Broomes insists: “I did nothing wrong”

first_imgas accusations of conflict of interest continued to be levelled against Junior Minister of Natural Resources Simona Broomes over her mining interests and current oversight of the mining sector, the minister came out to defend her integrity and declared that she did nothing wrong by transferring her mining interests to her two children.Broomes’ mining interest came under scrutiny over the weekend after information surfaced suggesting she was granted another Mining Permit H43/MP/000 by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.However, the Minister during a news conference at her Brickdam office on Monday morning, claimed that what is being pedalled in the media is part of a “deliberate attempt to besmirch” her character and that of her children.“Why would one want to drag my children through the mud, my children have committed no crime,” she declared and clarified that no new mining permit was granted but rather it was a transfer of her dredge to herJunior Minister of Natural Resources Simona Broomesson, and daughter whose name is also Simona Broomes.“All I have done is transfer a dredge that was in existence for decades. It has nothing to do with a permit… I have done nothing wrong,” the minister declared, adding that she was not responding to any individual attack on her, but rather was just giving clarity to the Guyanese people.“I think that what is circulating out there at this time it is deliberate attempt to besmirch me,” said Broomes.The minister who spent some 28 years as a miner said that while her children continue to operate in the mining sector, there is no preferential treatment, rather, her children are “towing the line.”She noted that should a situation arise which could be deemed a conflict of interest, it will not be handled by her, but will be passed to senior Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman.Broomes boasted that prior to becoming a minister, she maintained a spotless character and it is her intention to continue to maintain that character and leave a legacy of transparency and accountability.“It is not an easy task but I have committed. I am one of the female ministers that will stand tall and I will not buckle,” she said.But, while the minister is maintaining there is no conflict of interest since her mining interest are now being handled by her children, many still believe that the fact she is a government minister and more so responsible for the mining sector, it is already a factor that could influence decision in her children’s favour as they remain in the industry.Some transparency and accountability advocates are maintaining that the minister’s decision to transfer her mining interests to her children does not remove the cloud of conflict of interest, since they are in essence managing her business.Many say that Broomes seems to be in breach of the government’s highly-touted Code of Conduct for Ministers, Parliamentarians and other public officials, even before its implementation.The Draft Code of Conduct says that, “a conflict of interest situation arises when the private interests of the public office holder compete or conflict with the interests of the State.”“Private interests” mean both the financial and personal interests of the official and staff or those of their connections including, family and other relations; personal friends; other companies or business interests which they hold or own (both in part or in whole); other clubs and societies to which they belong; and any person to whom they owe a favour or are obligated in any way.On Sunday, political commentator Dr Henry Jeffery contended that the only way those concerns can be eliminated is by completely removing the Minister from the Natural Resources Ministry.“I don’t think Minister Broomes understands clearly what conflict of interest means. I can understand her dilemma being in mining all this time and you know it’s a family business and she is now in the Ministry involved with mining. What she should be asking is for government to remove her from there and put her somewhere else. She could be in another ministry,” Dr Jeffrey stated.Meanwhile, another political commentator and economist Ramon Gaskin reasoned that Broomes’ decision to transfer her mining operations to her children does not put to rest conflict of interest concerns.“That doesn’t solve the problem because when the children go into Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to do business, they know that the children’s mother is the minister, so that really don’t solve the problem,” he explained.Gaskin suggested that the best way to settle the conflict of interest concerns is to set up a blind trust: “You don’t hear from them and they don’t hear from you.They just running it for you and you have nothing to do with it. That’s how you deal with those kinds of situations. Not by giving it to your children and all that nonsense, that doesn’t solve the problem.”A blind trust protects an investor from charges of conflict of interest and other improprieties because its specific assets and trading practices are unknown to the investor.In modern societies, corporate employees and public officials often use blind trusts to avoid charges of insider trading and corruption, respectively.Despite these allegations against the minister, there has been no official statement from government regarding this issue.last_img read more

Bailiff Links Jury Management Team to Bribery

first_imgDrama unfolded yesterday at Criminal Court ‘C’ when a female bailiff (court officer), Bendu Dukuly, openly accused members of the Jury Management Team of conspiring with her to bribe the sequestrated jurors to influence the outcome of the ongoing economic sabotage case involving former National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Matilda Parker and her Comptroller Christiana Kpabar Paelay.Dukuly’s allegation comes immediately after prosecution asked the court to disband the jury, arguing that they have documentary evidence to establish that the defendants had tampered with the panel.Prosecution claimed that its request was based on a four page letter intercepted between two of the bailiffs that are assigned directly with the sequestrated jurors.After learning about the alleged jury tampering, Judge Blamo Dixon yesterday questioned each of the bailiffs about whether they had been approached on the case.Dukuly and Roland Nyankun admitted that they received four separate letters from the Jury Management Team on January 30. Both Dukuly and Nyankun were responsible for the welfare of the jurors who had been sequestrated in the basement of the Temple of Justice since November 2015.Bailiff Dukuly alleged that two of the four letters came from the Jury Management Team and the others were given to her by Madam Jenneh Kamara, an employee of the Judiciary who was assigned as a cook for the jurors.“After I received the letters, one Winston Fayiah who is believed to be the deputy director of the jury management team called me in caucus in his office and set me down,” Bailiff Dukuly further alleged.“While we were in Fayiah’s private office,” Dukuly said, he asked her if she knew two of the jurors Melvin and Kebbeh.“I said I know the girl and I do not know the boy and there he told me that the discussion was a secret one and he never wanted anybody to know about it. This is why we are coming into business,” Dukuly quoted the conversation she held with a member of the Jury Management Team.According to Dukuly, after two days Fayiah called her and they went back to their secret place in the office of the Jury Management Team.“In our meeting he asked me again whether I know Melvin and Kebbeh and I said to him yes,” the Bailiff narrated.She said during their meeting Fayiah allegedly told her that he had a note for her. “He gave me the note and asked me to take it secretly to the two jurors and that the office should not know about it. He gave me five hundred Liberian dollars,” bailiff Dukuly further explained.She alleged that after she left Fayiah’s office she went straight to the police and gave the note to them.“The officers received the note from me and they said what I did was right,” she said.According to her, the second letter she received from the kitchen she also took to the police.As for Bailiff Nyankun, he alleged that he received the note but it was Madam Dukuly who gave the letters to him.“While I was sitting outside of the jury’s quarters I heard Dukuly arguing on certain things. Later she called me and said that she got something to show me, but was afraid,” Nyankun explained.“She late told me that she received the letter from the kitchen and she said she received five hundred Liberian dollars and another letter from Fayiah and later police came and intercepted the letter,” Nyankun explained.The Jury Management Team was established in early 2015 in an effort to revamp the judicial system with the mandate to monitor the number of available grand and traverse jurors to establish the need to develop new juror lists.They are also to conduct juror orientation; monitor judges’ court schedules, identify the number of trials scheduled and determine the appropriate number of jurors to summon for jury duty, among others.The case continues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

IMF warns Govt against reckless borrowing

first_imgArticle IV consultations…says central bank, private external financing should be avoidedHaving completed its Article IV consultations with Guyana, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is warning Government against using central bank financing for the short term. This is according to the IMF Executive Board, which released its findings on Friday.Finance Minister Winston JordanInstead, the Bank urged Government to rely on Multilateral Development Banks. Besides warning against central bank financing, the IMF also urged the Guyana Government to avoid private external borrowing.“Short-term financing needs should be carefully managed,” the IMF stated. “The authorities’ prudence and restraint towards borrowing in anticipation of future oil revenue is commendable.”“They should rely as much as possible on Multilateral Development Banks, including their non-concessional financing operations. Developing the domestic capital markets would provide a more stable source of financing and help meet the needs of domestic long-term institutional investors.”The IMF’s warning against borrowing from private external investors comes as the Government has just arranged a US$85 million bond at a 4.75 per cent rate of return over five years – ostensibly to be sunk into the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).While the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) had said that this sum was raised from local investors, a second tranche of US$65 million is expected to be raised from both local and regional investors.Recently also, the World Bank group approved a US$35 million Development Policy Credit to support Guyana’s efforts to strengthen the financial sector. The money will also go towards improving fiscal management to better prepare the country to benefit from its newly-discovered oil and gas reserves and transform its oil wealth into human capital.Government also secured a US$900 million line of credit from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) earlier this year, to develop areas of agriculture, banking and finance, human development, energy and rural development.Public debtThe Public Debt Annual Report released by the Finance Ministry last year had highlighted that since 2015, there has been a 4.1 per cent rise in Guyana’s indebtedness to creditors. The report details that Guyana’s total debt, inclusive of external and domestic, increased to $330 billion as of December 2016.The Ministry attributed this to disbursements from the Export Import Bank of China towards the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project, as well as monies from multilateral creditors.A breakdown of the figures shows that total external debt amounted to $240 billion, 72.6 per cent of the total public debt. Domestic debt stood at $90.6 billion, or 27.4 per cent of the total.“At the end of December 2016, multilateral creditors continued to be the predominant creditor category, accounting for 59.7 per cent of the external debt portfolio, a slight decrease from the 2015 position of 60.6 per cent. Bilateral lenders and commercial lenders represented 38.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent of the public external debt portfolio, respectively,” the Ministry explained.“Although the nominal public debt increased, the total external public debt to GDP [Gross Domestic Product] ratio declined from 36.1 per cent as at end-December 2015 to 33.7 per cent as at end-December 2016, as a result of GDP growth outstripping the rate of growth of public external debt stock,” the Ministry said, in justifying the increase.In 2012, the public external debt was $277.8 billion, but by early 2015, that had been reduced to $236 billion. In similar manner, the domestic debt had been reduced from $93.4 billion in 2012 to $81.6 billion in 2015 before a sudden spike in the figures after the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU-AFC) took office.Guyana’s four main external creditors are the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); the State-owned Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM Bank) and Venezuela State-owned oil company (PDVSA).Together, they constitute some 77.7 per cent of Guyana’s public external debt stock, as at end-December 2016, with the IDB the most dominant creditor. According to the report, the IDB has an average share of 42.0 per cent of the debt portfolio. (Jarryl Bryan)last_img read more

THE CRUEL SIDE OF NATURE CAUGHT BRILLIANTLY BY DONEGAL PHOTOGRAPHER

first_imgThis is the amazing moment which captures nature in all its sometimes cruel glory.Donegal photographer John Rafferty was preparing to go out when he heard a commotion outside his Burtonport home.John has captured many amazing images over the years but this one just flew into his lap! Luckily he had his camera close by to capture these stunning pictures of a Sparrowhawk preying on one of his chickens.The chicken was too heavy to carry away so the hawk devoured the chicken – in front of John.John said it was an amazing incident to witness – a fact borne out by his graphic images. THE CRUEL SIDE OF NATURE CAUGHT BRILLIANTLY BY DONEGAL PHOTOGRAPHER was last modified: August 19th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:burtonportJohn RaffertySparrowhawklast_img read more

FORMER MAYO STAR CALLS MCGEE INCIDENT ‘DISGRACEFUL’

first_imgFormer Mayo GAA star Conor Mortimer has had his say on the ill-tempered clash between Kerry and Donegal on Sunday.Kerry defeated Donegal in Tralee, but both counties were hit with subsequent fines of €7,500 for incidents that occurred during the NFL clash. Alan Fitzgerald and Leo McLoone were handed one-match bans for their part in some of the unsavoury exchanges that took place.While Donegal full-back Neil McGee was given a one-match ban for behaviour deemed to be dangerous after video evidence was used by the CCCC.However, McGee was left with a broken nose after the exchange with Alan Fitzgerald – and many Donegal supporters were furious Fitzgerald didn’t receive a lengthier ban.Former Mayo star had his say on the controversial incident in Tralee via Twitter and condemned the incident as ‘disgraceful’. Mortimer tweeted, “Just watching replay of finger incident – terrible how the official can’t see that really is disgraceful #kerry#donegal some pine time coming!!The clash has divided many GAA followers all over Ireland, some have condemned McGee have said his punishment was too lenient, while others feel he done nothing wrong at all.Others feel Fitzgerald should’ve been handed a longer ban due to the severity of the punches he threw which left McGee with a broken nose.FORMER MAYO STAR CALLS MCGEE INCIDENT ‘DISGRACEFUL’ was last modified: March 10th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Alan FitzgeraldConor MortimerGAAneil mcgeenewsSportlast_img read more

Ryan McHugh: 2014 defeat by Donegal has made Dublin ‘smarter’

first_imgDONEGAL STAR Ryan McHugh says that the defeat to Donegal in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final has taught Dublin how to be ‘more streetwise’.Dublin have won the last two All-Irelands and that defeat to Donegal in August 2014 is the last time the Dubs have been beaten in Championship football.McHugh scored two goals – with Colm McFadden netting the other – as Donegal stunned Jim Gavin’s Dublin to win 3-14 to 0-17. “I think they’re a lot more smart, a lot more streetwise. They’re just getting more experienced, they know how to win games,” McHugh said.“They’re extremely hard to play against. They’re such a good team with experienced players all over the pitch, no matter where it is. Just runners coming from everywhere.“You go out and you have to mark six forwards, it’s hard to leave men free. You don’t realise until you actually play against them.“Maybe in 2014 they were…it’s hard to know, if Diarmuid Connolly finishes the goal then we could be talking about a completely different thing. Football is thin margins. “Mayo know more about that than any other team, it’s extremely thin margins. You kick a point and you’re the best team in Ireland. Unfortunately if you miss it you’re the villain. That’s the way it goes, it’s football, you train all year, it’s tough. It’s such thin margins.”Having captured Sam Maguire in each of the last two Septembers, McHugh believes that the Dubs are rightfully seen as the number one team in the country at the moment.He said: “I read somewhere that Alex Ferguson, I think it was in a letter to Eric Cantona, said that every team when they play United it’s like a cup final.“I suppose teams in Ireland are facing Dublin now and it’s a cup final, it’s the biggest match when you’re playing the Dubs.“They’ll definitely go down as one of the best teams ever to play the game, with some of the best players ever to play the game. “It is phenomenal what they’re doing. It’s a great achievement so it’s going to be hard to knock them off that top spot.”Ryan McHugh: 2014 defeat by Donegal has made Dublin ‘smarter’ was last modified: December 8th, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegaldublinkilcarRyan McHughlast_img read more

OUTRAGE AFTER MEETING HEARS OF CUTS TO SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES

first_imgAn angry meeting has heard there are plans to slash day service supports to people with special needs and their families in Inishowen.The cuts will see a dwindling of services from five days down to three at centres in Buncrana, Carndonagh and Moville.News of the meeting at the Cashel na Cor Centre, Buncrana has rocked families who were informed of the proposed cuts to services. News of the plans have been slammed by Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn who attended the meeting.“The anger was palpable at tonight’s meeting. To target persons with special needs and their families is a new low. These families desperately need the support that they receive to give them the strength required to support their loved ones.“It was shameful for families as vulnerable as theirs to be given news like this. There has to be a threshold of decency for this Government and Minister Reilly and support for special needs has to be that threshold.“It is clear that the HSE have been instructed to make drastic cutbacks across the board with no instructions given on what services are untouchable”. The Donegal North East TD added that the people of Inishowen will not stand for this.He said they have rallied together and raised huge amounts of money for these centres.“It was clear from tonight’s meeting that this proposal will be fought tooth and nail. Soon, a delegation of parents, committee members from the affected centres and local public representatives including myself will unite together with one voice to meet HSE managers in Donegal.“We have one message for them and Minister Reilly. We will not accept our most vulnerable citizens being targeted for cuts. They need to get a Plan B,” he insisted.OUTRAGE AFTER MEETING HEARS OF CUTS TO SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES was last modified: September 4th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:PADRAIG MACLOCHLAINNspcial needs cutslast_img read more

‘Plague on society’ – reward offered for information on Lifford beer thieves

first_imgA reward is being offered for information after thieves made off with four cases of alcohol last night from a shop in Lifford.Two men stole four cases of beer from McGettigan’s Centra in Lifford at around 10pm last night.CCTV from the shop has been passed onto Gardai and the shop owners are seeking assistance. “If anyone knows who they are can they please inform any of the staff at McGettigans Applegreen,” a post on their Facebook page says.“The Gardai have been informed and we will pass all cctv footage on to the Gardai.“If anyone knows where they’re drinking in Lifford a small reward will be given.  These thieves who are a plague on society.”‘Plague on society’ – reward offered for information on Lifford beer thieves was last modified: November 13th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

QPR snub approach for striker

first_imgQPR have snubbed an approach from Brentford for striker Rob Hulse.The Bees are keen to sign a target man following top scorer Gary Alexander’s recent move to Crawley Town and asked if Hulse was available.He is out of the first-team picture at Loftus Road but R’s boss Mark Hughes is reluctant to allow any of his 25-man squad to leave on loan.And on Friday evening there was no indication that Rangers were prepared to consider a temporary move for the 32-year-old, who moved to west London in 2010,Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Round-up: Conte on Hazard, Bamford move, Hasselbaink wants signings, boss hails Cairney

first_imgChelsea are top of the table after beating Burnley to make it three wins out of three Premier League matches this season.Eden Hazard was outstanding and scored the opening goal at Stamford Bridge, where the Blues won 3-0.Antonio Conte hailed Hazard – and the fact that Chelsea had kept a clean sheet at home for the first time in seven months.But the Blues boss also insisted that his side can still improve despite the encouraging start to his reign.Burnley manager Sean Dyche described his team’s display as their worst for a year and admitted they were outclassed.Bamford is set to join Burnley on loanDyche also confirmed that the Clarets are set to sign Patrick Bamford on loan from Chelsea. QPR are among several Championship clubs who wanted the forward.Rangers are still in decent shape though – Nedum Onuoha’s goal at Wigan gave them their second away win this season.R’s boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink described the game as a “grinder” and reiterated that he is hoping the club will make signings ahead of Wednesday’s transfer deadline.Meanwhile, Tom Cairney scored an injury-time goal against his former side to give Fulham a 1-0 victory at Blackburn.Cairney was Fulham’s hero at Ewood ParkIt left unbeaten Fulham second in the table and led Whites head coach Slavisa Jokanovic to declare that Cairney can go on to be a Premier League player.There was also a late goal at Brentford, who were denied victory by Sheffield Wednesday at Griffin Park.Lasse Vibe scored and was later sent off, prompting Bees boss Dean Smith to bemoan the “dubious” new rule about player dissent.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more