Deputy Speaker Collected US$50K in PUP Benefits

first_imgA dismissed managing director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) being tried for allegedly misapplying US$6 million from the Private Use Permit (PUP) funds told Criminal Court ‘C’ that Deputy House Speaker, Hans Barchue, received over US$50,000 from the permits.Witness Moses Wogbeh in his testimony claimed that the money was part of what his administration collected from companies that were operating under the permits across the country.“The Speaker received the money as a cash contribution for the people of Compound #1 in Grand Bassa County,” the defense witness further alleged, adding, “the US$50,000 was received from Forest Venture one of several logging companies operating under the PUPs in the county.”Wogbeh together with three other managers of the FDA and a senior surveyor of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME) were accused of issuing 61 PUPs that authorized commercial logging on nearly 2.5 million hectares of farmland in the country.They are facing charges including criminal conspiracy, forgery or counterfeiting and deceptive obstruction of government by public servants.Besides Speaker Barchue’s US$50,000, the defense witness claimed that government also received an undisclosed financial benefit from the PUPs that were issued.He went on to say that the financial benefit was through export tax, and administrative and block inspection fees, while the communities also received cash benefits including repair of roads, bridges and the construction of clinics.”He made the revelation when he was asked to explain whether government or a community under whose approval he issued the PUPs received financial or material benefits.Further in his testimony, the defense witness admitted issuing the permits but failed to say how much of the 61 permits his administration issued to companies to carry out logging activities in the county.“We relied on the 2006 National Forestry Law and its regulation to issue the permits to companies in the country,” he contended.This is the second time that witness Wogbeh has accused senior government officials of being aware of the issuance of the controversial PUPs.Recently, he implicated Agriculture Minister, Florence Chenoweth, who was then chairperson of the Board of Directors of the FDA, of approving the issuance of the PUPs, a claim to which the minister is yet to respond.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

No government can succeed when their main objective is spite

first_imgDear Editor,The closure of the sugar estates was based purely on spite; that is the sure prognosis of all right-thinking Guyanese, but The PNC see things differently.They are of the opinion that, by closing the sugar estates, they would be hitting The PPP the hardest. They were of the mistaken belief that, by shutting down the estates, they would sound the death knell of the PPP/C’s stronghold. Kill sugar, they opined, and we would have their supporters with their begging bowls crying for help at the PNC’s doorstep.However, with that vindictiveness and spite, the PNC/AFC made the following major blunders:1. They were exposing their lying and deceitful selves before an audience they had faithfully promised that they would never do such a thing.In fact, they lied to the people, telling them that they need to be aware of the PPP, they are the party who would close the sugar estates, and the party who should be the object of their fear.Well, as it turned out, the people are now well aware of which party betrayed their trust and which constitutes the enemy.2. By deceiving the people in such a horrible way, they played right into the hands of the PPP.The PPP gets those disaffected voters from the Coalition; in essence, they were strengthening PPP support in the Sugar Belt. The hurt, the blatant deception, did hit the people hardest, which caused many of them to vow never to vote for the Coalition again.To verify my story, I urge you to go into the sugar areas, and the same sad story greets you as each worker tells you over and over again, “We were deceived… them fool a-we. Never again! Never would we vote for this PNC-dominated Coalition again.”3. With the rise in the worldwide use of the brown crystals as a natural sweetener, sugar is a sure foreign exchange earner. The industry in Guyana was at the quarter million mark and rising when this Government took control of our economy.This was a sure sign that better days were ahead. However, with the sudden closures, there was a drastic decline in production, where the industry is barely able to sustain 100,000 tons. The associated results are a shortfall in foreign earnings and a drop in the economy.4. Sugar is the life blood of Guyana; on it every other foreign earner revolves. Sugar is a pivot on which Guyana’s foreign earnings revolve. The sugar industry is the largest entity in the productive sector, and to kill sugar means that the entire economy would collapse also. This is the sorry mistake this Government has made.The stark reality is: you cannot run a government on sheer spite, it was bound to yield horrendous results. In three short years, this Coalition has supervised the demise of sugar as well as every other economic sector of this country. This is the backward platform that this administration is built on.Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more