May 29, 2015 By
May 29, 2015 By
– making smartphones accessible while protecting the environment
Digicel is making it easier and more affordable to own a smartphone with the launch of its new trade-in programme which offers customers the best value by giving them a chance to turn in their used or defective handsets and receive credit towards the purchase of a brand new one.
Recognising that customers need and want to be connected to the web, social media and each other, Digicel is introducing this programme to allow everyone to keep up with the latest telecommunications technology.
And, in line with its “Go-Green” philosophy, Digicel’s programme is demonstrating its environmental awareness. Cellphones contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and brominated flame retardants – many of these materials can and should be recycled and reused instead of being allowed to contaminate the soil, air or ground.
Digicel Group Chief Commercial Officer Claudio Hidalgo said: “Digicel is always looking to deliver value to our customers. With the launch of the trade-in programme, we are making it easier and more affordable for customers from all networks to own a smartphone while helping to promote environmental conservation and protection. In addition, customers who take advantage of the programme, meaning non-Digicel customers can join the Region’s biggest family on the fastest and most reliable network.”
How it works
Customers can bring in their handset to any participating Digicel store where a specialist will assess their handset. Once the handset is accepted, the dollar value of the handset will be credited towards the purchase of a new smartphone. This promotion is not limited to Digicel customers only as handsets from other networks can also be brought in for assessment.
May 29, 2015 By
The Police Sergeant charged in connection with the murder of prominent businessman Mohamed F Khan, popularly called MFK, made his first appearance before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry on Thursday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Leon Lindo, of 20 Belle West, Canal Number Two, West Bank Demerara, who is a member of the Guyana Police Force attached to the Tactical Services Unit for the past 23 years, was not required to plead to the indictable charge which read that between July 8 and July 10, 2014 he conspired with Lennox Wayne to kill Khan.
Police Prosecutor Bharat Mangru told the court that between July 8 and July 10, 2014, Khan was shot and subsequently went missing on August 21, 2014. He stated that on September 22, a headless body was discovered in Cummings Lodge and DNA testing revealed that the body belonged to the missing businessman. It was revealed that, through investigations, Lennox “Two Colours” Wayne was taken into custody. It was stated that Wayne revealed that there was a plot between himself and the defendant to kill the victim.
Defence Attorney Tanicia Daniels stated that her client was not a flight risk and has been fully cooperative throughout the investigations, citing that he came prepared for court voluntarily. She argued that her client has all intentions to defend his innocence and wanted the case to be ventilated so that he could be vindicated. The Magistrate refused bail and the man was remanded to prison. The matter will return to court on June 12 for the report.
May 29, 2015 By
– Felix vows streamlining of GRO, immigration
The newly created Ministry of Citizenship, being headed by former Commissioner of Police Winston Felix, will be replacing the General Registry Office (GRO), President David Granger has said.
Granger has come under criticisms for the widespread changing of names of some of the Ministries, as well as the merging others. He has, however, defended his decision, stating that the name changes reflected the true functions of the Ministries and policy direction of his administration.
The General Register Office is a department of the Ministry of Home Affairs and is located at the Guyana Post Office Corporation. It operates in accordance with Chapters 44:01-Births and Deaths, and 45:01-Marriages of the laws of Guyana. Its main objectives are to maintain and secure national registers and registration forms of birth, death and marriages of the Guyanese people, and of foreigners occurring in Guyana, and to supply members of the public, extracts of entries recorded with minimum of delay upon request.
Before July 1, 1987, the registration of births and deaths were done throughout the country in the registration districts, for example, Georgetown had 11 Districts, Plaisance had 9 which included Lodge and Kitty. Speaking to the Guyana Times in an exclusive interview on Wednesday at the Ministry of the Presidency, President Granger explained that the Ministry was convened as the name suggest, to deal with the rights of the citizens with regards to birth, naturalisation and immigration.
Granger said that every citizen of the country deserves to have a birth certificate signalling their rights to the country, and it was therefore felt that emphasis should be placed on an area which represented the interests of all of the citizens. “In the Amerindian villages, you have a woman give birth, she goes back to everyday life, her child grows up, turns an adult and still don’t have a birth certificate. When the agency was under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Minister Clement Rohee, they would go only to register people in the interior locations when it’s elections time. As soon as they are finished, they leave and never go back. We do not want that,” Granger said.
Meanwhile, Felix, speaking to the Guyana Times on Monday, related that his Ministry will be looking closely at the laws and systems which are in place as it relates to the issuance of birth certificates, naturalisation, and the means by which persons are afforded the right to become a citizen of Guyana. “Well you know that there are three main ways you can become a citizen of Guyana; that is by birth, naturalisation or by descent, if one of your parents is a Guyanese. We want to ensure that the systems which govern the issuance of birth certificates are not archaic laws and we also want to create that environment which can ensure that the issued birth certificate has a certain standard of availability. That you can take it to certain places, just as an Identification Card and a Passport and it is accepted,” Felix shared with this publication.
He further went on to state that the Ministry will be especially tasked with matters of immigration which focus on monitoring how people enter the country, the duration of their visits and to look and review applications from non-citizens for citizenship in Guyana. The newly appointed Minister, who is operating out of the Ministry of the Presidency, formerly the Office of the President, said that the Ministry will also be looking to educate the population on their rights as citizens as well as the legal processes involved in becoming naturalised. During their campaign the APNU+AFC coalition had promised remove some of the functions of the Immigration Department and hand them to civilians. This is in keeping with recommendations contained in the Disciplined Forces Commission report.
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) only last week pointed out that the establishment of several new Ministries by the Government is illegal. During a press conference held at Freedom House Executive Members highlighted that the new Government is creating new Ministries without following the proper legal procedures. Former President Bharrat Jagdeo, explained that the formation of new Ministries is illegal since monies cannot be released to those entities, which are not represented in the Appropriation Act.
“You cannot disburse monies to Ministries that don’t exist anywhere except by this new decree. There is no budget now at this point in time… only after the budget or in the budget process, you’ll be able to create a Ministry; have it reflected in the budget and the Appropriation Act; allocate funds to that Ministry and then you can disburse resources to it. You can’t create a Ministry today and take money from another Ministry and send it to this non-existence in law Ministry,” the former President outlined. Jagdeo further pointed out that the 1/12th rule that was adopted by the PPP/C while in power to fund the various Ministries after Parliament was prorogued, cannot be used to fund the new Ministries.
May 29, 2015 By
The Guyana Police Force on Thursday issued a wanted bulletin for 40-year-old Niaiol Paul for questioning in relation to a matter of fraud which is currently being investigated by the Police.
Paul’s last address was given as Lot 337 Quamina Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown, but several visits to the house proved futile. Police suspect that the man might have absconded.
Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Paul is asked to contact the Police on telephone numbers: 225-6411, 225-8196, 226-7065, 227-1149, and 911, or at the nearest Police Station.
The Police reassure that all information will be treated with strict confidence.
May 29, 2015 By
– public encouraged to take full advantage
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) continues to encourage taxpayers to utilise its online facilities which are geared towards providing a more efficient and convenient option for taxpayers.
In keeping with its thrust, the agency recently introduced another online facility for taxpayers, which allows them to check on the status of their licence transactions through the agency’s website.
In a release, the GRA said to access this service, the taxpayer simply visits the agency’s website www.gra.gov.gy, click on the Licence Transaction Checker link, enter their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and the last six digits of the transaction number found on the lodgement slip. This allows them to log in and see the status of their transaction.
The facility also provides applicants with an email notification of their transactions status, provided that the applicant has supplied the agency with an active email address. Taxpayers can check the status of transactions for Trade and Miscellaneous Licences, Motor Vehicle, Driver’s, Hire Car, Conductor and Provisional Driver’s Licences, and updates to the Licence Transaction Checker are made every 15 minutes. Additionally, there is the Customs Declaration Checker which allows Customs house brokers and importers to check the status of their Customs Declarations Forms C72.
GRA Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur highlighted the importance of these new facilities. “Can you imagine the benefit to the taxpayers of having these services at their disposal; they would not have to come down to this busy area any longer to find out if a document is ready or to be notified of the status of a transaction”. He further noted that the technology allows the GRA to bring its services to the taxpayer’s fingertips. “The taxpayer can literally sit at home or at the office and go online and access these services; it makes life much simpler for our taxpayers”.
This new system brings greater transparency to the process and removes the perception of preferential treatment being given to some individuals. The Licence Transaction Checker was developed by the agency’s Information Technology Division.
May 29, 2015 By
He made headlines in March during the opening of a US multimillion-dollar company in Providence, East Bank Demerara and received accolades from former President Donald Ramotar, who described him as the quintessential ambassador.
Despite this, Wazeed Manjoor remains a humble taxi driver based at the country’s main port of entry – the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. What is interesting to note is that Manjoor’s professionalism and accommodating attitude enabled a significant investment in Guyana. His assistance to Alejandra Romero, a Qualfon Executive, in 2004, paved the way for a US$4 million Call Centre Campus constructed in Providence, East Coast of Demerara (ECD) which was opened on March 27, 2015. The company will employ over 3000 Guyanese.
“To be honest I was surprised at the recognition I received. I saw a young woman who could not access any cash because we had no ATM then. I offered to take her to her destination knowing that there was a possibility I may not have been paid. My thought was this could have been a relative of mine in another country,” Manjoor told the CJIA’s Public Relations Officer (PRO). “What I did for her is something I would do for anyone.”
However, his deed was highly appreciated. Apart from an established friendship, the 59-year-old fondly called “Waja” has secured an exclusive contract with the company. Being a familiar face at CJIA since 1980, Manjoor’s first few years were challenging since “he was a new kid on the block”. But over time, his reputation has preceded him with a number of international companies seeking his services. “The secret to getting clients is quite simple – a smile. That has been my motto from the inception. Passengers may disembark an aircraft irritable. A friendly face and a good conversation can change all that,” the veteran driver explained.
A comfortable journey for his clients is also top on Manjoor’s list. He currently uses a 19-seater Pitbull equipped with maps, an assortment of tablets, bottled water and locally manufactured candies. “I ensure I replenish when the stocks go down,” he continued with a laugh. “But seriously, I take pride in what I do. It’s a service we pledged the management of the CJIA to provide at the highest level. It is a pledge I will always upkeep.”
Manjoor felt a sense of pride when then President Ramotar called him a true ambassador. He believes that all Guyanese must play a part in the tourism/hospitality sector.
“It is a known fact that Guyanese are hospitable. We just have to keep up that momentum,” he posited. The father of two has no immediate plans to retire, since he is blessed with good health. “I don’t drink or smoke. I can safely say I am a very disciplined individual who takes his job seriously,” Manjoor disclosed.
As he continues to ply his trade every day, Manjoor is pleased with the progress made at CJIA, and is supportive of the CJIA expansion project. “The number of passengers that pass through the airport has increased and I personally think that a new airport will position Guyana in a positive light,” he added. For his fellow colleagues, Manjoor is of the view that being polite, considerate, mannerly, and being a good listener are the key ingredients of being a successful CJIA taxi driver. (CJIA)
May 29, 2015 By
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Caribbean Sub-regional Coordinator, Deep Ford; the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture’s (IICA) Director of Management and Regional Integration, Diego Montenego; and Barton Clarke, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute’s (CARDI) Executive Director, on Thursday paid a courtesy call to Agriculture Minister Noel Holder.
The meeting, which was held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Regent and Vlissengen Road office, saw discussions being centred on further collaboration in agriculture. Among those were cassava, agro-processing, soil mapping and small ruminants.
Ford, underscoring the importance of agriculture, pledged the support of the FAO to work with the new Government in ensuring that agriculture in the region progresses. IICA’s Director of Management and Regional Integration also spoke of ways in which the institute can work closely with the Agriculture Ministry to further advance agriculture in the region. “We (IICA), recently approved a medium/long term plan which focuses on the thematic areas where stronger focus will be placed this year….IICA has been a strong player within the Ministry of Agriculture, all with the aim of fostering regional integration,” Montenego said.
Among the areas of interest discussed were soil mappings and Disaster Risk Management (DRM). According to Montenego, the institute has recently approved a Rapid Response Mechanism programme to assist developing countries, of which Guyana also stand to benefit. Over the years, IICA has been a major player in assisting small farmer groups in Guyana.
CARDI, on the other hand, will be looking to further push agricultural research and transportation of agricultural produce, looking at cheaper alternatives by sea. According to Clarke, if Guyana is to solve the issue of cheaper transportation of agricultural produce, a more stringent plan is needed in this regard. “We need to also push for private sector development and move beyond fresh produce…when we speak of food security we need to look at transporting of produce from one country to another,” Clark said.
Clarke also called for stronger action to be taken at the national level if countries are to achieve food security. The Agriculture Minister welcomed the interventions by the development partners, alluding to the fact that agriculture continues to play a major part in the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
In addition, the Minister added that the success of any DRM programme depends on coordination and continuous monitoring, and this is one of the areas which the IICA, FAO and CARDI is excited to be working closely with the Agriculture Ministry on. Over the years, IICA, FAO and CARDI have worked not only to boost relations with the Ministry of Agriculture but to strengthen coordination to further push agriculture in the Region.
May 29, 2015 By
– video footage implicates security guards
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) said it was peeved at the disappearance of approximately $6 million worth of foreign liquor from its Eccles Warehouse Facility, East Bank Demerara.
This discovery was made by officers of the agency’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) during a routine inventory exercise, which led to the immediate launching of an investigation on May 13, 2015.
As a result, surveillance footage was reviewed and has revealed that officers of the security firm contracted to provide 24-hour security to the said warehouse were very much involved in the reprehensible act.
In light of this, the GRA has since provided copies of the recording to the management of the private security firm and has indicated to the firm that it was being held culpable.
Additionally, the matter has been reported to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for further investigation and the subsequent institution of criminal charges.
Meanwhile, GRA Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur has assured that the agency will spare no effort in having the perpetrators brought to justice. He noted that the agency had previously installed a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring system to safeguard against such incidents and this had significantly aided the investigation.
From all indications, this incident was orchestrated utilising the cloak of darkness in an effort to avoid detection of the activity and the identification of the perpetrators.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that no current employee of the GRA is involved in this incident. As a result, the agency is urging members of the public, including members of the press to avoid speculations at this point.
As investigations continue, additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
May 29, 2015 By