Staff sent packing as suspected whistleblowers – Jagdeo

WPA Chairperson Tabitha Sarabo-Halley

…over $20M allegedly paid to Minister’s children since 2018

In light of the sacking of several staff members of the Public Service Ministry, including its chief accountant, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo believes that they were sent packing since it is presumed that they had exposed cases of corruption in the Government.

On May 31, the newly-appointed Minister, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley fired the personnel department, but the Government through its Public Affairs Unit denied such an allegation. However, the dismissals of the workers were verified after a termination letter surfaced.

“That is what their response is, information that we should know about, it is not their money and there is no secrecy about how you spend our money – taxpayers’. But they fired all the staff of the personnel department and they fired the accountant, and clearly, they are worried that within that department you have many more secrets, many more secrets, and they thought that those people released the information and they did not. They just unfairly dismissed them using some spurious excuse of restructuring,” Jagdeo said.

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

He stated that the workers were unfairly dismissed. In recent days, the Opposition has been revealing information about alleged corrupt practices within the Government.

One of those revelations are that the children of a senior Minister allegedly received over US$86,000 in 2018, monies that were transferred from the Department of Public Service. Then again, this year, another transfer of millions reportedly took place.

“In 2019, another child of that Minister got transferred from the same Office of the President, the Ministry of the Presidency, Public Service Division, $2,510, 575. So combined, over $20 million because the other one was over $17 million – over $20 million…this is taxpayers’ money and clearly, we need an explanation, let the country decide if the explanation is a plausible one. So, we have been asking for an explanation and guess what? Silence from the Ministry of the Presidency and silence from the Minister, a person who is very, very vocal on other matters, it’s silence.”

According to the Opposition Leader, the Public Service Minister rushed to illegally fire all the staff in the department that had access to this information, since the Government believes that those fired workers had sent information to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Public Service Minister, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley

He emphasised that this assumption was supported by Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance, Dr David Hinds. Hinds publicly declared that the Government should set up a Commission of Inquiry and rid the Public Service of “PPP moles”.

“So he is calling for a purge, a Commission of Inquiry, this is like, it is worse than even what Volda Lawrence had said, this is like one of those that Hitler had, you know you just do a purge. Call a Commission of Inquiry and call in every member of the Public Service and find out if you are a PPP mole or not. And then if you are a PPP mole, you get fired from the Public Service – this is a human rights activist, this is a black rights activist, the people who were fired were all Afro-Guyanese, but he is not concerned about that now, you know what he is concerned about? Defending perks because I heard the Minister who did this act is related to him…”

WPA Executive, Dr David Hinds

Jagdeo added that Hinds should have focused more on the rights of those workers who were fired by his party’s elected Minister Sarabo-Halley. The Opposition Leader stated that Hinds’s call for “flushing out PPP moles” was testimony to the type of individual he truly is.