Armed Men Allegedly Poison New Georgia Well

first_imgResidents in New Georgia on Somalia Drive Road have alleged that some unknown individuals are poisoning wells and hand pumps “to kill [them] in the name of Ebola.”Mr. Franklin Friday, who spoke to the Daily Observer, reported that at about 4 a.m. Monday, August 4, they saw two gigantic individuals (unknown), armed with guns, using a medical syringe and attempting to drop a liquid substance into the well that is being used by thousands of homes in the area.As a result, Mr. Friday noted that people in the community are afraid, because he said many people are dying from these deadly acts and claiming that it is “Ebola.”According to him, after noticing the unusual acts by these individuals, they immediately contacted their lawmaker (Rep. Saah Joseph) to look in the matter.When Rep. Joseph arrived, he brought along with him some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and instructed them to lock the  well and contact other relevant government agencies to conduct testing on these wells. If proven to be contaminated, the community will launch a serious investigation into the matter.Also speaking, Buston Kolliegbo, who resides in the area, said that the Ebola issues have become so alarming that the whole nation has been affected economically and socially.  There is a complete breakdown of citizens’ health care because of the different ways in which the problem is being tackled.“Nobody is having exact information as to the diagnosis and everybody is confused. So the [well poisoning] incident that happened yesterday at the [New Georgia] junction is a wakeup call on the government, especially the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW), to test the water in every well,” Kolliegbo suggested.     Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Granger rejects Jagdeo’s nominees

first_imgGECOM Chairmanship…stakeholders disagree with President’s rationale, warn of attempts to rigPresident David Granger has rejected the nominees for the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), in a move that has already been described as dangerous. This is the first time that a president has rejected such a list since the Carter Formula for the appointment of the GECOM Chairman was initiated in 1992.The President argued that the Constitution of Guyana stipulates that the six nominees who were to be submitted by the Leader of the Opposition should be a judge or possess qualifications of a judge.On this basis, he declared that the six names submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo were “unacceptable”.“So, the only thing about the list is that it comprises six names,” Granger told a gathering of media operatives at the State’s Annual Media Brunch on Sunday.Jagdeo nominated Executive Member of the Private Sector Commission Ramesh Dookhoo; former PSC Chairman and Army Chief Norman Mc Lean; Chartered Accountant and former Head of the Bar Association, Christopher Ram; writer Rhyaan Shah; Professor James Rose and human rights and conflict resolution consultant Lawrence Latchmansingh.Fit and properIndeed, Article 161 of the Constitution of Guyana outlines that the nominees must be a judge or have the qualifications of a judge.But it also states that the nominee can be any person deemed “fit and proper”.“The Chairman of the Elections Commission shall be a person who holds or who has held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge, or any other fit and proper person, to be appointed by the President from a list of six persons, not unacceptable to the President, submitted by the Leader of the Opposition after meaningful consultation with the non-governmental political parties represented in the National Assembly,” the extract reads.Legal luminary Anil Nandlall, who also served in the capacity of Attorney General under the previous Administration, explained that the Constitution clearly contemplates two categories of persons. “Firstly, a High Court judge or an Appellate Court judge, a former High Court or an Appellate Court judge or a person qualified to be a High Court or an Appellate Court judge. Secondly, or (disjunctive), any “fit and proper” person. However, from whichever category the persons come, they must be acceptable to the President,” Nandlall said in a statement to the media shortly after the President’s announcement.In this regard, he contended that the President’s rejection of the names on the grounds that the persons did not meet the constitutional requirements was “wholly untenable”.Previous ChairmenNotably, the majority of the previous Chairmen of GECOM fell under category two as outlined in the Constitution of Guyana – being “fit and proper”.In fact, of all the persons who were appointed as Chairman of GECOM, only the late Doodnauth Singh, former Attorney General and Senior Counsel, satisfied the category of being a judge or having the requisite qualifications to be one.All the other persons – Rudy Collins, Edward Hopkinson, Joseph Singh and Dr Steve Surujbally – lacked legal qualifications and, therefore, would have all qualified under the “fit and proper” requirement.Interestingly, in 1997, former Opposition Leader Desmond Hoyte nominated Granger to be GECOM’s Chairman, though he did not have the qualifications to be a judge.Granger had accepted the nomination knowing fully that the Constitution caters for “fit and proper” persons outside of that category.His new interpretation of the Constitution is, therefore, baffling and inconsistent with what is presumed to be his outlook when he had accepted the nomination to be GECOM Chairman.RigNandlall believes that the President’s announcement is a signal of the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition’s intention to rig the next General and Regional Elections in 2020.“The President is playing a dangerous game… I believe these machinations will continue until the President conjures up an interpretation of the Constitution which permits him to unilaterally appoint a Chairman of GECOM,” he expressed.CoupFormer Government Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy said the President’s rejection was an attempt to seize power through a coup.“Their latest move to reject the nominees for the chairmanship of GECOM from the Leader of the Opposition is setting the stage to name a Chairman in their own deliberate judgment, a person that will carry out instructions from APNU/AFC, in the same sinister fashion as Judge Harry Bollers did prior to 1992,” Dr Ramsammy warned.Next moveThe President did not indicate what his next move would be, but the <<>> understands that he is yet to formally inform the Opposition Leader of his dissatisfaction with the list of nominees.The Opposition Leader may have to return to the drawing board and submit another list of six nominees or the President can go ahead and appoint a person who holds or has held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge – providing that the Opposition Leader fails to submit the list as provided for.GTUCAdditionally, Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) General Secretary Lincoln Lewis disagreed with President Granger’s assertion.In a statement to the media on Sunday, Lewis highlighted that the Constitution indeed provides for suitable persons outside the realm of judges or those qualified to be judges to be appointed as GECOM Chairman.He also alluded to the appointments of past Chairmen of GECOM, including Dr Surujbally.last_img read more