Corruption in Region 6 is taking a quantum leap

first_imgDear Editor,Corruption in Region 6 is taking a quantum leap. A group of persons go around in every nook and cranny, promising a varied array of services for a fee, whilst getting their clients to sign AFC membership forms.Recently, eight AFC members were lavishly awarded when they were given huge chunks of contracts, worth in excess of $15 million each, to slash and clean the shoulders of the Corentyne Highway. One of the ‘contractors’ is a member of the National Executive Committee and belongs to the Diaspora NY Chapter. Another one is the Chairman of the AFC’s Regional Management Committee, while one is an AFC RDC Councillor, and another is the CIIP Supervisor. It’s jobs for the boys!Another point to note is that none of these ‘contractors’ has any experience or competence to do the job, and one from Black Bush Polder actually sub-contracted the work out to an experienced contractor.Also, there is a lot of substandard work done, the bush and grass are not cut properly, and there are long stalks left standing; and in some cases, the garbage remains on the road sides. What system is in place for the Ministry of Infrastructure to certify these works? It is reported that there is a senior AFC member within the MoPI who was instrumental in the awarding of these contracts.These men were simply handpicked by the AFC and given these contracts on a platter. There were no advertised tenders, and no procurement rules were followed. The AFC was most vociferous during the 2015 Elections Campaign, calling for transparency, accountability and an end to corruption; but, today, the AFC is in the forefront of practising wholesale corruption, cronyism and nepotism. All the procurement rules are thrown on the wayside. This is shameless; no wonder the AFC in Region 6 is losing ground rapidly.Many of our qualified and experienced contractors made complaints to Mr Gobin Harbhajan, the PM’s Regional Representative, and when objections were made by Mr Gobin, two of these persons made negative comments, and even made reports to the #51 Police Station that they are being slandered. He was made a target of a part of this nefarious gang, infamously known as the Three Musketeers. But I am sure that Mr Gobin will not be deterred, he is an adamant fighter against corrupt practices.As a member of the PNC and an NDC Councillor, I am calling on the various ministries to ensure that contracts are awarded according to the procurement laws, and that such contracts are awarded through the Tender Boards.It is time to stop handpicking contractors, so that the public trust and confidence in our procurement process can once again be maintained. The Honorable Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Ms Annette Ferguson, should look into these corrupt AFC ‘fly by night’ contractors as a matter of urgency. They should be fired immediately.It is time our President put his foot down on this type of corruption.Yours sincerely,Raj Lakhram(Lakhram Singh)#52/74 NDC Councillorlast_img read more