Pressure mounting on President to sanction Norton

first_imgPharmagate… “This entre thing is a mess” – Dr Jeffrey Pressure is mounting on President David Granger to sanction and even to fire, embattled Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, who lied to the National Assembly over a comedy of errors involving the sole-sourcing of a pharmaceutical storage bond under construction, under the pretext that there was an urgent need for a storage facility.Public Health Minister, Dr George NortonPPP General Secretary Clement RoheeEconomist Ramon GaskinDr Norton was caught misleading the National Assembly last Monday during his bid to defend a $25 million advance from Contingency Fund to pay Linden Holdings Inc for the storage of pharmaceuticals as a result of an “emergency”.Speaking on the fiasco, former Government Minister and political commentator, Dr Henry Jeffrey declared “this entre thing is a mess,” adding that it is now for President David Granger to take appropriate actions, which can certainly define his presidency.“There is no question this whole thing appears to be quite underhand. Mr Granger has to deal with it, how he will deal with it will define what his presidency would be like. He has an option to reshuffle his Cabinet, he can sack the Minister; he has to do something about this,” Dr Jeffrey stated.He said the issue is a grave one since the Minister seems to have misled both the National Assembly and Cabinet. Jeffrey made it clear the Minister must take responsibility for the fiasco, but added that a proper investigation could reveal if the Minister placed himself in this embarrassing situation or if he was led there by those under his charge who may have provided him with misleading information.Jeffrey said while instances of emergency allow for sole-sourcing, this was not the case, but rather a situation where the Minister manufactured an emergency.“It was definitely not an emergency… it is quite clear the situation was not an emergency and not the kind of situation that called for sole souring. It they could have left it in Bobby Ramroop’s Bond (NEW GPC INC) until they find something… He created an emergency by not wanting to pay Bobby Ramroop a lesser price than he is going to pay this other man for a facility of lesser standards,” Dr Jeffrey stated.Meanwhile, Economist Ramon Gaskin called for the entire contract to be quashed and for there to be an open and public tendering process.“The deal as badly done. It was not advertised or tendered or so on and it has to be retendered. They cannot go ahead because the deal is not properly done,” Gaskin said in a brief comment.Former Vice President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram, declared from the onset that the Procurement Act must be followed and clearly this was not the case.With regards to the Minister misleading the National Assembly, Ram said that it always improper and very dangerous for anyone to mislead the august body.Ram said if the Minister Norton committed a breach, then he must be sanctioned. “I am generally not in favour of reshuffling, because all you do is transferring the problem, if there is one, somewhere else. If the Minister knows he has broken the law or if he breached the rules, then there should be sanctions,” Ram said.But People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee was stern on his call for the Public Health Minister to be fired, describing the entire episode as “disgraceful”.“I think he should be sent packing. This thing is so disgraceful. I sat in the Parliament and listened to a number of lies told to the Parliament,” Rohee said, adding that he was shocked at the “mirth and the laughter” on the Government benches when the Minister was asked about the location of the bond.“Mr Norton, as we have said publicly, must face the full brunt of the Privileges Committee when Parliament is reconvened. This slap on the wrist of a public apology is unacceptable,” Rohee declared.Meanwhile, asked about calls for his sacking during a news conference on Wednesday, Dr Norton said he was unmoved, but singled out Rohee’s calls for his removal, declaring, “Fortunately, I wasn’t hired by the PPP.”The Government in 2015 terminated the prequalification system for procurement of pharmaceuticals for the Public Health Ministry (MoH) and the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC). NEW GPC had provided free storage at its PAHO/WHO approved warehouse for the drugs it supplied on the bids it won. The MoH then requested the NEW GPC to quote for its warehouse of 70,000 square feet. The NEW GPC quoted at the equivalent of $237 per square foot, yet the MoH forked over the $25 million deposit to Linden Holding Inc – a company whose majority shareholder is listed as Larry Singh – for rental of the building in Sussex Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, to be used as a storage bond for drugs and medical supplies for the Public Health Ministry and the Georgetown Public Hospital at a rate that works out to $1250 per square foot.Dr Norton, in defence of the course of action taken by Government, has suggested that the rental fee asked by NEW GPC was exorbitant and that the new facility was required on an emergency basis.He said too that the facility now rented by the Public Health Ministry and the Georgetown Public Hospital is in fact certified as meeting PAHO/WHO standards by relevant Ministry departments, including the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Administration Department.But, investigations by <<>>, however, indicate that Minister Norton was being more than disingenuous in his pronouncements on the matter regarding public funds.Dr Norton was also found to be misleading when he told the National Assembly that NEW GPC was asking an exorbitant fee.It was later revealed that the NEW GPC has never received any rent from the Government of Guyana for use of its state-of-the-art storage facility for over a decade.last_img read more

KPL All Stars narrowly lose to Sevilla Atletico

first_imgChristian Gonzalez scored the lone goal of the match on the quarter hour mark, but the margin would have been bigger were it not for the astute performance of Sofapaka keeper Mathias Kigonya.The Ugandan who came in as a substitute in the Cordoba match had been drafted into the starting team replacing Boniface Oluoch in goal and he justified his start with a decent performance.Within the first minute, Kigonya was called into his first save, when he did well to block a shot from Marc Gual. The Sevilla Atletico winger had broken into the box from a swift move from the Spanish side straight from kick off, turning away from his markers before shooting at goal.The hosts were faster off the blocks and their short passing game was working well, opening up spaces to play the ball behind the Kenyan defense.On the quarter hour mark, Gonzalez broke the deadlock with the easiest of goals, tapping into an empty net after Kigonya had slipped and bumped into the ball from a freekick, Gonzalez only picking up the spills and dumping the ball home.KPL All Stars’ Vincent Oburu wheels away from Sevilla Atletico’s Bilal Bouttoba during a friendly match in Malaga on July 22, 2017. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego (Sportpicha)Four minutes later, Kigonya did well to race off his line to prevent the All-Stars from sipping in a second. Gual had been sent through on goal with a sleek through pass from midfield, but Kigonya came all out to pluck the ball off the forward’s feet as he attempted to side step him.The Ugandan shot stopper continued with his superb performance in goal and in the 22nd minute, he fully stretched to his left to parry away a freekick from the edge of the area curled in by skipper Curro.The Kenyans had struggled to create anything infront of goal with Vincent Oburu who was playing as the lone man upfront in a 4-5-1 formation being isolated and frequently running into traffic when he got the ball.Jackson Macharia had All-Stars’ first opportunity of the game with a shot from inside the box from a Boniface Muchiri cutback but the effort bounced off one of the defenders with another clearing for a corner.Cameroonian international keeper Fabrice Ondoa remained quiet in the Sevilla Atletico goal as the Kenyans never gave him much to work on.In the second half, the Kenyans picked up pace but still the decision making in the final third was always wanting. They did well to win the ball in midfield and played forward, but when it came to the business end, nothing gave.In the 62nd minute, Macharia was gifted with another opportunity on the counter with Muchiri once again cutting back the ball but the former’s shot was pale and rolled out of play without troubling Ondoa.Towards the end, Sevilla Atletico had three chances go begging. Amo’s shot from inside the area coming off a well executed counter rolled wide while Bilal Bouttoba also had two chances inside the box slapped wide.The team returns home on Monday with plenty of lessons as Okumbi continues to build up a team for next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN).0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000KPL All Stars’ Samuel Onyango vies for the ball with Sevilla Atletico’s Christian Marcelo during a friendly match in Malaga on July 22, 2017. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego (Sportpicha)NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22- The Kenyan Premier League All-Star team wound up their tour of Spain with a slim 1-0 loss to Segunda Division side Sevilla Atletico at the El Maulí Stadium in Antequera, Málaga on Saturday night.The All Stars exhibited an improved performance from their show in the previous friendly against another Segunda Division side Cordoba CF on Wednesday where they lost 4-0.last_img read more

Elton John AIDS Foundation Announces New GrantMaking Partnership With The Elizabeth Taylor

first_imgThe Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced a second year of grant awards made in partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF).With the support of $100,000 in funding from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, EJAF has awarded $330,000 in grants to five organizations addressing the AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. EJAF is excited about the continued impact this partnership will have in advancing the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States where it is needed most.“Poor access to HIV testing and good healthcare, as well as pervasive inequality for people most vulnerable to the disease, continue to make the U.S. South an epicenter of today’s AIDS crisis,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “This is particularly true for LGBTQ individuals and Black Americans living in the Southern states. A recent CDC report has projected that, if HIV infection rates remain unchanged, half of all Black gay men will test positive for HIV at some point in their lifetime, as well as one in four Latino gay men, and one in eleven white gay men. By making these grants, both Foundations commit to relentless advocacy and investment until we see meaningful and lasting change in the course of this epidemic.”The projects being supported include: • A Birmingham, Alabama center providing a safe, supportive, and affirming space for LGBTQ youth; • A Georgia-based advocacy center focused on the impact of HIV/AIDS on young black gay men; • A Jacksonville, Florida organization providing young LGBT people with access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); • A Memphis, Tennessee program supporting the needs of Black gay families; and • An Atlanta-based community organization engaging transgender people of color, the larger LGBTQ community, and supportive allies to advocate for the end of policies that criminalize HIV/AIDS.“Far too many people are denied equal rights and equal access to health care in this country, especially in the Southern U.S. This partnership helps to address the serious inequities that exist in the provision of education, diagnosis, and treatment for the people most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS,” said ETAF Managing Director Joel Goldman. “At The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, we are thrilled to join the Elton John AIDS Foundation to help right this imbalance and address the needs of the hardest-hit areas and populations in the U.S. South.”“In the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic began, Elizabeth Taylor was the brightest star in Hollywood, one of the greatest celebrities in the world,” said EJAF Founder Elton John. “But she was also willing to get her hands dirty. She stood up for gay people when few others would, and she got right into the nitty-gritty of AIDS policy and fought for the cause, without a moment’s hesitation or thought for her own reputation. Elizabeth was my dear friend, and she remains one of my heroes. I am extremely proud of EJAF’s partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to help carry her great legacy forward.”last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Award winning playwright, executive producer, actor, creator, and stand‐up comedian Trey Anthony, is known for the ground- breaking television and theatrical  production ‘da Kink in my Hair. Critics have referred to Anthony as The Oprah of the Canadian theatre scene! Trey was also the executive producer, co‐creator and writer of the hit television show ‘da Kink in my Hair for Global Television. In the series she was the outspoken, wise‐cracking, Joy, who has become an audience favorite!On August 6th, Trey posted this amazing news to her Facebook page: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Congratulations Trey!  Keep up the good work!You continuously prove to us that we should NEVER GIVE UP!FOLLOW TREY ANTHONY’S SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELSFACEBOOK: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more