Police Impersonator Arrested in Bong

first_imgPolice in Gbarnga, Bong County have arrested and sent to court for prosecution, a 30-year-old man identified as Titus Kollie for masquerading as a police officer.According to the commander of the Crime Services Division of the Bong County Police Detachment, Inspector Alvin James, the “fake police officer” was apprehended recently in Salala by some community members.Inspector James informed this reporter that the mimic chartered a commercial motorcycle from Ganta in Nimba County to Salala in Bong County with the common intent that he (Titus Kollie) is going to accomplish police operation in the area.   The CSD local boss explained when the police impersonator and the motorcyclist arrived at the Salala Immigration Checkpoint, the fake police officer decided to escape but the motor biker was swift to alert other security agencies assigned at the checkpoint that a police officer hired his service from Ganta to Salala but the officer has run away from him.  “Immediately after the motorcyclist made alarm, security launched a cordon security search for the uniform dressed police officer and he was apprehended by community members in Salala” Inspector James reiterated.He intoned that the fake police officer was charged with impersonating in accordance with the Liberian Panel Code and he has been sent to court for prosecution.When contacted at his police cell in Gbarnga, Titus Kollie admitted to the commission of the crime and furthered that he and his accomplices (but he the only one that arrested) have been in the business for the past three years.Kollie, who felt short to name his accomplices said they have been involved with motor bikes theft between Liberia and Guinea.He informed this paper that they are stationed in Ganta in Nimba County but their operative is in Gbarnga, Bong County, Monrovia and Lofa County.“All of us that are in this business do not have any knowledge on policing or have taken police training,” Kollie declared.He narrated that they escorted the stolen motor bikes in the police uniform to Guinea for business transactions.When questioned about how they obtain the police uniforms, Titus Kollie notify this reporter that they sometimes procure the uniforms from some of their friends who are currently serving in the police force or at time purchase the cloth and take it to handmade tailors. “Today is my bad luck day but frankly speaking we make some good money in the business,” he disclosed.Bong citizens who spoke to this paper recommend that the Government ban the importation of military and para-military materials in the country.The citizens also suggested that the government discourages people who are not military or para-military personnel from wearing any military or para-military materials. They advanced that government should also legislate this as a law banning the wearing of military materials by non military personnel in order to curb the growing wave of criminal activities in the country.The citizens said if government institutes this measure, it will be uncomplicated to identify military and Para-military personnel.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More →

Senate Rejects House’s US$73M District Development Bill

first_imgFollowing an hour of heated debate, the Senate Plenary at its 30th day sitting Thursday, May 15, voted unanimously to reject the Bill passed by the House of Representatives for a budgetary allocation in the tone of US$73 million for Electoral District Development Fund (EDDF).The bill was sent to the Senate for concurrence after it underwent a “fast track passage” recently by the Lower House.It may be recalled that House Speaker Alex Tyler during delivery of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Annual Message to the National Legislature, announced that the House has agreed to allot the amount of US$73 million in the 2014/2015 fiscal budget as developmental fund for the 73 electoral districts of the National Elections Commission (NEC).Making remarks at the joint program held in the rotunda of the Capitol Building, House Speaker Alex J. Tyler, promised that lawmakers of the 53rd legislature will be more robust during this seating.Speaker Tyler said his comment is a result of what the lawmakers experienced during a nationwide tour in December on the draft petroleum law of Liberia.The Senate’s rejection of the Bill Thursday followed a verbal report to the plenary by a member of the Senate Committee on Ways, Means, Finance & Budget, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor suggesting that instead of the US$73 million, the committee was suggesting an increment in the current County development Fund (CDF) from US$200,000 to the amount of US$1 million each   for the 15 counties.Senator Taylor briefed her colleagues citing Constitutional provisions that by law, budgetary allocations are made to Statutory Districts and not electoral district that can be created for election purposes.Prior to the motion for rejection, several Senators, who welcomed Senator Taylor committee’s recommendation/suggestion, however, wondered as to which area of the budget the amount of US$15 million would come from, in the wake of the persistent budget shortfalls.However, Senators including Dallas Advertus Gueh of River Cess County reminded their colleagues that the Senate has the Constitutional mandate to approve monetary allotment for national development, by virtue of the fact that they are the direct representatives of the people.Another group of the plenary, too, recalled that during the 2nd Session of the 53rd Senate, a Bill calling for the allotment of 15 percent of the National Budget as County Development Fund (CDF) was brought to the Chamber.The bill was sponsored by River Cess Senator Jay Jonathan Banney, and signed by 15 Senators of the joint committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget in a prepared report which recommended that 15 percent of the fiscal national budget be appropriated annually for the development of the 15 political subdivision of the country, describing the current US$200,000 as inadequate to address the many development needs of the counties. But the Senate is yet to build a consensus on that Bill.Before making the motion that was unanimously agreed on, Grand Gedeh County Senior Senator Isaac Nyenabo, declared that the bill must be totally rejected, saying it is a violation against the law.There is a law in the House of Representatives and was passed and is before us, it is in abeyance and let’s reject it.He then made his motion: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Liberian Senate, I move if I can be seconded, that the Bill presented before this body for US$73 million Electoral District for development purposes be rejected by this body.” The Senate voted yea, with no nae.Senate Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley then requested the Secretary of the Senate that the Senate’s leadership was going to set up a conference committee, because of the difference in the two Bills from the House of Representatives and Senate; and the one suggested by the Senate Committee on Ways, Means, and Finance & Budget.Senator Findley further instructed the Secretary to inform the House of Representatives “that we are returning this Bill to the House of Representatives that the Senate has rejected said Bill.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More →

House Regrets Allison’s Death

first_imgThe House of Representatives has expressed its deepest regrets over the death of Attorney-at-Law Michael Allison, who served as one of its consultants during the formulation of the New Oil and Gas Law.Atty. Allison’s body was found early Friday morning, the 13th of February on a beach behind the Royal Air Maroc Monrovia office in his underwear with froth at his mouth.The House said Atty. Allison will be missed for his hard working spirit demonstrated during the oil consultation when he availed his expertise to synchronize and validate views and comments from across the country, reflecting the dreams and aspirations of the Liberian people.According to a press statement under the signature of the House’s Acting Press and Public Affairs Director, Nelson Carr, the consultative role of Atty. Allison and two others hired as consultants, strengthened the national effort to sustain a vibrant Hydro Carbon Sector.The release also said the Honorable House joins the many voices calling for a speedy investigation leading to the cause of his death.“The Speaker and Members support any certified pathologist(s) to conduct an autopsy to establish circumstances surrounding the cause of death of Atty. Allison,” the release noted.The House of Representatives described the death of Atty. Allison as “unfortunate and regrettable.”“It is with a heavy heart the Honorable House of Representatives expresses its deepest condolences to the bereaved family, friends, loved ones and the Maryland County Bar Association,” the release said.The late Atty. Allison, son of the late former Defense Minister Gray D. Allison, was the Managing Director of the BRICS Mano River Union Legal Consultants.Atty. Allison was reportedly the whistleblower of the ongoing investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), involving Speaker Alex Tyler, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue and Rep. Edwin M. Snowe and others.The case involves the questionable payment of US$25,000 to consultants in the formulation of the New Oil and Gas Law, which is the subject of a US$1.2m given to the National Legislature for a nationwide consultation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More →

EU Brings in More Ebola Relief Supplies

first_imgKarel Doorman, a vessel of the Royal Dutch Navy, is expected to make its second docking in the Port of Monrovia on Friday, January 2, 2015, bringing urgently needed medical and relief supplies offered by the European Union (EU) Member states of Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and some international organizations—the World Food Program (WFP)  and UNICEF).  These have been made possible through the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), in response to the Ebola outbreak.The Ebola relief supply is intended for local NGOs and major aid actors formally involved in the Ebola response.The items consists of medical equipment, 4X4 vehicles, ambulances, personal protective equipment and masks, mobile hospital supplies, food, hospital beds, etc.Mr. Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, stated: “From the beginning of this crisis, it has been clear that the response to the Ebola epidemic requires not only funding for the NGOs and UN organizations working on the ground, but also equipment and personnel. A large number of EU Member States have now provided equipment in large volumes, much of it facilitated by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.”Mr. Stylianides said the use of a Dutch naval vessel, the Karel Doorman, to deliver assistance from nine Member States has been particularly impressive.The donated items include  ambulances, trucks, mobile hospitals and protective equipment.  They constitute a joint European effort with the support of our Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC),BackgroundOn its first mission to the three worst-hit countries in West Africa by Ebola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the Dutch Vessel, Karel Doorman, docked in the Freeport of Monrovia on November 24, 2014, with essential humanitarian supplies after a journey of over two weeks, with stops in the ports of Freetown and Conakry.The supplies brought to Liberia,  valued at €3.6 million included 23 containers of assorted medical supplies and drugs, 21 ambulances and other vehicles and one self-contained mobile  laboratory. The materials were donated to the Government and people of Liberia through various humanitarian agencies to bolster the Ebola fight as part of a coordinated European response under the European Response Coordination Mechanism.Key donors of the first supplies included the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands and other countries of the European Union (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Romania, and the United Kingdom).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More →

Would WPA really walk away from the Govt?

first_imgDear Editor,There is no doubt that the Working People’s Alliance is a legitimate member of the Coalition Government, but after reading the party’s threats to perhaps walk away from the Government because of perceived maltreatment, I wonder whether its leaders fully understand what they are talking about.I recall similar mumblings when Dr Roopnaraine had stepped down as Minister of Education sometime last year. The party had said then that it was not consulted on a replacement, and had fully expected that a leader of the party would have automatically taken Dr Roopnaraine’s place as a Cabinet Minister. This was not done, and its leaders had complained bitterly back then.The Granger Administration must, however, take some of the blame for the way the WPA is feeling and seeing things. It is my firm belief that a system of ‘upfrontness’ with Coalition partners would go a long way in easing the feelings that the bigger parties have little regard for the smaller ones like the WPA.No one really believes that the WPA would walk away from governance, with all the talk that the party is a mere shadow of what it used to be up to the time when its founder and leader, Dr Walter Rodney, was killed in 1980. Many observers also believe that the party would have brought very little votes to the coalition during the campaign, because I think that two generations of Guyanese would have grown up hardly hearing or knowing anything about the WPA.I therefore think that it might be prudent for the leaders of the WPA to fight their battles internally, rather than in the press, as this can indeed harm the coalition. I also would argue that the latest public display of anger by the leadership team has to do with the decision by the management of the Chronicle Newspaper to dispense with the services of WPA leader David Hinds as a columnist, and the belief that this decision was made by high authorities.The little I know as a follower and sympathizer is that the AFC also has its grouses, but, to date, has not made any comments similar to the WPA’s. I suggest the WPA take its lead from the AFC.Sincerely,Peter Josephlast_img read more

Read More →

Immediate action needed to stem the flow of blood of women

first_imgDear EditorI am horrified at the extremely high incidence of murder of Guyanese women at the hands of their husbands or intimate partners. Over the past two months, twelve domestic homicides have been reported by the local media. Editor, we are in a public health crisis, and we need immediate action to stem the flow of blood of women in our dear land. Even though men are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), the World Health Organization’s (2012) statistics attribute that global victims of IPV are overwhelmingly women, with estimates as high as 95%.IPV is an insidious and deadly problem in Guyana, as it is internationally. IPV is not limited to physical abuse, but incorporates any behaviour that harms, threatens, or has a negative impact or effect on the victim. Such behaviours may include stalking, destroying someone’s property, psychological aggression, threatening to or actually injuring their pet or loved one.Editor, it is not unusual to hear IPV trivialised as a private matter, and ‘the two persons should go home and make up’. This response may potentially discourage victims from making a Police report or seeking sensitive and non-judgmental intervention. In addition, systemic and cultural norms oftentimes allow for victim blaming, shaming and disbelief.Studies have shown that IPV is generally associated with a wide range of physical and mental consequences that are potentially life-altering. For these twelve women, it has resulted in death; and for many more, they suffer disabilities, reproductive health issues, and other serious physical injuries.Additionally, victims of IPV may experience a range of emotional issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, and depression.My heart hurts for our children, the future of our country, who are oftentimes collateral damage from IPV they witness in the home. The violence in the home engenders a wide range of negative, distressing, and overwhelming emotions for young children, which may follow them into adulthood.It is time that we take comprehensive and informed actions to reduce and prevent the incidents of intimate partner violence in Guyana. As a Guyanese who has received extensive domestic violence prevention training and education, and has been advocating and working for several years with victims of domestic and sexual violence and sex trafficking, I have the following suggestions:• There is need for a coordinated community response. If there is not already a task force in place, one should be formed and members receive comprehensive training in domestic violence prevention and intervention. Members of the task force should include responders, service providers, community leaders, and faith leaders.• Guyana has a domestic violence law which should be reviewed, and a concerted effort made to implement and enforce these laws. The Police should receive training on the provisions of the domestic violence law, and it should become standard practice to effect an arrest if there is probable cause. This sends a message and reinforces that domestic violence is a crime and will not be tolerated in our community.• It is not unusual for victims to refuse to file criminal charges against their abusers, or ask that those charges be dropped. However, victims could be provided with other remedies, such as a protection order. It is necessary to set up domestic violence courts presided over by a dedicated magistrate who is trained to work with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. All the staff of this court should also receive domestic violence sensitivity training.• A batterer’s intervention programme should be created to provide services for men and women who abuse. All men who are charged or have an order of protection against them should be mandated to attend a batterer’s intervention programme• October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. An education campaign that focuses on modelling and highlighting healthy relationships would be of immense benefit.My fellow Guyanese, it is already too late, but we must still act. We must break this deafening silence and stem the flow of blood that results from domestic homicide. Our children, our families, our communities, our country cannot afford this senseless loss of women’s lives.Sincerely,Carlotta Walcott, MAConcerned citizenlast_img read more

Read More →

GECOM is supposed to be neutral

first_imgDear Editor,I read with intrepid interest, the daily newspapers of Saturday March 9, 2019, of the situation faced by GECOM which, as all Guyanese know, is tasked with holding elections particularly in relation to the position of house-to-house registration taken by a few Commissioners, and of the passing of Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, with a heavy heart.There could be a simple solution and a rather straightforward one to the situation faced by GECOM.The Commissioners should be looking at how other election officials deal with the Guyana situation in their jurisdictions and scrutinise the local pertinent three legislations affecting its work, and make a decision concerning a specific date which must be reasonable, while simultaneously addressing the issue of the more than 40,000 new voters.GECOM is supposed to be neutral and make decisions based on fairness or else Guyana can be seen as undemocratic, which is truly not in Guyana’s best interest.I would, therefore, suggest viewing the decision-making processes employed of the personnel attached to decision-making of their respective countries when it came to the very important time of the calling of their national elections, and in identifying a suitable day, except any Sunday, which is always set aside as the Lord’s Day, in particular, some of the English originated countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Somalia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Nevis and Anguilla, and Jamaica.The Charter expresses the commitment of member states to the development of free and democratic societies and the promotion of peace and prosperity to improve the lives of all peoples of the Commonwealth.The Charter also acknowledges the role of civil society in supporting the goals and values of the Commonwealth.On a personal front, I have worked with the elections commission in Canada since 1978 in various roles during all three strata of electoral elections, ie, municipal, provincial and federal, and would suggest that GECOM cater for the (expected to be at least 40,000 voters) persons who are not on the List of Electors by Special Ballot.This process would allow Guyana to avoid house-to-house registration yet cater for these aforesaid voters.For example, Canada has been using Special Ballot. It takes an additional 5 minutes for that particular voter (as such a voter is directed to a special table set up beside the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer which is manned by a Special Poll Clerk who is tasked with taking particulars of the voter – ie, things like driver’s licence, utility letter showing name and address, etc) to get authenticated, and then issued a ballot. Also, a period of one week is usually set aside prior to the date of election to allow any of those desirous to vote from either stream Special Ballot or regular ballot to cast an advance vote.Whatever the route GECOM takes, I am not perturbed in any way, as I see seven excellent persons grappling with the issue of completing the elections in a reasonable speed, some being former Ministers of Government.According to our current law, which is based on a Westminster model from our former mother country, England, Guyana needs to hold an election any time after March 20, so a date must now be set by the said seven persons.In this way, whichever date is chosen whether in early July 2019, which seems to me, a reasonable one, given the current stalemate between the GECOM Commissioners, the date of the elections will be set, and thus, all candidates can then get themselves into campaigning mode officially.Guyanese are very lucky people because in some countries, several people who are responsible for holding elections either get fired immediately or dismissed shortly thereafter when they do not perform diligently at their paid job functions. If the Honourable Chief Justice Chambers, tremendously busy as those Chambers are, could have ruled in the relevant court case due to the aftermath of the NCM, within a mere 25 business days, why can’t the relevant official in his/her neutral and non-partisan capacity and tasked with the job of holding elections not do so I ask.I was under the impression that those two wonderful politicians, Amna Ally and Gail Teixeira, were supposed to have sorted out this matter by now, as the two major parties in Parliament try to find headway in our nation’s affairs. Perhaps, the seven persons dealing with this matter should consider having a tri-partite Meeting with themselves, Ally and Teixeira.Yours truly,M Shabeer Zafar,Barrister and Solicitor(Ontario)Former Berbiceattorney-at-lawlast_img read more

Read More →

Police speeding down road is violation of public safety

first_imgDear Editor,I wish to bring to your attention a number of serious issues that are currently plaguing our Guyanese society.There seems to be an increase in the number of road accidents and armed robberies on a daily basis in Guyana. Only yesterday morning (October 15, 2019), the residents of Friendship, East Bank Demerara were traumatised when they were called to render assistance to persons who were the victims of a fatal accident, which had occurred on the public road.According to reports, the driver of the Police vehicle is a Presidential Guard. The Ministry of the Presidency has since released a statement to the media refuting claims that the driver was a part of the President’s escort.The question that looms large is: Which section of society are members of the Presidential Guard Service assigned to serve, is it the President and members of the Cabinet or the civilians?President David Granger has since said that a Commission of Inquiry will be launched into the horrific accident. The public is expecting the expeditious release of the findings of this Inquiry.Public trust in this administration and the Guyana Police Force is already at an all-time low and to reclaim this confidence we wish to find out whether there are clear restrictive policies for high-speed Police escorts, and under what circumstances speeding by the Police is justifiable.In this modern era, there must be a speed limit for members of the Police Force; in fact, they must be upholders of the traffic laws like any motorist using the country’s roadways. There will be times when Police officers have to drive beyond the prescribed speed limit but they must do so within the range of safety, not only for themselves but for members of the Public who are using those very roads.I demand that a mechanism be designed to ensure that speeding by Police Officers on the roads is justified. Measures must also be put in place to ensure that Police officers who are in breach of a restrictive policy for speeding are held accountable. Speeding cops can cause serious injury, death and damage to property.The Administration of the Guyana Police Force should consider outfitting all of its vehicles with ‘speed governors’ which will prevent the engines from exceeding a certain speed.The use of GPS in Police cars to monitor and discipline officers for speeding and other traffic infractions should also be considered as a measure for implementation.The Police, speeding down the road, is a blatant violation of public trust and public safety and I hope that the loss of those five lives would not be in vain but that we would come to realise that the earlier appropriate measures are implemented, the safer we all will be.Finally, I wish to state quite categorically that I have confidence in the men and women of the Guyana Police Force whom I know work way beyond their call of duty and whom like all Guyanese are the recipient of failed promises by the APNU/AFC coalition, which is now a caretaker government.Yours sincerely,Africo SelmanMember ofParliamentGrade Six TeacherandGrade SixSupervisor,Success ElementarySchoollast_img read more

Read More →

“Don’t attack GRA for enforcing the law!” – Finance Minister

first_imgBy Devina Samaroofinance Minister Winston Jordan was utterly astonished at the calls from the business community for the localFinance Minister Winston Jordantax authority to rethink its crackdown on errant entities, positing that the laws must be enforced.“I don’t know what it means to ease up enforcement… this is the problem we have… Once they (regulations) are on the books, we are obligated to enforce them in accordance with the law,” the Minister emphasised during a recent news conference.Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland made the first call for the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to put a hold on a current crackdown on non-compliant businesses in the mining town.The appeal later gained traction and Private Sector representatives subsequently made a similar demand, urging the tax body to rethink its enforcement of some regulations and modernise them where necessary.Completely appalled at the requests, Jordan made it clear that his Government will not encourage and promote a lax on enforcement; however, he mentioned that there are alternatives for dealing with the taxes if they are indeed too burdensome for businesses.“I just cannot believe it… If it’s a regulation, it has to be enforced. If you want it removed, we can discuss it with a view to alter and change, but you cannot rethink the enforcement,” he explained.Jordan pointed out that when the regulations were not enforced, stakeholders were crying out about unfair competition and unleveled playing fields and lamented that now, when the authorities have heeded to their initial requests, complains still exist.“These regulations were not being enforced and so it allowed an unfair advantage to those who benefited. When we begin to enforce the regulations, then people begin to cry.So you take a simple vendor who pays no taxes, GRA goes in and enforces the regulation and they are no longer competitive so that’s some level of demand and supply gonna fall… but on the other hand, the legitimate businesses are happy because their profits will go up, their sales will go up and so forth,” the Minister explained, noting that the compliant businesses are naturally going to benefit if the laws are upheld.Furthermore, Jordan dismissed claims that the GRA is only going after small businesses and not large corporations. He posited that poor public relations ought to be blamed for that perception.“It is not true, x big business wrote saying that they are facing unfair competition, I asked GRA what on earth you are doing because these are legitimate people who are paying and there is an elaborate structure in place that targets these different businesses.They have a PR issue and it appears as if they are going after the rum shop in West Demerara or the one in Linden and so on,” he explained, noting that tax enforcements are being done across the board.“It’s a countrywide measure aimed at getting people to legitimise themselves. We can’t on the one hand ask for legitimacy to take a foothold and at the same time when those who will be affected, we seek to have this ‘oh you know leave them and so on’,” he stated.Jordan reminded that one has to be extremely dispassionate when enforcing the laws. “You have to go after your mom or dad… Otherwise you’ll always have a friend who’ll say ‘don’t touch he’,” he highlighted.Moreover, he noted that in time, if everyone pays their taxes, the possibility exists that the taxes will eventually be reduced.“If everybody comes into the net, just think about how we can reduce taxes overall generally… We need to go after everybody so that if the take is wider, we can bring down the rates over time,” he opined.last_img read more

Read More →

Landlord, tenant charged with assault

first_img– landlord allegedly nailed windows and doors shutA spat between a Linden landlord and a tenant landed them in court on Wednesday, charged with assault and disturbance. Both Tinesha Victor of 413 One Mile, Wismar, Linden, and her landlord Lesli Barrett, 37, a farmer of 592 Half Mile, Wismar, were granted bail when they appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Linden Magistrate’s Court.Barrett was charged separately for disturbance of a tenant’s peaceable enjoyment and was granted $25,000 bail. It is alleged that on Sunday, September 11, Barrett nailed down the windows and doors of the building being rented by Victor, without the tenant’s consent. He however pleaded not guilty.It is also alleged that Barrett unlawfully assaulted Victor on the said date at her address.He was granted $10,000 bail, in addition to being placed on a bond to keep the peace.Victor was also co- charged with unlawfully assaulting Barrett on September 11 at One Mile, to which she pleaded not guilty.The two are scheduled to appear in court on October 12.last_img read more

Read More →