‘Wanton criminality’ by Govt going unpunished while witch-hunting intensifies – PPP

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…says Deeds Registrar is the latest victim

Azeena Baksh, pregnant, was on Tuesday arraigned in court for a fraud charge which stated that she accumulated over a period of several years $4.5M by increasing her salary without approval from the Judicial Service Commission. The accusations levied against her were vehemently denied through her attorney Nigel Hughes.  

The Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) says that the Deeds Registrar, Azeena Baksh, is the latest victim in the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition Government’s witch-hunting campaign to discredit persons aligned to the Party.

According to the PPP, while the nation is witnessing an an intensification of political witch-hunting, “major irregularities, grave illegalities and wanton criminality committed by Ministers of this Government, Permanent Secretaries and other senior functionaries” are going unpunished.

In corroborating their claim, the PPP outlined a list of some of the ‘major irregularities’ already entrenched in the two-year lifespan of the incumbent Administration.

See their full statement below:

The nation is witnessing an intensification of the political witch-hunting by the Coalition Government. Azeena Baksh, a young professional Guyanese and attorney-at-law, who decided not to venture into lucrative private practice but who choose instead to serve the State and work for a fixed salary is the latest victim. That her father, is Ali Baksh, a People’s Progressive Party leader and a Former Minister of the PPP Government, is certainly a contributing factor.

Those who are being instructed to draft and institute these charges are either rebelling silently or have abandoned their professional training because the charges are beginning to move from frivolous to ludicrous. Every lawyer who looked at the charges filed so far, has expressed the public view that the charges will never be supported by evidence and are all bound to fail.

More significantly, all these charges either relate to some contrived and concocted factual scenario fabricated simply to form the basis of the charge, as in the ‘law books’ case and Azeena Baksh’s case or, they concern the omission to perform some clerical function, which is not part of the functional responsibility of the person who is charged, for example the Guyana Rice Development Board of Directors.

On the other hand every day, the nation is witnessing the commission of major irregularities, grave illegalities and wanton criminality committed by Ministers of this Government, Permanent Secretaries and other senior functionaries, which are bleeding the treasury of billions of dollars, yet these people are neither investigated nor charged. For example:

  1. Giving to themselves 50% increase in salaries
  2. The D’Urban Park Development Project and the involvement of company owned by a Minister and cronies of this Government
  3. Write off of debts owed to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) by DDL and many other companies
  4. Minister Bulkan in violation of the statutes governing the local government system, appointed the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
  5. Write offs by the APNU+AFC dominated Georgetown Municipal Council to many companies for millions of dollars owed in rates and taxes
  6. Parking meters contract and no public tendering
  7. Drug bond contract between the Ministry of Public Health and the Linden Holding Company was not tendered and costing the Treasury 14M per month to store condoms and lubricants
  8. Scholarships to Ministers costing the Treasury millions of dollars
  9. Rental of houses for Ministers costing the Treasury thousands of US dollars per month
  10. Billions of dollars of contracts being awarded to friends, cronies and financiers without any form of public bidding
  11. Abuse of the Contingency Fund by Ministry of the Presidency for the purchase of luxury vehicles for the Prime Minister
  12. Minister Volda Lawerence violating procurement procedures in respect of the purchase of 2.2B in drugs, and this list is not exhausted.

We hope that the nation, the Diplomatic Community and the world note the pace at which Guyana is sliding into lawlessness.

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