Residents of Yurong Paru village in the South Pakaraima community of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) now have access to a supply of treated water because the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has commissioned that community’s water supply system.Prior to their receipt of this well, residents of the village obtained water from a spring.A student of the village utilising the new treated water supplyManaging Director of GWI, Dr Richard Van West-Charles, addressed the gathering and detailed the importance of teamwork and collaboration to ensure accessibility of potable water in communities.He also stressed the importance of clean water in communities, highlighting that it is a universal human right and stating that the company is working to improve the water systems in Region Nine.PAHO/WHO Guyana Consultant for Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Dr Mariano Bonet, explained that what the world wants has materialised in Yurong Paru with the commissioning of the water supply system.Similar sentiments were echoed by the Chairman of the GWI Board of Directors, Patricia Chase-Green, who also reiterated the importance of water, explaining to residents that they should sustain the water supply system.The toshao and residents of the community have expressed their gratitude to the GWI and its partners for establishing a source of treated water. They also would be trained in the application of water treatment, maintenance, and safe operation of the system.The project was materialised by efforts from GWI, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Yurong Paru Village Council and members of the village.
…also charged for firearm possessionRonaldo Persaud, a miner of 19 Miles, Rockstone, Essequibo River, on Wednesday appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse for the offences of engaging in sexual activity with a child family member, possession of firearm, and two break and entry and larceny charges.The 19-year-old appeared at the Linden Magistrate’s Court to answer to the charges. It is alleged that he engaged in sexual activity with a child family memberRonaldo Persaudbetween October 25 and 26, 2016, at 20 Miles Anarika, Essequibo River. It is also alleged that he had a firearm in his possession without licence and that he broke and entered the dwelling house of Ameer Bacchus as well as the Hururu Forest Station. Persaud pleaded guilty to the firearm possession and break and enter and larceny charges, but denied engaging in sexual activity with a child family member.A probation report was ordered by the Magistrate, and the matter was adjourned until May 18, 2018. He was remanded to prison. The other matters were transferred to the Kwakwani Magistrate’s Court and adjourned to May 20, 2018 for sentencing.
…1 hospitalisedA Police Corporal and a former athlete lost their lives tragically on Tuesday morning when the motor car in which they were travelling slammed into a lorry on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.Dead are Theon Hope, 24, of Lamaha Park, Georgetown; a Police Corporal, who was stationed at Eve Leary and 25-year-old Quason Anthony, a former athlete of Lot 8366 Bent Street, Georgetown.According to reports, both men, along with two others including the driver of motor car PNN 1278, Rishawn Pierre, 23, of D’Urban Street, Lodge, were proceeding to Georgetown on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway at 07:30h when the accident occurred.Guyana Times understands that Pierre was speeding and while proceeding north in the vicinity of Loo Creek, he collided with the rear of motor lorry GWW 8443 with trailer TWW 8912 which was heading in the same direction carrying lumber. One of the logs reportedly went through the motor car.Public-spirited persons assisted to pull the men from the wrecked motor car, but by that time both Hope and Anthony had succumbed to their injuries.The third injured man, Jermaine Samuels, 20, of Lot 71 Haley Street, Wortmanville, who was in the right rear seat, reportedly received head injuries, and was in stable condition at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC).However, Pierre was taken into Police custody, where he is said to be assisting ranks with the investigation.The wrecked motor car after the accidentWhen this publication visited the homes of the two dead men, their families were too distraught to speak.The father of Anthony’s fiancée was seen in tears while other relatives seemed to be at a loss for words. Anthony was a father of one.Relatives of Hope declined to comment as they were still trying to come to grips with the horrific news.
An Albouystown, Georgetown block maker was on Tuesday remanded to prison after he was slapped with an attempted murder charge and placed before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Twenty-seven-year-old Malcolm Culley, of Lot 154 Cooper Street, Albouystown, Georgetown, had the charge read to him by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.The court heard that on May 18, 2018 at Albouystown with intent to commit murder, Culley wounded Rawle Khan.On Tuesday, the court was informed that the injured man was still hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital suffering from a punctured lung.In a bail application, Culley’s Attorney, George Thomas, told the court that his client, a father of one, was soon to be a parent again.He highlighted that Culley had no previous matters in the courts and did not pose a flight risk.However, Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail and revealed that Khan was not out of danger. The Prosecutor added that the Virtual Complainant was nursing a punctured lung, broken ribs, and multiple lacerations about his body.The prosecution’s submission was upheld, and bail was denied. The case will continue on June 11, 2018.
…questions GPF’s failure to question perpetrators Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has been left pondering over the Police’s definition of forgery after Justice Navindra Singh dismissed the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) legal challenge to remove some 50 names from an Alliance For Change (AFC) list of backers for the November 12 Local Government Elections.Justice Singh ruled earlier this week that there was no evidence of fraud, trickery or threat and noted that there was no basis to ask the Chief Elections Officer to strike out the names of the nominators from the AFC’s Lists of Candidates. Jagdeo, however, feels the case could have been dismissed due to the Police’s report in the matter being “heavily doctored”.He said the new life the AFC was given with the recent ruling will be ‘short lived’ as he stressed that his party will be seeking legal advice on the report as he indicated that the case could be challenged all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).“We are fighting for the rights of all Guyanese; this is a test case to us. Whether it is concluded before the elections or not, it is not important for us but we have to get a ruling on this matter all the way maybe to the CCJ,” Jagdeo revealed.He also questioned why the Police did not interview the alleged perpetrators though they were seen on television denying the alleged forgery. Jagdeo, reading from Police report on Thursday, said one of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s family members tricked Hemraj Mohadeo, Anita Mohadeo and Parvattie Thomas into backing the AFC.“Now the report is heavily doctored… a Ryan Mohadeo says that Abraham Nagamootoo went to his home with papers in his hands and told him that he wanted to become the Chairman for Bloomfield/Whim Villages and that he needed persons to support him.Mahadeo asked him if it had anything to do with the upcoming elections and he said no… this is in the Police report. Nagamootoo then told him to sign it which he did and Mohadeo took the paper to his family members and they signed also… so the Police’s conclusion is that at no time was he or his family forced to sign the document,” Jagdeo read from the Police report.Questioning the dismissal of the case, the Opposition Leader queried whether there is a new parameter for forgery: “So now trickery, forgery, misleading people and deception is not really deception unless you hold the person’s hand and force him to sign the paper… Nagamootoo through trickery said that the document had nothing to do with elections and got Ryan Mohadeo to sign the document… that’s a new parameter for forgery, if you do not hold the persons hand and force him to sign the document then you cannot be committed or charged for forgery any longer,” Jagdeo said.He later observed that there was another case of deception recorded in the report where AFC supporters allegedly tricked a number of persons into signing theirs list, claiming to be conducting the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) registration.“…[Abraham] Nagamootoo went and met with them and told them that he was doing registration for the upcoming elections and that he required their ID cards and they have to sign which they all did… here in the report Nagamootoo told them that he was doing registration on behalf of GECOM, is this not trickery?” Jadgeo questioned.According to Jagdeo, the report is replete with examples of deceit, trickery and fraudulent behaviour on the part of AFC members in procuring signatures. He further questioned why the Police report was not sent to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice but went instead directly to Justice Singh.Shafraz Beekham, of Letter Kenny Village, Corentyne, and 49 other persons from the Bloomfield/Whim, Corentyne area, filed affidavits saying that they were misled into believing that they were supporting a party of their choice when in reality, they actually were “misled” into signing AFC’s nominator lists.The PPP’s legal suit was filed on behalf of Beekham.
Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan said he has noticed an ongoing change in governance at the community level in Guyana, in that a decentralised and fully autonomous system of governance is emerging.Then delivering the charge to the Councillors in the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of Region Five, (Mahaica-Berbice), in the compound of the Fort Wellington Secondary School on the West Coast of Berbice (WCB), Bulkan said the current change allows people at the grassroots level to have a direct say in the development of their communities.“This system was entrenched in the Constitution of Guyana, but had been ignored by the previous administration,” Bulkan said. “The APNU/AFC Government has restored the system, and is committed to improving it and having it entrenched in the governance system to the extent that no future Government would ever be given the right to dispossess grassroots citizens of their rights to self-determination, entrenched in the laws of Guyana.”Minister Bulkan noted that Local Government Elections (LGE) held on November 12th this year have been the fourth such to be held in Guyana in nearly half a century; and the 2016 LGE, which were followed by the 2018 LGE, were the first ever to be held consecutively in the country after a dearth of 23 years.He assured Councillors of a “hands-off guarantee” from Central Government, citing Article 75 of the Constitution of Guyana, which gives Municipalities and Councils full autonomy for their activities without influence from Central Government.Minister Bulkan said: “Article 75 of the Constitution says that Parliament shall ensure that Local Democratic Organs (LDOs) shall be autonomous. That is, have the right to manage their own affairs.”He stressed that the Coalition Government had, in just over three years, ensured that the democratic credentials of the Local Government Councils are intact, and had provided considerable support by way of training and capacity building within councils.“We have been putting our money where our (mouths are),” he underscored.Minister Bulkan observed that there is more to be done, and heCommunities Minister Ronald Bulkan and the newly-sworn-in NDC Councillors of Region 6said Government would be aggressively pursuing a programme for the further empowerment of the local government system of governance in Guyana. “We are in a new era, an era of people’s empowerment”, he declared.The intention of the Coalition, he noted, is to have the system of decentralised governance so entrenched that citizens all across the country would realise the utility, validity and superiority of this approach to governance and would resist any attempt to resuscitate the old and discredited model of centralised governance.The Chairpersons for the ten Neighborhood Councils in Region Five were sworn in to office by Regional Executive Officer Ovid Morrison.Other attendees at this exercise included the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities, Emil Mc Garrell; senior staffers of the Communities Ministry, senior officers of the Regional Democratic Councils, overseers of the NDCs, and other special invitees.The newly elected NDC leaders in Region Six, East Berbice-Corentyne, took the Oath of Office before Regional Executive Officer Kim Williams-Stephen on the Lawns of State House in New Amsterdam.Region 6 Chairman David Armogan called on the leaders to allow the people to participate in activities, and he said the leaders should be servants to the people, instead of things being the other way around.“Democracy is consulting with the people, allowing them to participate in the process of decision making; and that is what we expect from our newly elected councillors and vice chairs,” he said.Armogan also called on the community leaders to be fair in all aspects of the execution of their duties, and serve in a way that would make the lives of the citizens more comfortable.
The investigation of rape cases are likely to significantly improve with the donation of 300 rape kits to the country’s most populated region; Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).UNICEF Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouet (center) hands over a rape kit to Region Four’s Regional Executive Officer, Pauline Lucas and Regional Health Officer, Dr Quincy JonesThe rape kits, which were donated to Region Four on Tuesday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will aid in taking samples from the victim to locate and identify the perpetrator.During a brief handing over ceremony hosted at UNICEF’s Brickdam Georgetown location, the Regional Health Officer, Dr Quincy Jones explained that the kits are fully equipped with the tools needed to collect samples from under finger nails and even other private parts.The samples, he said, will be collected by the Police who will conduct further investigations to locate and identify the perpetrators of the act.The kit will also aid in testing for HIV and pregnancy in rape victims, but is suggested to be used within 24 to 72 hours after the act, as evidence can be washed away.The kits will be housed at medical centres across the region and can be accessed by victims, although the investigations will be conducted by Police officers.“One of the mandates as a Regional Health Officer, we have, is to provide quality services to all citizens and visitors of Region Four and we need to provide adequate health care to those who would have been victims of sexual assault and essential to this is collecting the necessary evidence which is a timely thing because if you don’t collect the evidence within a crucial window period which is roughly between 24 hours to 72 hours, you could lose a lot of evidence,” Dr Jones explained.UNICEF Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouet told the media that the kits will work along with the Sexual Offences Act of 2017 to provide justice to rape victims.According to her, “it’s a supply need that we heard from the partners (regional executives) and it’s for us to really jumpstart to kick off some clear action on the ground in addition to working with the Sexual Offenses Act and its part also of the National Plan of Action that we have in the context of the Sexual Offences Act.”Fouet added that she was pleased with the partnership which will hopefully be of good effect to the region, especially since, “it’s really to prevent and respond in this case to the sexual offence and in particular sexual violence.”Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas said the donation was quite timely and thanked the organisation as it was pointed out that the country has about 400 rape victims per year. She added that Region Four has the responsibility of most times providing health care to visitors and the donation will ensure that justice can be served to all people.Prior to the donation, Dr Jones pointed out that a crucial need had always existed, especially as technology continues to advance in relation to forensic science.During the last quarter of 2018, Police statistics proved that rape cases have increased.Top Cop Leslie James told the media that rape cases had increased by seven per cent, with 202 cases reported in 2018 compared to 189 cases in 2017.
A man is now in Police custody after he was nabbed following a probe into a robbery that took place on Thursday last at Sookpaul Service Station in Springlands, Corriverton, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).One of the bandits caught on CCTV footage at the gas stationThis is according to Commander of B Division, Paul Langevine, who told this publication that Police are also on the hunt for the suspect’s accomplice.He noted that shortly after reports were made about the robbery, the man in Police custody was apprehended and the hunt commenced for the second male, who is alleged to have aided in the execution of that robbery.On Thursday, two cutlass-wielding bandits approached the pump attendant at the fuel station in question and relieved him of approximately $45,000.The duo then proceeded to fill their bags with commodities from the coolers nearby.However, in the process of doing so, several gunshots rang out a short distance away from the gas station, startling the bandits and resulted in them dropping some of their loot to flee the scene.This publication was told that the robbery had been recorded on CCTV cameras and while the two bandits were executing the crime, one of the gas station’s owners, who is a licensed firearm holder, responded by discharging several rounds in the air.As such, the bandits immediately dropped the bags with the items they removed from the coolers and disappeared. They, however, managed to escape with the stolen money.The matter was subsequently reported and after reviewing the surveillance footage, Police arrested several persons who were taken into custody and were said to have been assisting with the investigation.
– admits to murdering woman because of “infidelity”A Hururu Mission, Region One resident who confessed to killing his wife 21 years ago, after accusing her of being unfaithful to him, will be arraigned in court in the new week.Philbert Thomas, also called “Gilbert” ThomasIn September, 1998, the now 48-year-old Philbert Thomas, also called “Gilbert Thomas,” was at a Fun Day activity in Kwebanna village, Region One (Barima-Waini) when he stabbed his reputed wife, Viola Thomas, to death.A senior Police officer, who at the time of the murder was stationed in Region One, has said that stabbing incident was witnessed by more than 100 persons. That Police officer explained that the suspect had fled the scene moments after committing the act, and had since not been seen or heard from.Guyana Times understands that Philbert and the late Viola Thomas had been involved in a relationship for years prior to the stabbing incident, and she had mothered his children.After the murder was committed in 1998, the file was sent to the then Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice, and investigators were told to arrest and charge Thomas for murder, but he could not be located.However, Thomas was last month charged for felonious wounding committed on his ex-lover Dally Gobin and her friend Leaymond Smith. It was reported that, on the day in question, the victims were imbibing at Gobin’s house when the suspect showed up without being invited. This resulted in a heated argument among them. The argument degenerated into a scuffle, and the suspect allegedly whipped out a knife and dealt Gobin a stab. He then turned his attention to Smith, and stabbed him once before fleeing the scene.The victims were taken to the Kwakwani Hospital, where they were treated and referred to the Linden Hospital Complex. There they were admitted, and subsequently discharged.Thomas was arrested while hiding at a camp in the Hururu Backlands, and was subsequently charged.It was after this story had been published in the media that persons who had witnessed him murdering his wife contacted the Police.Commander of “F” Division (Interior locations), Kevin Adonis, told this publication that someone contacted ranks of his division with information that Thomas has been wanted by the Police some 21 years ago for murdering his reputed wife, but was never arrested or charged for the incident.According to the Police Commander, an investigation was immediately launched into the matter, and Thomas was subsequently interrogated about the murder. Thomas has since admitted to the Police that he had murdered Viola because she had been “unfaithful” to him.
The Government is unsure whether it will go ahead with setting up a separate oil and gas unit in the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) or not. It is sure about one thing, however, and that is staffing such a unit will be a challenge.Winston-JordanMaking this pronouncement was Finance Minister Winston Jordan on the sidelines of a reception at the Marriott Hotel on Monday for the arrival of ExxonMobil’s Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel.According to Jordan, he has had discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the available options for the unit. However, Jordan noted that he is leaning towards scrapping the idea and building capacity within GRA’s current, albeit small, oil and gas unit.“The IMF is in the country right now to do technical assistance. I had a brief meeting with them and we discussed whether we want to set up the unit separately or whether we will build capacity in the existing unit that we have”.“I’m thinking that we’re going to build capacity, because it’s very difficult, not setting up the unit, but it’s very difficult staffing it. So I want to just build on the staff we have there already and use some funding form the World Bank loan to complement the staff we have there”.Guyana Revenue AuthorityJordan also noted that a few other qualified locals could be brought on board to add to the staffing complement of the unit. He pointed out that the unit would also be helped by the Ministry’s Economic Policy Unit.While there has been much advocacy for local content, a commonly cited obstacle has been the lack of tertiary-trained local oil and gas personnel. Guyana already has a troubling ratio of university-trained graduates to persons who have never attended university.These statistics are notwithstanding the percentage of those specialising in oil and gas. A survey released by the Bureau of Statistics last year had found that less than ten per cent of Guyana’s population had completed post-secondary education.However, there have been efforts to build capacity at the University of Guyana. Earlier this year, the University announced that it had launched its Associate of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering which would be a two-year duration and have students engaged in workshop training and skill courses.It had been announced that the course was being offered in collaboration with Trinidad and Tobago, with some courses expected to be delivered in Trinidad. A UG team had visited the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of the West Indies, and an agreement was struck to develop various courses.Speaking during a forum titled “The Youth and the Oil and Gas Sector”, UG Registrar Nigel Gravesande had noted that while the Technical and Vocational Training Education (TVET) institutions have started to create an enabling environment for training, more had to be done to ensure “sustainable exploration, development and production of the nation’s petroleum assets”.Gravesande had explained that “Guyana found itself not only as a newcomer to the industry, but also relatively unprepared without the necessary skills to make a significant contribution to the production that was targeted to commence in 2020”.The University Registrar had underscored that “this situation gave rise to the demand for these requisite skills in this highly-specialised area of petroleum engineering to be developed locally, but also rapidly”.