GECOM’s been in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. To be fair, the contretemps over appointing its chair isn’t its fault. However, we have to note that there would’ve been no problem if it weren’t for the requirement that, of all the institutions in Guyana, GECOM’s supposed to be purer than Caesar’s wife. All the political bickering over the last 55 years — even leading to blood in the streets — is over the elections that GECOM oversees.
President Carter led an initiative that received the backing of all the western nations to straighten out GECOM, and the most elaborate efforts were made to prevent skullduggery in elections. But it’s now clear that while all efforts were directed at skullduggery outside GECOM, no one thought about skullduggery inside, on non-electoral matters — Like siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of the top administrative personnel!
The news about just one scam within GECOM before the 2015 elections is enough to make any upstanding citizen puke. But it doesn’t seem to have even raised an eyebrow within the APNU/AFC coalition. And it’s not just a matter of “allegations” by a newspaper against the CEO of GECOM — Lowenfield — as one letter writer suggested.
The Auditor General of Guyana, in performance of his official duties, submitted an audit report on the sordid details of how 0 million were spent on radios just days before the 2015 elections — knowing full well they couldn’t be used. Even if the radios were operational, which they were not!! And how do we know this? Well, GECOM itself submitted another “emergency” request for satellite phones, because THEY claimed they had no other way of communicating with their officials in the field!!
Now it’s not often an Auditor General recommends that Police be called in. In fact, your Eyewitness can’t think of another instance in recent years. Auditors, after all — by training if not by inclination — are ultra-cautious folks who jump through so many hoops to ensure accuracy they’d rather leave those matters for line management. But this time the bugle was sounded for the police.
It’s not surprising that “GECOM” — read the man in the firing line, CEO Lowenfield, who received the report — has rejected the report, especially the recommendation!! What’s new? But what’s most intriguing is the absolute silence on the entire sordid affair from the usually loquacious Government functionaries.
And this has nothing to do with the “independence” of the “autonomous” GECOM.
After all, this is an administration whose Attorney General insulted a sitting member of the Judiciary. With not even a tickle on the wrist!
…at CID H/Q!
Case of the Purloined Coke!! This is what seems to have seized our Minister of Public Security when he did some ribbon-cutting recently for a new “store room” for evidence seized by the Police. In this instance, almost three pounds of cocaine had been seized from an ex-policeman on route to the Big-Apple. It was left in the supposedly safe hands of high officials at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Then suddenly it was gone!! Minister Ramjattan sternly pronounced that the CID officers were “reckless and negligent” and they “bear some of the blame”. You think?? OK, let’s follow the trail of the missing coke. Since civilians aren’t allowed to traipse in and out of the CID HQ…it couldn’t be an outside job, could it? And as Sherlock Holmes advised, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
So when will the Office of Professional Responsibility be issuing its report? And to whom? The Minister?
…on body cavity searches
Fella caused a ruckus at the magistrate’s court ‘cause the police wanted to search his “cavity”. Only a year ago, he’s also protested a prison warden seeking to do the same. Maybe the warden suspected him smuggling “contraband” into prison.
But into the magistrate’s court? Sexual molestation?