Bishop Hart Elected Archbishop, Internal Province of West Africa

first_imgThe Right Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia, was Thursday, May 1, elected archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa.The election took place at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Bishop Hart succeeds Archbishop Tilewa Johnson, who recently died of a heart attack in his native Banjul, The Gambia.As archbishop, Bishop Hart will preside over the dioceses of Bo and Freetown in Sierra Leone, and the dioceses of Guinea, The Gambia, Cameroon and Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Nyenabo Dribbles Colleagues Again

first_imgGrand Gedeh County Senator Isaac Nyenabo scored political and legislative points on his colleagues again when he scuttled a plenary decision to request President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to retire her Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale.A special block within the Liberian Senate comprising 15 Senators  last week voted in favor of a motion requesting “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to recall Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, and honorably retire him.”The group of senators cited “health condition” as the reason for their decision.However, during the call for votes, Grand Kru and River Gee Senators Cletus Wortorson and Frederick Doe Cherue voted against the motion, while Grand Gedeh Senator Nyenabo announced a motion for reconsideration, a move that largely stalled the entire process and dashed  the hope of the opposition block, a legislative commentator asserted.Motion for ReconciliationThe Grand Gedeh County lawmaker has been successful in stalling the quest of some of his colleagues to force Dr. Gwenigale into retirement.The intent for filing a motion for reconsideration is to “Filibuster and Buy more time, aimed at convincing the presiding officer to consider previous arguments provided by a senator during the debate but was not considered by his/her colleagues.”In a conversation with the Daily Observer  over the weekend, Senator Nyenabo disclosed that he intends to introduce his motion on the second Tuesday of this month, in keeping with their rules that provide  that a Motion for Reconsideration  when filed, has three session days to bring back the subject for legislative action.Interestingly, Nyenabo has been successful in achieving the goals for such motion based on a constitutional requirement that compels the Legislature to adjourn session after the elapse of the emergency period.Article 87 (a), “Emergency powers do not include the power to suspend or abrogate the Constitution, dissolve the Legislature, or suspend or dismiss the Judiciary; and no constitutional amendment shall be promulgated during a state of emergency.Where the Legislature is not in session, it must be convened immediately in special session and remain in session during the entire period of the state of emergency.”Thursday November 6 marks the end of the 90 day State of Emergency announced by President Johnson Sirleaf on August 6, 2014.Nyenabo argued that said decision of the 15 Senators to ask the President to retire Minister Gwenigale  violates Article 56 a) of the Constitution, which gives the power to the President to appoint and fire, and those appointees work at the will and pleasure of the President.Judging from these constitutional provisions and in keeping with the Senate rules, the Grand Gedeh County Senator and former President Pro Tempore has again trounced the entire plenary of the Senate in achieving a critical but cardinal decision in their political history.As was done in cases involving the Liberian Senate and Madam Mary T. Broh, President Sirleaf’s second letter during the emergency period requesting for more power, a similar motion was filed by Senator Nyenabo, thereby placing hold on these two critical issues.Meanwhile, legislative analysts believe that the decision to retire Dr. Gwenigale as proffered by some members of the Senate will gain no results since the matter can no longer be discussed ahead of defeating Nyenabo’s motion.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Remembering December 24, 1989

first_imgMonrovia- December 24, 1989 was on a Sunday and a sunny day in Massaquoi clan, a small village on the outskirts of Margibi County. I was a six-year old kid by then but can recollect the vivid memories of that day. My family had gone to the hometown of my Mother to spend the Christmas holiday. We were strolling home on the laterite road from Church at a nearby village. I remember my Mother and a member of the Church were talking about an invasion that had started in Nimba county, northern Liberia.  That day was to mark the beginning of the Liberian civil war.December 24, was the beginning of a spillover of long-standing conflict that had permeated the Liberian nation since its inception. This was further fueled with tribal-ethnic, political, socio-economic disparities that all came tumbling down like a house of cards on 24, December.  The initial myth that the invasion of December 24 was a gang of disgruntled men running along the border line with machetes became dispelled with the robust move with which the invasion swamped the country.  By mid-1990, Monrovia was already besieged and everyone was awake. By July of 1990, a massacre occurred in the edifice of the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and scores of armless civilians were murdered in cold-blood. This was in utter disregard for the rule of war and areas of protection by the Geneva conventions during armed-conflict.The massacre at the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church sent a chilling reminder that everyone was exposed; even areas of worships, schools, hospitals were targets for possible ‘enemies’. Panic was contagious.Streets were scenes of displaced citizens roaming with bags of belongings, streets littered with dirt of palm kernels which became a substitute staple of the time. Carnage was alive and the few disgruntled men that roamed the borderlines were now in Monrovia.By September of 1990, the government was overthrown; the president was captured and killed by a splinter group of the NPFL.  Hell had broken loose by September of 1990 and the Economic Community of West African States sent in ECOMOG to restore calm, pending an interim arrangement. Key events followed the mark of 24 December 1989 that left scars on the face of the small West African Nation.The preceding years of 1992, 1994, 1996, and 2003 were all witnesses to series of mass atrocities with torture, rape, killings, disembowelment, summary executions, and total breakdown of the rule of law, wanton disregard for human rights, economic collapse and the gradual failure of a nation state.The dust seemed to settle with the holding of elections in 2005 that returnedsanity, and the reemergence of one of Africa’s most troubled countries in contemporary history. These underlying events showed the resilience of a people to rebuild their lives time after time. A vital lesson for Liberia is not to shove the memories of major events under the carpet of convenience, but to keep a memoir of unfoldings that sparked the civil unrest. This will give a blue print for the future and guide against subsequent repetition.  The politics of marginalization, socio-economic disparity, ethnic-tribal conflicts, etc. should take a back seat, whilst inclusion, respect for the rule of law, free press, etc. should continue to be the hallmark of our democracy thereby ensuring the sustenance of our peace. Remembering key dates that tore our nation apart goes a long way in reflecting on our past as a people and charting a new course, it’s a way of retelling our stories to the younger generation, most of whom were either too young or not around. They are expected to learn from the errors of the past, avoid themand rebuild our nation. The Liberian Republic has been a field of suppressed views that swelled like a volcano that exploded with particles affecting everyone.  We cannot have another volcano eruption; we can avoid that by retelling our stories and removing the weeds from the vibrant flowers of our democracy. Together, as a nation, we can bury the past, not by closing our eyes on the stories that happened, but by telling them with the intent of learning from them, thereby choosing a new path.On 24 December, a lecture series will be held at the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Liberian Civil war.  Twenty five (25) years on, as the speakers share their stories of the recollections of that day, the souls of the over 600 men, women and children who were murdered in that very edifice will smile from their graves, that though they are dead, their memories are alive through the stories. From them, the living can learn a vital lesson from the quotation that ‘wars don’t end of the battlefields, but on the table of negotiations’.  May the souls of the men, women and children who died in the Liberian civil war from bullets, starvation, heart attacks while walking several miles, and all other consequences as a result of 24 December, 1989 rest in perfect peace! God bless Liberia!About the Author Lekpele Nyamalon lives in Monrovia Liberia and can be reached at nyamalon@yahoo.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Uncollected Garbage Stinks at Gobachop Market

first_imgA five-week old stockpile of Garbage at the Gobachop Market at Red LightBy Edwin M. Fayia IIIGobachop Market, a major section of the Red Light market in Paynesville, has been engulfed by foul smelling and rodent-infested garbage uncollected for the past five weeks.During a visit to the market, massive swarms of flies were seen congregating on the rotten garbage piles, while petty traders conducted business nearby.A space constructed by the Ministry of Public Works to host most of the petty traders is now being used as a garbage dumpsite by the traders.Many of the petty traders at the crowded marketplace who spoke to the Daily Observer expressed grave concern about the health and sanitation hazards posed by the trash, which they said has not been collected for the past five weeks.Most of them sell plantains, pineapples, eddoes, peppers, bitter balls, greens and other fruits and vegetables.In spite of the huge garbage at the market, producers from rural Liberia with an assortment of produce continue to bring in their wares.In interviews with rural and urban petty traders, they appealed to the Paynesville City Corporation to ensure that the garbage is collected.Rural plantain producer Joe Stewart of Bong County told the Daily Observer that he was frustrated about the huge rotten uncollected piles of garbage.“Each time I bring my plantains for sale to the Gobachop Market, I encounter some kind of sickness due to the bad smell from the rotten garbage,” Mr. Stewart said.Urban marketer Suzanna B. Clinton, 48, appealed to the municipal government of Paynesville under the leadership of Mayor Cyvette Gibson to design new strategies to work with the marketers for the daily disposal of garbage at the market.“I think the old system of dirt collection and disposal has not worked at our business district in Paynesville,” Madam Clinton said.Pineapple dealer Blama M. Kolliewala, 55, said the Gobachop Market is a sanitation nightmare.Meanwhile, a Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) staff, who spoke off the record, told the Daily Observer that plans are underway to increase the collection of the garbage from once a week to three times a week.The anonymous PCC official, however, stressed the need for the traders to work with the PCC Sanitation Department to ensure that garbage bins at the market are used for their intended purpose, although he did not say when the rotten garbage would be removed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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PM yet to be conducted on partially decomposed body

first_img1 week laterA post-mortem examination is yet to be conducted on a partially decomposed body which was discovered in Kuribrong, Region Eight, on July 25.Commander of ‘F’ Division (Interior locations), Kevin Adonis, told Guyana Times that the PM will be conducted soon in Mahdia, since the body is yet to be officially identified. It is due to this that the body has not been handed over to suspected relatives as well, he added.The partially decomposed body, suspected to be that of Patrick Vyfhuis of Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara, was discovered on July 25, clad in a white T-shirt and grey jeans, along with a pair of blue sneakers.Vyfhuis’s body was reportedly found by a pork-knocker some four miles away from the camp site where he was employed, and was later identified by his employer.The man’s employers — of the said community from which Vyfhuis originated — are owners a mining camp in the interior. They told this newspaper that the man had been mentally ill, and that they were unaware of this when they had hired him.One of the employers explained that the man had left for the interior on July 11. She related that after he arrived at the mining camp, he had been acting strangely, and had even told them that somebody wanted to kill him.She further related that other workers on the camp attempted to control Vyfhuis’s absurd behaviour, but without success.She said that as a result of this behaviour, on July 15, when they were about to escort the man to his home, the following happened. “When he reach on the landing he start running up and down at all them shops. So they (ended up) getting him back into the cruiser, and while going out now, he messed his skin up, so they stopped at a creek to wash off him, because he can’t go in the vehicle like that. So when they stop now, he run and gone in the bush,” the employer said.Other employees again chased the man, but failed in their attempts to apprehend him. She said a report was subsequently made to the Bartica and Mahdia Police Stations.But Odessia Spencer, sister of the deceased man, rebutted the allegation made by Vyfhuis’s employer. According to her, her brother had never suffered from any mental illness.Vyfhuis’s family members are calling for a thorough investigation into the circumstances attending his demise. The employers and several employees have been questioned in relation to the incident. Investigations are ongoing.last_img read more

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Lisa, Alvaro Ramotar sent on admin leave

first_imgFormer President’s childrenTwo of former President Donald Ramotar’s children, Lisaveta and Alvaro, have been sent on administrative leave from their respective posts.In both cases, the siblings were informed that they were being sent on leave to facilitate probes. However, there was no timeframe given for the probes or the leave period.Guyana Times was made to understand that Lisa, who was the General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB), was sent on leave on Monday “to facilitate Police investigations” into the Board. Moreover, there was no mention of whether the probe will be into a specific aspect at the GGB or the entire operations.There is currently an ongoing probe at the GGB following reports of the entity’s staffers being linked to licensed gold dealer Saddiqi Rafeek Mohamed Rasul, who was charged earlier this month for the $956 million fraud at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI).However, there has been no information or confirmation that the daughter of the former President was sent on leave with regard to the aforementioned probe at the Gold Board. The former President’s daughter was appointed General Manager at the GGB back in December 2014.Meanwhile, as it relates to Alvaro, this newspaper was told that he was sent on leave from his post at the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) since April 10. He has been employed as a Data Communications Manager at the water company for more than two years. Guyana Times understands that the youngest of the former President’s children was told by officials that he was being sent on leave to facilitate an investigation into a “ransomware” bug in the computer system at the GWI.With Lisa and Alvaro now being sent on, what seems like indefinite, leave, all three of former President Ramotar’s children have now been removed from their respective posts. His other son, Alexei, was sent off on administrative leave back in July 2015 to facilitate a probe into the financial arrangements of the E-Governance Project, of which he was the Project Manager.last_img read more

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Glenn Lall, associates tried to pay $100M for debt of $1B+

first_img…Jagdeo’s refusal soured relations, spawned decades-long vendettaControversial local businessman Glen Lall, and other major shareholders who had entered into an agreement with the Government of Guyana through the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) to purchase the Guyana Stores Limited (GSL), had attempted to settle the more-than-one-billion-dollar debt owed for the mega-store by paying a paltry $100 million.Opposition Leader, Bharrat JagdeoThis past week, when he spoke to the duplicitous nature of the APNU/AFC Administration in regard to its selective release of information to the public, Guyana’s former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, made the foregoing damning revelation and opined that the GSL transaction should be among the agreements released to the public.He said this agreement illustrates how persons would have entered into transactions with the Government but have failed to honour their obligations. Therefore, he opined, all such agreements should be made public, so the nation would be able to understand the nature of people who never performed on these agreements.Tony YassinHe suggested that because many prominent persons in society had failed to live up to obligations imposed on them in the agreements they had entered into, it might have led them to join camp with the AFC. “Because we (used to) pressure them to live up to the terms of the agreements (entered into with Government),” he explained.The former President declared, “Glenn Lall and the others had to live up to the terms of the Guyana Stores Agreement, (but) they did not.” He then opined that Lall and his associates were “hoping to get a free pass.”According to Jagdeo, “They wanted to settle for $100M (a liability of) over $1B. We said, ‘No, we going to court; you got to meet the agreement’.”Jagdeo also opined that this “falling out” was perhaps what had led to Lall and his associates adopting a hostile approach to the PPP/C Administration. “So probably they left us because of that,” he quipped.To date, Royal Investments Limited, the shareholding company under which the Guyana Stores Limited purchase was executed, continues to owe the State hundreds of millions of dollars; and the full extent of the liability is awaiting determination in a court trial.Robert BadalNICIL currently has several matters worth millions of dollars being litigated against Guyana Stores Ltd for outstanding liability to the Government of Guyana. Lall and Yassin, Directors of Guyana Stores, reportedly owe US$2 million of the US$6 million the property was sold for back in 2000 by the Government via NICIL. Past due interest on the outstanding balance would amount to approximately another US$2 million, or maybe even more.The matter is sub-judice, but the Government-owned NICIL has moved to the courts to recover sums of money it is due. The legal proceedings, which were before Justice Roxane George at the High Court in Georgetown, entails NICIL suing Royal Investments Limited for failing to pay the balance of US$2 million for the 70 million shares in the company it had acquired for US$6 million.In the meantime, the profits of the company are collected by these two owners, and shareholders have complained that they have never received any dividends since the company was privatised back in 2000.Interestingly, with the 2015 change in Government, NICIL has paid some $40 million in taxes to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC) on behalf of the Glenn Lall-owned entity.UNSAVOURY PRACTICESJagdeo has accused another high profile member and financier of the Alliance For Change (AFC) of essentially stealing a company from Government through unsavory business practices.Robert Badal, owner of Guyana Stockfeeds Inc, is current Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Power and Light Inc. His appointment was made by the APNU/AFC Administration after the previous office holders had been sacked.Jagdeo on Friday openly accused Badal as follows: “Badal tried to steal the 30 per cent Government shares (in the Guyana Stockfeeds Inc) and we said, ‘No, we are going to go to court.’ Then he joined the other side… We hope that all of the agreements will be made public.”Badal’s Guyana Stockfeeds Inc was recently castigated by the Securities Council in a ‘public advisory’ — for misleading its shareholders by claiming in its Interim Financial Report published for January – June 2013 that it had paid shareholders dividends amounting to $80,285,557, when in fact the company had not paid the dividends.What had instead obtained was that, in 2008, the court had ruled in favour of an action brought by NICIL against Mr Badal’s attempt to unlawfully reduce the Government of Guyana’s shares in the Guyana Stockfeeds Inc from 38% to 7% by means of an illegal Rights Issue. That issue, created under the guise of raising capital to construct a wharf illegally on, and through, NICIL’s land, was giving Mr Badal almost 80% ownership of the company. But rather than restoring Government’s shareholding, as ordered by the court, Badal appealed the decision.The court had in fact ruled that the business affairs of Stockfeeds were being carried out oppressively; that the company had not complied with the Companies Act; and that the Rights Issue was illegal, null and void. The court had accordingly issued an order restraining any further issuance of shares or increase in the defendant’s shareholding, or any change to the shares register of the company.last_img read more

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PPP intensifies pressure for Govt to resign, set elections date

first_imgThe Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has intensified its efforts to get President David Granger to set a date for early elections – something which they will continue to do.PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali marching with supporters outside the Ministry of the Presidency on TuesdayThis is according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday as he addressed hundreds of supporters while protesting the Ministry of the Presidency, which holds the official office of the President.Tuesday’s protest was heightened as supporters blocked off Vlissengen Road in front of the Ministry of the Presidency, chanting for the President to dissolve Parliament and set a date for elections, as well as have his Cabinet resign as mandated by the Constitution.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo with protesters on Vlissengen RoadThe Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on June 18 validated the December passage of the No-Confidence Motion against the coalition Government, thus triggering Articles 106 (6) and (7), which state that Cabinet including the President should resign and call elections with three months.PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing party supportersWhile elections ought to have been held by March 21, 2019, the court proceedings filed had put that timeline on pause. But since the Trinidad-based regional court validated the motion, the three-month timeline was activated from that date which means elections ought to be held on or before September 18, 2019.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo contended that the caretaker coalition is deliberately defying constitutional rule.“It’s a dual game they’re playing. On one hand, [the President] wants to seem like the statesman – ‘I’m complying with the Constitution; I’m complying with the CCJ’ – but on the other hand, his people are seriously undermining our ability to move forward… And then GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission), you know the shenanigans that they have gone through with to delay the elections by claiming they have to go to House-to-House Registration to prepare a list which is nonsense and will result in elections way into next year, and that is what they want. So we have to keep putting the pressure on this Administration to comply with the Constitution,” the Opposition Leader told scores of protestors.Former Opposition MP Charles Ramson Jnr Chanting along with protesters for Government to resign and call electionsAccording to Jagdeo, he had outlined a path that would bring the country back into constitutional rule, hold early elections and eventually have the country move forward but the President has rejected this.“That’s all we want; a country that obeys the laws, a country that protects all of its people and a Government that continue to work in favour of all the people of Guyana to create jobs, give them better welfare etc. And the faster we get those elections, the faster we will move to restore credibility to this country and to start solving people’s problems once again,” he noted.Meanwhile, PPP’s Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali, who led the protest, told supporters that the party is continuing to mount pressure on the coalition for the future of the country and all of its people.“Let us not forget that we are doing this on behalf of every single Guyanese… Go back to history and you will see that the PPP has already stood up, stood up strong, stood up mighty, stood up peacefully, and what did we stand up for? We stand up for the rights of the people… and until this dictatorship is removed and until democracy is returned and until the respect for constitutional rule is returned, we will stand up every day and we fight,” Ali declared to loud cheers and applause from the crowd.PPP supporters protesting for early elections and the resignation of the Granger-led CabinetEven as the Opposition intensifies pressure on the coalition Government to set a date for early elections, GECOM is continuing with its House-to-House Registration which is now in its 26th day and has since recorded over 150,000 registrations.However, the exercise has been contested in the High Court and Chief Justice Roxane George is expected to rule on its constitutionality today. Charted accountant and attorney Christopher Ram had filed proceedings, challenging the conduct of House-to-House Registration.In the meantime, President Granger is expecting to hear from the GECOM Chair, (ret’d) Justice Claudette Singh, in the coming days on the way forward.The Head of State had met with Justice Singh and the six GECOM Commissioners as well as the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, last Thursday. The following day, he met with the Opposition Leader during which they shared their contesting views on the hosting of early elections.last_img read more

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Authorities seek slayer of ‘human directional’

first_imgSmith was carrying a sign advertising a nearby housing development when he was shot at 12:04 p.m., a Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office official said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital. His body was found on the southeast corner of 45th Street West and Avenue K. Gates said the investigation has produced several leads, but that no suspects or motives have been established. “It’s a complete who-done-it,” Gates said. Gates was in the Antelope Valley on Monday afternoon developing leads and establishing a profile of the victim, he said. Smith moved about 10 years ago to the Antelope Valley from South Los Angeles to live with his grandmother, and attended a local high school, Gates said. Smith was working as a “human directional,” advertising Pacific Tapestry, a Pacific Communities housing development. A Pacific Communities spokesman said Smith was employed by Builder’s Marketing Group, a Temecula-based company that contracts human-directional positions – workers who wave signs for local business to advertise to passers-by. “At this time Builders Marketing Group is deeply saddened about the unfortunate tragedy that occurred on Sunday,” company spokesman Erik Hersh said in an e-mail. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young man’s family and loved ones.” gideon.rubin@dailynews.com (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! QUARTZ HILL – A man gunned down Sunday while waving an advertising sign in Quartz Hill was identified Monday as 22-year-old Derel Smith of Lancaster, a sheriff’s official said. Smith was killed in broad daylight on a busy street. “It was a brutal shooting,” homicide Detective Jim Gates said. “The guy was shot while he was out there trying to make a living. “It’s a tragedy.” last_img read more

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