GECOM must cleanse itself of all rogue elements!

Dear Editor,
The recent termination of the highly controversial Duarte Hetsberger from the employ of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was way overdue. Aside from others who suddenly walked away out of fear of prosecution for their hideous roles, the iceberg is cracking, and all the Commission must ensure is that floating rogue elements are dispensed with.
It is not surprising that the contents of the GECOM computer used by Duarte Hetsberger and others were deleted. The purpose it serves is to remove evidence, and Hetsberger seems to have taken the ‘fall-guy’ posture.
GECOM, however, cannot back- pedal, as the institution has no choice but to improve its image based on the strongest investigative approach at this time. As the cleanup continues, the public will read much more about the roles of the planted clandestine agents in the attempt to change the results of the March 2020 General and Regional Elections.
It is rational for one to link and see the coverup of fraud with the clandestine and criminal intent of wiping computers owned by GECOM. Even though APNU/AFC coalition Government piloted the CyberCrime Act in 2018, it is clear that its full operationalisation must be effected to arrest the overwhelming criminal abuse many of their supporters continue to show in their scant disregard for the law.
During the torturous five months following the March 02, 2020 Elections, and until the cabals in operation at the GECOM Secretariat were dismissed, there is no evidence of any appropriate report regarding the elections being prepared. Consequently, the Information Technology (IT) Officers subsequently discovered that the computers were all cleanly wiped of data, and Hetsberger offered no explanation for the sweep. It must be noted that he was totally in charge of the office. This absolute failure within such key controls begs pertinent questions regarding the necessary off-site backup that should be in place.
Importantly, concerning computer fraud evidenced in this case, Section 11 (1) of the Cybercrime Act of 2018 states: “A person commits an offense if the person-
(a) Inputs, alters, deletes, or suppresses electronic data; or
(b) (b) interferes with the functioning of a computer system, with the intent to defraud or deceive another person for the purpose of procuring an economic benefit for himself or another person.”
While GECOM is indeed a semi-autonomous organisation, all of its assets are owned by the state. Our taxpayers’ hard-earned contributions were used to procure every piece of equipment, and the wiping out and cleaning out of significant information from GECOM’s computers must be fully investigated. The Police must be promptly called in, and a full investigation must take place in respect to the clean sweep-out of data from the former GECOM Chief Executive Officer Keith Lowenfield and his secretary’s computers.
These rogue actors have sought to intimidate the entire nation, which also brings into consideration offences under Section 19 of the Cybercrime Act.
I was informed by credible sources that the GECOM Secretariat is depleted of key electronic data, information, and records related to the past several years. At the end of every Local Government, Regional, and National Elections, it is compulsory that the CEO and his staff prepare thorough reports of events regarding the respective Elections, and this was notably absent for 2020 and other periods. These damning acts are very serious, given all the pains and the tremendous cost that this nation had to bear. It is imperative that the Police are called in and the thoroughest forensic examination be conducted to inform charges against those found culpable.
GECOM is in the process of filling several vacancies in the Secretariat, along with many other key areas. It is, however, most disgusting to observe the myopic approach to the shortlisting of persons for interviews.
Hetsberger is shortlisted for other positions for which he is not appropriately qualified. This highly controversial cabal member does not have a first degree, yet he applied for other advertised vacancies and was shortlisted contrary to other persons in a similar category.
Further, I was reliably informed that Hetsberger was offered other positions than Personal Assistant to the CEO, which he bluntly refused, forcing the decision to dismiss him. Given the circumstances, I share the view of many others that a person of his ilk and rogue involvement should never be accommodated by the consideration of the Commission.
In addition, others who have previously committed the unpardonable sins while working at GECOM must be properly scrutinised and weeded out in an attempt to cleanse the organisation of all these rogue elements currently seeking a foothold through new employment.
It will be remiss if the ramblings and rubbish that Vincent Alexander is carrying on in the media are not pointed out for what they represent. These statements only continue to expose his vexatious and bitter mentality and partisan support for any means necessary. Alexander will recall his dismal by former President Desmond Hoyte as Regional Executive Officer. He must be also aware that his challenge to Robert Corbin for leadership of the PNC led to him losing his Party membership.
Alexander’s publicly displayed irrationality only serves to strengthen the nation’s awareness of his continued bitter demeanour due to the Commission’s decision to cancel the mandatory use of ID cards for voting, as well as the house-to-house registration. Our citizens are candidly aware that the latter would have only served to lengthen the APNU/AFC time in office and facilitate jobs for the PNC family. He has failed miserably in all his efforts and pursuit to find a space under the sun, but Guyana needs the togetherness and not the divisive agenda being peddled by Alexander for all our people.
Guyana is on the rise. Let us move forward with pride and dignity as steps are taken to rid GECOM of the rogue elements.

Neil Kumar