments were made.