Teach­ers deal in­cludes 100 du­tyfree ve­hi­cle con­ces­sions per year, 20 new UG schol­ar­ships

Stabroek News Sunday - - WEEKEND MAGAZINE -

One hun­dred duty-free ve­hi­cle con­ces­sions for cer­tain se­nior teach­ers and 20 new schol­ar­ships to study Sci­ence and Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Guyana are among the few con­crete non-salary ben­e­fits that the Guyana Teach­ers’ Union (GTU) was able to se­cure in the agree­ment signed with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MoE) last Wed­nes­day. On Wed­nes­day, af­ter three years of con­tentious ne­go­ti­a­tions that saw nine days of strike ac­tion, the GTU and min­istry agreed to pay teach­ers tiered in­creases over the pe­riod Jan­uary 2016 to De­cem­ber 2018. Teach­ers who in 2015 were earn­ing be­low $100,000 will get a 12% in­crease on their salaries for 2016, while those who earned $100,000 and above will re­ceive an 8% in­crease. Spe­cific ref­er­ence is made of the fact that the per­cent­age al­ready paid for 2016 shall form a part of the pay­ment to be re­ceived. For 2017, the in­terim 8% and 6% granted on the De­cem­ber, 2016 salary shall be fi­nal. Specif­i­cally, those who re­ceived salaries be­low $100,000 per month re­ceived an 8 % in­crease, while salaries $100,000 and above re­ceived a 6% in­crease.

Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 29th

Er­rant con­trac­tors could be de­barred up to five years

Af­ter years of de­lays in the craft­ing of reg­u­la­tions, er­rant con­trac­tors could soon face de­bar­ment of up to five years as the Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Com­mis­sion (PPC) gears up for im­ple­men­ta­tion. If a con­trac­tor or sup­plier has a his­tory of un­sat­is­fac­tory per­for­mance of one or more con­tracts or sub­con­tracts then they are li­able for de­bar­ment, the Draft Reg­u­la­tions on Sus­pen­sion and De­bar­ment from Par­tic­i­pa­tion in Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment states. De­bar­ment shall be for a min­i­mum of one year and not for more than five years, ac­cord­ing to the draft. The PPC has em­barked on a se­ries of stake­holder meet­ings on the pro­posed reg­u­la­tions. The draft stemmed from a se­ries of con­sul­ta­tions and has been pub­lished on the PPC web­site for feed­back. The reg­u­la­tions note that the se­ri­ous na­ture of de­bar­ment re­quires that it be im­posed only in the pub­lic in­ter­est and that de­bar­ment is dis­cre­tionary and may be im­posed only on the sug­gested grounds.

Agri­cola biker dies in Esse­quibo ac­ci­dent

A biker of Agri­cola, East Bank De­mer­ara died in an ac­ci­dent yes­ter­day af­ter­noon on the Esse­quibo Coast and a pedes­trian was hos­pi­talised. The de­ceased biker has been iden­ti­fied as Naitram Sankar, 28, an Auto Elec­tri­cian, of Lot 32 Pub­lic Road Agri­cola, East Bank De­mer­ara. The in­jured pedes­trian has been iden­ti­fied as Juliet Miller, 56, of Kilkenny Street, Queen­stown, Esse­quibo Coast. Po­lice yes­ter­day said that around 1 pm, on the Queen­stown Pub­lic Road, Sankar, a mem­ber of the GY Bik­ers Crew was rid­ing mo­tor cy­cle # CG 1530 when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred. In a press state­ment, po­lice said en­quiries dis­closed that the mo­tor­cy­cle which was pro­ceed­ing south along the eastern car­riage­way of the road at a fast rate, ended up on the

Mon Re­pos minibus con­duc­tor feared drowned

A minibus con­duc­tor is feared drowned af­ter he dis­ap­peared while tak­ing a swim in the At­lantic Ocean along the Kingston Seawall. Miss­ing is Dhar­shan Mo­habir, 22, called Ravi of Sec­ond Street, Mon Re­pos, East Coast De­mer­ara. Stabroek News gath­ered that around 5.30 yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Mo­habir and four oth­ers ven­tured to the seawall af­ter play­ing a game of cricket at the Na­tional Park. While at the seawall, this news­pa­per gath­ered that Mo­habir went for a swim leav­ing his friends be­hind de­spite the rough waves. While swim­ming, his friends re­lated to fam­ily mem­bers that they saw him strug­gling. It was at this point, the friends tried to help but had to re­treat to land due to the rough con­di­tions.

Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 30th

Next day re­sults ex­pected for lo­cal gov’t polls

All the re­sults of the Novem­ber 12th lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions should be avail­able by the end of the fol­low­ing day, ac­cord­ing to Chief Elec­tion Of­fi­cer (CEO) Keith Lowen­field, who yes­ter­day as­sured that prepa­ra­tions for vot­ing by both the dis­ci­plined ser­vices and civil­ians are on track. “In my es­ti­ma­tion, I don’t an­tic­i­pate be­yond the 13th, by the end of the 13th and that will only be for me for [Re­gion] Four be­cause all the oth­ers, [which are] rel­a­tively small Lo­cal Author­ity Ar­eas, should con­clude their busi­ness by mid­night and be pre­pared to is­sue those cer­tifi­cates for those who would have been elected,” Lowen­field told a press con­fer­ence. He stressed that given the fact that the largest mu­nic­i­pal­ity is Ge­orge­town, count­ing may take longer than in other Lo­cal Author­ity Ar­eas (LAAs). There are a to­tal of 1,674 polling sta­tions for the polls, in­clud­ing 272 pri­vate res­i­dences. There are 80 LAAs.

Clon­brook woman dies af­ter car crashes into util­ity poles

A Clon­brook, East Coast De­mer­ara (ECD) woman is now dead af­ter the car in which she was trav­el­ling crashed into util­ity poles along the Bee Hive Pub­lic Road yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. The de­ceased woman has been iden­ti­fied as Keiolla For­tune-Thomas, 27, who was be­ing driven by a po­lice con­sta­ble when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred. The po­lice con­sta­ble, who re­sides at Sup­ply, Ma­haica, ECD, was not named by the po­lice force. Keiolla For­tune-Thomas

King be­gins tes­ti­mony ‘un­der protest’ at in­quiry

Fol­low­ing an un­suc­cess­ful chal­lenge to the le­gal­ity of the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (CoI) into the op­er­a­tions of City Hall, Town Clerk Roys­ton King yes­ter­day be­gan fac­ing ques­tions and sub­mit­ted ev­i­dence to sup­port the le­gal­ity of his ac­tions when he leased the Sus­sex Street

wharf claimed by NICIL to a ship­ping com­pany. The highly an­tic­i­pated tes­ti­mony of King, who was sent on leave to fa­cil­i­tate the probe, was de­layed by sev­eral hours af­ter his lawyer, Maxwell Ed­wards, chal­lenged both the fair­ness and le­gal­ity of the CoI. Just af­ter 3 pm, re­tired judge Ce­cil Ken­nard, who is Chair­man of the Com­mis­sion, ruled that the CoI was “prop­erly set up” and King fi­nally took the stand for brief ques­tion­ing. Apart from brief tes­ti­mony be­fore it was ad­journed un­til Fri­day, King sub­mit­ted an af­fi­davit to the CoI in­di­cat­ing that his ap­pear­ance was “un­der protest” and “with­out prej­u­dice” to his rights to in­sist on strict com­pli­ance with the Eighth Sched­ule (para­graph 1) of the Mu­nic­i­pal and Dis­trict Coun­cils Act, which ar­gues that the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion (LGC) “shall spec­ify the terms of ref­er­ence (ToR) of the in­quiry.”

Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 31st

‘Big Head,’ Colom­bian as­so­ciate were on CANU radar for years

Sherv­ing­ton Lovell and one of two men held with him in Ja­maica on drug traf­fick­ing charges were on the radar of the Cus­toms Anti-Nar­cotic Unit (CANU) for years, ac­cord­ing to the agency’s for­mer head James Singh, who says he feels vin­di­cated by the ar­rests. “We were af­ter these guys for a long time and to see them ar­rested is a breath of re­lief. I con­grat­u­late all those in­volved and it is nice to see that in the end the bad guys are caught,” Singh told Stabroek News yes­ter­day. Lovell, called ‘Big Head,’ and Colom­bian Ri­cardo Ramirez were ar­rested along with a Suri­namese na­tional last Thurs­day morn­ing at the Nor­man Man­ley In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Ja­maica on drug traf­fick­ing charges. The United States is seek­ing to ex­tra­dite the men and while Lovell and the Suri­namese na­tional waived their rights to con­test the ap­pli­ca­tion, Ramirez is fight­ing it. Singh said Ramirez is no stranger to lo­cal law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties as his ac­tiv­i­ties here were be­ing mon­i­tored and he was even held by CANU dur­ing an op­er­a­tion. He said that no ev­i­dence was found then against any of the oc­cu­pants of a ves­sel and it was sub­se­quently re­leased. “It is thought that I in­ter­cepted a boat dur­ing a le­git­i­mate op­er­a­tion and I sub­se­quently let the boat go, de­spite not hav­ing any ev­i­dence, and there was a CoI [Com­mis­sion of In­quiry]. I pre­sented the facts that led to the op­er­a­tion and some of the peo­ple who were in­volved in the op­er­a­tion are the same peo­ple who are held right now… Ramirez and Lovell are known to law en­force­ment. The po­lice would have held Ramirez a cou­ple of months ago for fuel smug­gling in the North West area,” he said.

Kwak­wani mid­wife was stran­gled, au­topsy finds

by blunt trauma to the head. Prior to the au­topsy, Wade’s rel­a­tives were adamant that the woman was a vic­tim of foul play and that she had not suf­fered an epilep­tic seizure as po­lice would have ini­tially con­sid­ered. Stabroek News was in­formed that three men from the area have since been taken into cus­tody and they are said to be as­sist­ing with in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Thurs­day, Novem­ber 1st City Hall owes NIS over $206m

City Hall owes the Na­tional In­sur­ance Scheme (NIS) in ex­cess of $206 mil­lion, NIS Debt Re­cov­ery Man­ager, Louise Bryant told the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (CoI) into the city yes­ter­day at the Critchlow Labour Col­lege. Day 14 of the CoI into the ad­min­is­tra­tion and op­er­a­tions of the Ge­orge­town Mayor and City Coun­cil (M&CC) saw the lone com­mis­sioner, re­tired Jus­tice Ce­cil Ken­nard lis­ten­ing to tes­ti­mony from Mayor Pa­tri­cia Chase-Green, Solid Waste Di­rec­tor Wal­ter Narine and the NIS. Dur­ing her tes­ti­mony Bryant pre­sented to the CoI a se­ries of doc­u­ments which in­cluded a debt state­ment for the coun­cil as well as de­mand no­tices is­sued to coun­cil for the pe­riod Septem­ber 1994 to Au­gust 2018. She noted that while some pay­ments have been made dur­ing that time a large sum still re­mains out­stand­ing.

Do­ing busi­ness in Guyana more dif­fi­cult

Guyana has dropped eight places in the World Bank’s lat­est rank­ings for the ease of do­ing busi­ness. It has moved to rank­ing of 134 out of 190 from a rank of 126 last year. The lower the nu­mer­i­cal rank­ing the bet­ter the busi­ness cli­mate. In 2016, the coun­try stood at a rank of 124 but dropped two places the fol­low­ing year. Of the 190 coun­tries ranked in the World Bank’s lat­est “Do­ing Busi­ness” re­port, Guyana now stands at 134, which means the busi­ness cli­mate has be­come more dif­fi­cult for new busi­nesses. 2016 had seen one of the coun­try’s big­gest gains in re­cent years on the rank­ing scale as it had moved up a whop­ping 16 places to 124 from 140 in 2015. In 2014, the coun­try was ranked at 132. The World Bank’s busi­ness score cap­tures the gap be­tween an econ­omy’s per­for­mance and its mea­sure of best prac­tice across the en­tire sam­ple of 41 in­di­ca­tors for 10 ‘Do­ing Busi-ness’ top­ics (the labour mar­ket reg­u­la­tion in­di­ca­tors are ex­cluded). For start­ing a busi­ness, for ex­am­ple, New Zealand and Ge­or­gia have the low­est num­ber of pro­ce­dures re­quired (1). New Zealand also holds the short­est time to start a busi­ness (0.5 days), while Slove­nia has the low­est cost (0.0).

Man charged over Palm Court shoot­ing granted $50,000 bail

A Camp­bel­lville res­i­dent was yes­ter­day charged and granted bail in re­la­tion to dis­charg­ing a loaded firearm out­side the Palm Court club on Main Street last week­end. Safraz Khan, 37, ap­peared be­fore Se­nior Mag­is­trate Fabayo Azore, who read the charge to him. It is al­leged that Khan, on Oc­to­ber 28, at Main Street, Ge­orge­town, dis­charged a loaded firearm within 100 yards of a pub­lic way. Khan de­nied the al­le­ga­tion lev­elled against him. At­tor­ney Glenn Hanoman, who rep­re­sented the ac­cused, told the court that the po­lice held his client in cus­tody for over 72 hours. He added that the po­lice seemed con­tent with hold­ing the de­fen­dant for an of­fence he can­not go to jail for. Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Wor­rel Thorn­hill, made no ob­jec­tion to bail be­ing granted but re­quested that con­di­tions be ap­plied. Mag­is­trate Azore sub­se­quently granted the ac­cused $50,000 bail and or­dered that he re­port to the Brick­dam po­lice sta­tion ev­ery Fri­day, be­gin­ning Novem­ber 2.

Fri­day, Novem­ber 2nd Ten bids for GuySuCo es­tates

Af­ter some 70 ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est, the Spe­cial Pur­pose Unit (SPU) re­ceived 10 sub­mis­sions by yes­ter­day’s dead­line for bids for the Skel­don, Rose Hall and East De­mer­ara es­tates. The lower than ex­pected num­ber has been at­trib­uted to un­cer­tainty over the func­tion­al­ity of the es­tates and con­cerns about com­pe­ti­tion from the state-owned GuySuCo. “The ma­jor con­cerns of po­ten­tial bid­ders re­lated to reg­u­la­tions that are needed to en­sure fair com­pe­ti­tion [with] gov­ern­ment, that is, the legacy, GuySuCo,” Wil­fred Baghaloo, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor (Deals) of Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers (PwC) Tax and Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices Lim­ited told a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. “Part of the con­cern was that a lot of peo­ple were wor­ried—‘What are we really buy­ing? Are we buy­ing scrap metal or go­ing con­cerns?’ There was also con­cern about the reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment…‘How do we com­pete with gov­ern­ment?’” he added. PwC, was con­tracted by the SPU of the Na­tional In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial In­vest­ments Lim­ited’s (NICIL) and last year be­gan do­ing val­u­a­tions of the as­sets of GuySuCo in or­der to se­cure prospec­tive in­vestors.

Ban­dit shot dead at Perth af­ter car­jack­ing

A ban­dit was shot dead by the po­lice while his ac­com­plice man­aged to es­cape yes­ter­day af­ter­noon af­ter they hi­jacked a car in Hasling­ton and were cor­nered in Ma­haicony. The quiet vil­lage of Perth, Ma­haicony, was in an up­roar yes­ter­day af­ter­noon af­ter the two ban­dits were cor­nered by the po­lice. Ac­cord­ing to Com­man­der of ‘C’ Divi­sion, Calvin Bru­tus, around 10:54 am, two men, one of whom has been iden­ti­fied as 27-year-old Mel­roy Solomon of Ti­tus Street, Agri­cola, East Bank De­mer­ara, called for a taxi from Vick’s Taxi Ser­vice lo­cated in En­more, East Coast De­mer­ara, and while they were in Hasling­ton they hi­jacked the car – a pur­ple Toy­ota Ca­rina 212 – and robbed the driver of his valu­ables and $15,000 in cash be­fore es­cap­ing. The po­lice were sub­se­quently alerted and as a re­sult, set up sev­eral road blocks along the East Coast cor­ri­dor and also added some ranks in an un­marked car to the search.

Ac­cused in Palm Court beat­ing re­manded on at­tempted mur­der charge

Ab­dul Im­ran Khan, the man who al­legedly as­saulted Ro­mario Bal­jeet out­side of the pop­u­lar Palm Court night­club, was yes­ter­day re­manded to prison af­ter he was charged with at­tempted mur­der. Khan, 32, was read the charge by Chief Mag­is­trate Ann McLen­nan in Ge­orge-town. It was al­leged that on Oc­to­ber 28th, at Main Street, Ge­orge­town, with in­tent to com­mit mur­der, he un­law­fully and ma­li­ciously wounded Bal­jeet. Khan, of Lot 11 Austin Street, Camp­bel­lville, was not re­quired to en­ter a plea to the in­dictable charge. Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Si­mone Payne ob­jected to bail be­ing granted based on the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence and the fact that the com­plainant is hos­pi­talised, hav­ing been read­mit­ted.

Naitram Sankar

Dhar­shan Mo­habir

Ab­dul Im­ran Khan

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