PRESS STATEMENT By the People’s National Congress Reform Thursday May 15, 2003, Hall of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia



GOVERNANCE ISSUES: The PNCR has put in place an agreement with the government through the Communiqué which was signed between Mr. Corbin and Mr. Jagdeo which gives an opportunity for Guyana to take a step towards a more open and effective form of governance. Our Party will make full use of the opportunities provided by the agreements reached and the expanded opportunities within and without parliament for a fairer and more consensual form of government in Guyana.
We wish to remind the people of Guyana that the mere signing of an agreement does not guarantee change. Change will only come about through goodwill and good faith on all sides and the implementation of the agreements by the government as well as the honouring of the spirit and the intention of the engagement. In the end nothing will change unless the government changes its approach to governing the country. The PNCR will be vigilant to ensure that the atmosphere created by constructive engagement is not abused. We wish to remind the authorities that a number of fundamental reforms are still outstanding such as: -
• the legal and justice systems,
• the Guyana Police Force,
• the Education system ,
• the procurement and tender board system ,
• the national investment policy.

All of these must be dealt with if Guyana is to progress.

Now that the Constitutional Review Committee has been established, the PNCR looks forward to its urgent consideration of the issue of governance with the view of creating in Guyana a genuine inclusive democracy where all stakeholders and groups in society can feel part of the national process. A system of governance in which the representatives of all sectors of society participate in the national decision making process at all levels must be urgently created. The PNCR is prepared to work assiduously towards the achievement of this objective since the party believes that it will create the environment for the meaningful transformation of our country. We will work for the creation of an environment conducive to the realisation of a modern economy with concomitant enhanced standard of living for our people. As a responsible political party, the PNCR sees the pursuit of this objective as a fundamental goal.
WILL PRESIDENT JAGDEO FIRE RAMSAMMY NOW?
The corrupt practices of the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy are unravelling daily. PPP/C supporters who are disgusted with the Ramsammy malpractices have become whistleblowers in an effort to rid the state of this Minister, before he does further damage to the country.
The PNCR is in possession of a confidential document dated April 16, 2002 Ref CTB#436/2002, which was prepared by the Evaluation Committee of the Ministry of Health, to assess four bids. The advertised tender was for the procurement of Medical and General Equipment for the Enmore Polyclinic and the Lusignan Health Centre, last year.
The four entities who submitted bids were: Ana Scientific, Meditrin Scientific Sales, International Pharmaceutical Agency and Atlantic Pharmaceuticals.
Part of the qualification requirements were (a) that each bidder must provide true and certified copies of current Inland Revenue Department and National Insurance Scheme compliances, (b) information verifying that each company has trained personnel for servicing some of the equipment.
This request was made by letter dated July 31, 2002 to each company, who had tendered. The companies who responded to the July 31, 2002 letter were subsequently requested to provide documented proof of factory training undertaken by the individuals mentioned in their reply to the enquiry of July 31, 2002.
Only two companies replied Meditron Sales and International Pharmaceutical Agency and supplied the required verification.
The Evaluation Committee made the following observation during the evaluation process:
"On examination of the documents submitted by the Bidders the Committee came across instances in which the supporting documentation supplied by one bidder, Ana Scientific, seem to be irregular. First, the NIS Compliance Certificate was issued on September 25, 2000 yet its validity extends to October 24, 2002. Secondly, the date of issue as well as the validity date of the IRD Certificate appears, to have been changed."
Despite submitting forged documents and not having the required support staff with factory training to service equipment, ANA SCIENTIFIC was awarded the contract. The PNCR has information which suggests a link between Dr. Ramsammy and the owners of ANA SCIENTIFIC. We are also reliably informed that Ramsammy canvassed the awarding of this contract to ANA SCIENTIFIC through Cabinet. It is also revealing that Cabinet would support his submissions given the contents of the reports which indicate that there is an appearance of fraud.
We are also reliably advised that ANA SCIENTIFIC acted as an agent to procure a CHEMICAL ANALYSER for the Georgetown Public Hospital, which did not function. The equipment is already paid for and ANA SCIENTIFIC was paid for up front and the firm has refused to provide the necessary maintenance service.
This Minister has publicly dared President Jagdeo to fire him. We wonder if he will now accept the evidence which is in the public domain. Perhaps Dr. Ramsammy’s extensive propaganda work is intended to detract the President from his corrupt ways. The PNCR will not be deceived.


BUXTON ISSUES
At our last press conference of May 08, 2003 we informed you, in some detail, of the Sustainable Village Revitalisation Programme Poultry (Broiler) Project in which a number of youths in Buxton are involved. We gave details of plans to harvest birds on the following day, May 09, 2003.
This announcement was made against the background of the recent agreement between PNCR Leader, Mr. Robert Corbin and President Bharrat Jagdeo to explore non-law enforcement measures that can contribute towards alleviating crime. The PNCR views the Village Revitalisation Programme as such a measure. We pointed out that in the course of the implementation of this project we encountered a reservoir of resourceful, industrious and talented young people who are eager to become involved in productive and self-sustaining economic activities. The project therefore is clearly an opportunity for us to channel the energies of the youth of Buxton into productive endeavours.
Against this background we encouraged the public at large to lend support to the project.
The PNCR was therefore shocked when on the morning of May 09, 2003 at approximately 03:30 hrs, the same time for which harvesting was scheduled, the Police and Army cordoned-off a section of Noble Street, Buxton and search two homes, one of them being the home of a participant in the Poultry Project and location of one of the chicken farms. The PNCR finds this to be a strange coincidence since it begs the question as to whether this was a calculated and deliberate act. There is no doubt that this activity has undermined our efforts and eroded the gains which have been made over the last few months.
In the Wake of the incident of May 09, 2003 the PNCR urges the PPP/Civic government to follow its lead and urgently pursue non-law enforcement measures, which are already showing signs of significant results. The Buxton Development Plan outlined by the late Leader of the PNCR, Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, needs to be urgently addressed. We need to urgently mount a programme to engage the youth of Buxton in productive endeavours. This programme can be used as a model for addressing the problems of other communities. The PNCR is confident that, with the right amount of effort, the government will be able to garner international funding for such a project.
Notwithstanding the PNCR will be proceeding with its Village Revival Programme.
Meanwhile the PNCR wishes to commend the Georgetown Minister’s Fellowship on the very successful Evangelical Procession and Prayer Rally held yesterday in Buxton. The response of Buxtonians to this event was very positive and heart warming. We wish to urge the organisers to remain engaged with this community in whatever other useful and constructive ways they may determine.
POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN THE SECURITY FORCES
The PNCR notes with alarm and disgust the repeated and increasingly brazen attempts by the government to apply political pressure on the security services in ways intended to impede the professional discharge of their responsibilities in accordance with the laws and statutes and with constitutional provisions governing the operations of the security services. We note for example the confusing saga of the victimisation and harassment of Mr. Slowe for his adherence to his understanding of his professional duty. We now learn of attempts to undermine the authority of the army command by unprecedented interference in the promotion and training decision of the GDF. Many experienced observers have opined that this is the worst relationship between the civilian state and the security forces in the history of the republic and it manifests itself in unseemly and disgraceful disagreements in the public media. What can be more embarrassing to Guyana than Dr Luncheon's claim that the police have received and are studying a report from the FBI which both the GPF and FBI have denied ever existed? What can be more unseemly than the public disagreement between the president and the army high command on the nature of its remit in domestic peace keeping? We repeat our assertion that such confusion and cross talk is not only disgraceful, it is also dangerous and destabilising.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana,
May 15, 2003