Hopes of a better Guyana could be lost, if… Badal

Hopes of a better Guyana could be lost, if… Badal

Pegasus Hotel owner, Robert Badal

Robert Badal

SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 | BY | By Abena Rockcliffe

The government must understand its responsibility to ensure that all criminals are brought to justice. The struggling masses will lose all faith in this administration if it fails to bring white collar criminals to justice.

That is the sentiment expressed by prominent businessman, Robert Badal, the owner of the Pegasus Hotel.
Yesterday, he made reference to revelations in the media about the contractual agreement between the then People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government and the Berbice Bridge Company Inc. (BBCI).  

The businessman said that it was indeed a sad day when he learnt that a select group “routinely favoured by the former Jagdeo administration,” was given controlling interest of the BBCI when they were only financing less than five percent of the cost of the Berbice Bridge.

According to Badal, news about the arrangement sent shock waves throughout the local business community. He said that the arrangement has a striking similarity to the former administration’s planned ownership structure of the controversial Marriott Hotel.
Badal said that the Marriott deal will be remembered as one “which saw taxpayers putting more than US$40M while a ghost investor was invited to pay US$8M for a controlling two-thirds majority.”

He lamented that in both cases, the former Chairman of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, and the former President were the architects of such corrupt arrangements.
The businessman said that questions must be asked about the intent to defraud the people of Guyana.

Badal said that it is in the public interest that the cost of these projects as well as the financial architecture to the benefit of the friends of the PPP be known. He said, too, that Jagdeo must be made to answer for the abuse of public office. He opined that this sort of behaviour also characterized the former Jagdeo administration.

The businessman said that to date, many aspects of these NICIL-funded projects are not clear to the Guyanese public. He said that these include the capital structure of BBCI, its creditors; the amount of debt incurred thus far and the total loan from Republic Bank to construct the Marriott.

“These are serious questions, the answers to which the new administration must deliver. In doing so it has a duty to unravel the vicious cycle of fraud and abuse of public office and bring those responsible to justice. It has made this pledge. Guyanese demand it and the government must mobilize international expertise if necessary and act without delay,” Badal stated.

He said that those who seek public office and are given jurisdiction over public resources must be held to the norms of basic accountability. The Pegasus Hotel owner stated that when this duty is breached, they must be brought to justice.

He added, “We have helplessly tolerated this kind of wholesale looting of state resources for more than a decade, and given the opportunity that a change of Government brings, it must now ensure justice in the interest of the struggling masses. Otherwise the people of this country would lose any faith they may now have in our democracy and public officials.”

Badal admitted that it is a heavy burden for the new administration having inherited a broken economy with the major revenue earners, those being rice, sugar, and gold, facing certain challenges.

He emphasized nonetheless, that the government must bring closure to the systematic cycle of greed and the wholesale plunder of state resources by a few in the country.

The businessman said that as a first step the continuing retention of Winston Brassington, the common denominator in many of these corrupt deals, needs to be reviewed.

Given the multitude of these deals and all that was revealed since the May 2015 general elections from the Berbice Bridge, to insider land deals, to the Marriott Hotel and many others, Badal contended that the retention of Winston Brassington is incomprehensible.

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Comments

  • De castro  On September 20, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Tip of the iceburg…..titanic or no titanic !
    Let’s observe the anti corruption agenda and its speedy implementation in practice….action not more bla bla political PR.

    JUST GET ON WITH THE “CLEAN UP” of the corrupt state Guyana is today.
    Not a blade of my grass will be invested in Guyana today by those in the diaspora
    unless positive action is taken to “clean up” GT and Guyana immediately.
    Parliament must immediately enact anti corruption laws with “heavy fines and jail sentences……zero tolerance on corruption.
    Name them, charge them prosecute them and jail them….sentence them to “community service” picking up litter in GT streets…..put some in stocks outside
    parliament square so that public can pelt them with rotten fruit and eggs.

    Need I say more…….way forward.😈

  • Deen  On September 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Obviously, the vicious virus of fraud and corruption was pervasive in the Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar government. It’s APNU-AFC administration responsibility to continue to uncover these outrageous criminal acts and seek adequate justice and restitution for the Guyanese people and Guyana.
    It certainly appears, as we had long suspected, the PPP/C party had a field day over the years. They behaved arrogantly bold in their reckless, incompetitent and corruptive ways, and misled the people as a means to their ends. They were a total letdown to the people and country.

  • Winston Yaw  On September 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Mr Badal is absolutely correct in the analysis he made of the Government’s responsibility. I also cannot understand why Mr Brassington is still employed by this administration. I suppose the saying “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”works for the Admin. I think he can unravel all of the crooked deals he orchestrated, he will need some incentive to do so. If he can be tied to any criminal acts with a huge jail sentence tied to a “successful prosecution” I think he might be able to be persuaded to cooperate. he must have been advised in the crafting of these deals by none other than the old AG, so the legalese written into the contractual arrangements on those deals may be legally binding, but no contract is unbreakable

  • De castro  On September 20, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    We can but “speculate” on the outcome until we have the facts/disclosures
    made public. Let’s hope this will be sooner than later.

    As the saying goes….set a thief to catch a thief !

  • detow  On September 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Kamptan:

    I am sure that the government is working towards putting the criminals away but are being careful in how they do that for fear of having to deal with a corrupt legal system. I thing that the government must craft a way of getting rid of the Chief Justice and others of his ilk before prosecuting the obvious PPP/C crooks. Let’s see how things unfold over the next six to eight months.

  • detow  On September 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Of course I mean “think” instead of thing that the government……. Fingers moving faster than the mind can think….to old to bother with minor errors.

    • albert  On September 21, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Its difficult to remove the corrupt human structure Jagdeo has put in place. Burnham would know how. Best person to deal with crooks is another crook. Think Burnham created a position above the Chief Justice which person then decided which Judge get what case. This way someone like the present chief justice would be out of the way.

  • Rose  On September 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    We’re all getting antsy about “when” we will see these bandits behind bars. It’s not as easy as we’d like it to be. All of the eyes must be dotted and the tees crossed in order to have iron clad convictions of those indicted. I have faith that our government is making all the right moves to this end but we must be patient. President Granger is quite aware that investors, both at home and in the diaspora, are looking on at what’s transpiring in Guyana with the unveiling of corruption and fraud that has taken place over the last 22 years. I doubt we will have to wait much longer before the first blow is administered.

    • De castro  On September 22, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Rosie
      Share your sentiments but not your patience.
      In today’s “investment” climate the ruthless investors will go wherever the 💲
      trail takes them. Timbuctu if necessary to avoid taxes and increase profits.
      In for the “kill” not the “hunt”…….
      Just Google “corporation tax” to see where corporations are heading.

      Don’t think Guyana is in their sights.

      New kids on the block must look more to inward investment…..investment from within……business community in Guyana has a major role to play…financed externally. Development must come from within Guyana with tax breaks for
      business sectors within Guyana not external investors…..who will take their profits to tax havens elsewhere……Gibraltar Bahamas et al …. tax havens….

      Don’t just clean and tidy house because of visitors
      Keep it clean and tidy if you wish visitors to return.

      Week month year is long time in politricks.

      New AG was appointed who will be appointing judges….
      previous AG (attorney general) sidelined but not sacked/investigated/charged with corruption. These are matters that new administration will be judged by.

      UK HRH QE2 appoint judges on recommendation of PM
      GUYANA EL President appoint AG who select juges by whose recommendation ?

      Corruption at these levels need to be addressed correctly if laws are to be respected/obeyed.

      3 years to enact anti corruption laws and 2 years to enforce them is enough time
      or face de-selection next time. Zero tolerance on corruption way forward.

      5 years is a “lifetime” in politricks.

      Ways I sees it !
      Kamtan

      • Rose  On September 22, 2015 at 12:45 am

        Kamptan my comment was not focused on the investment aspect but more on when indictments will come down on those responsible for raping and pillaging our country. I do agree with your comments on foreign investors and their MOs.

  • De castro  On September 22, 2015 at 3:36 am

    When ! Why not whenever ! Rosie.
    Whenever is now….yesterday ..11th may people voted for change.
    So let’s have it !
    You are correct “change takes time”……but so does “talks”……”promises”
    Political PR.

    CASTRO had right idea……lined up all “cheats” and executed them post revolution……he went about it the wrong way……
    Humiliation sometimes works better than executions.

    In today’s world “executions” are “suicidal” ….political correctness et al.

    Hunt them down charge,try,convict and jail them. No its or buts. Zero corruption.

    Sentence them to “serve the public” cleaning streets of city.

    Humiliation is often better than executions.
    Assinations of characters publicly.

    Change we must as die we will.

    Sooner the better….for all mankind.

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