SPU must face the law

Dear Editor,
The headlines read, “Government relieves SPU/NICIL Head of duties” because of “a series of illegalities and failures”, and it made me elated that the legal process to prosecute those who raped our treasury has been initiated.
Can you imagine that, since 2015, sugar workers were not paid a dime in increase, whilst billions went unaccounted for and were simply just siphoned off? It has long been the firm belief that the SPU was formed specifically to siphon off money from an already ailing industry under the pretext of resuscitating it.
It is anyone’s guess where these billions went. The aim was to kill GuySuCo, and Heath-London knew that. Colvin may not be called 007, but he sure packed a lot of ‘heath’.
The SPU supposedly was responsible for the privatisation and divestment of identified assets of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, none of which materialised. Instead, the unit went on a ‘yard sale’ of assets to cronies for mere peanuts. It was no divestment, since the aim was not to raise cash or reduce debts; the aim was not restructuring to bring the entity to solvency, it was just plain old ‘thiefing’ in a more glorified form.
The sums garnered from the sale of assets were never used to improve the health of GuySuCo. The privatisation was just a con game to destroy the estates and to use it as an excuse to raise the $30 billion bond to provide more funds for stealing. Until now, the monies spent from the bond (not James Bond) are still unaccounted for.
The SPU expended millions to hire PricewaterhouseCoopers to do an evaluation of the assets of the closed estates, in addition to providing advisory and financial services. After the valuation, PWC developed an investment prospectus and distributed it to all interested parties. This was done, but the SPU never kept the estates operational, as they were supposed to be. It was clear that the prospected investors were faced with the risk-filled decision to purchase an entity which was not a ‘going concern’ any longer.
After this, the Coalition and the SPU remained mum on the issue.
As it is today, it is evident that Wales has been destroyed beyond redemption, and it will take billions to bring back the other three closed estates to the position they were in before. This state of affairs must be placed squarely on the shoulders of the SPU head. He not only failed to make the closed estates saleable, but he must be made to account for the billions he was responsible to safeguard and to divest profitably, but sold for very little.
Imagine, the Coalition has the gall to speak about Pradoville 2, even Bond’s $US 1 million would make this pale into insignificance. If it was the case where assets could just be sold off willy-nilly, then there was no need for a special unit to do so, to whom they had to pay astronomical wages. The Coalition should have engaged the services of a petty thief, who I am inclined to believe would have done a better job.
The former SPU Head must also be made responsible for the physical deterioration of the remaining buildings, infrastructure, machinery and equipment, vehicles and motor cycles; and, most of all, the vast cane cultivation which has to be destroyed and replanted. If these are not criminal acts, then I beg to differ.
Mr London was given a job to do, and he did exactly the opposite. Dereliction of duty and misconduct are too mild terms to describe what he had done. It is now evident that the SPU Head operated with the same modus operandi as the Coalition. There was no public tender, valuations, Board approval, and no review and approval by NICIL’s counsel. Apart from failing to collect all the monies from the sales, he failed to present his accounts to the Auditor General for auditing from 2014 to 2019, and the answer is again obvious.
Like the Granger administration, he breached applicable laws and violated policies established by the Government and NICIL. It is clear that his actions also amount to a breach of the fiduciary duties and duty of care owed to NICIL imposed by the relevant provisions of the Companies Act 1991, and generally warranting his immediate termination, as the Government statement stated.
Heath never thought the Coalition would lose the 2020 Elections, and had thought that his misdeeds would have remained buried. It is clear that Colvin Heath-London was operating SPU and NICIL as his personal business, and was not subjected to any laws and regulations.

Yours sincerely,
Haseef Yusuf