Region 10 Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Jermaine Figueira, is calling on President Dr. Irfaan Ali to swear in members of the Public Procurement Commission as this will go a far way in minimizing corruption. The opposition MP made the statement following recent allegations of corruption and bribery in a VICE News report that was aired on Sunday. “There is need now more than ever for the President of Guyana to swear in the members of the Public Procurement Commission.”
He is also calling for an independent investigation into the allegations. “The President has a glorious opportunity to manifest his commitment to transparency, accountability and the Rule of Law by immediately establishing a reputable group of investigators to investigate the allegations raised in the Vice News report. To this end, assistance could be requested from the international community. This will go a far way in portraying Guyana as a country that is serious about its wealth benefitting our people and not squandered by corrupt businessmen,” the statement said.
Figueira believes that what was brought out in the report is merely allegations and the vice president has a right to a hearing as part of the right to natural justice. In the interim this is done, Figueira believes that the vice president should resign from office.
The VP Jagdeo however, has vehemently denied the allegations and has since announced that he will be taking legal action against prominent Chinese businessman Mr Su Zhi Rong for defaming his name and implicating him in the way he was able to procure and secure large contracts for prominent
international Chinese investors.
Th Alliance for Change in a statement also called for an immediate
independent investigation and audit into the procurement and awarding of contracts in
Guyana and that such as investigation be done by an internationally recognized auditing firm.
“….we expect this investigation to make recommendations on their findings and
changes in the legal and regulatory framework in the award of large contracts and the
disposal of the national resources of the county as may be necessary.
We also believe that the international anti-corruption watchdog organization –
Transparency International should investigate the matter and render its findings.”
The Alliance for Change expressed concern that opportunities for investment in Guyana for the orderly extraction of the country’s national resources are being restricted to a select and chosen few in a
highly corrupt practice.
While there has been no formal government statement on the allegations, VP Jagdeo maintains that the allegations are untrue. He said Su will have to immediately vacate the premises that he currently rents.
While Su had initially denied accusing the VP of curruption, he is heard in the video alleging that monies are being to the VP.
“He had said that VICE News lied on him and had issued a statement [to this effect]. Now that they have him on record as though he was doing this, that he claimed he was not doing, that means he has abused the access and friendship he had with me to rip people off. So I am going to take legal action against him, because he is damaging my reputation in doing (so) and also he will no longer, as I had said in the past when you had asked me about it, he will no longer be a tenant,” Jagdeo is quoted saying in media reports.