Lone Star: arrived in Brazzaville for their game on ThursdayIf they focus, follow instructions and just play as they know howThe national soccer team, Lone arrived in Brazzaville, Congo yesterday in what the Daily Observer sports reporter, accompanying the team, Anthony Kokoi, described as “a rough flight from Nairobi, Kenya.”He said the plane touched down at 10:00 AM (9:00 AM Liberia time) and was received by officials of the Congolese Football Federation at the Maya Maya International Airport. Lone Star will on Sunday meet their Congolese counterparts in the qualifying rounds of the 2019 Nations Cup in Cameroon.Head Coach Thomas Kojo and the playing team are aware of the reason they are in Brazzaville, just how the Congolese know why they also are playing in the tournament: they want to win to build their chances for the finals in Cameroun. And of course, they know that in the qualifying series they represent their country and therefore their people expect much from them.And Liberians expect the same from their players!The truth is Liberia is not in the competition to play in an Olympic sport whether they win or not. Liberia wants to be represented in the finals and that is the truth of it. In Lone Star’s last encounter against DR Congo, the players played all the right strings only to falter from the 81st minute. It is becoming an accepted fact that 90 minutes are too much for the Lone Star to hold themselves against their opponents.Recent history weighs heavily against their inability to control a game in their favor for the 90 minutes of play. I am sure Coach Kojo can bear me out since he has been around the national team for sometimes now. In fact, the evidence was clear to him when DR Congo after their equalizer in the 81st minutes turned Lone Star’s defense into shreds and kept the pressure on his boys and I almost fell from my chair.We can also recall with pain when Adebayo led his Togolese brothers to Liberia and while the Lone Star had run ahead in the lead, fatigue and other circumstances set in that eventually denied Lone Star the much-needed victory at home.In fact, former national coach James Salinsa Debbah’s role in the inglorious draw is still spoken about in local soccer circles. Claiming that his back was ‘hurting’ him, Salinsa sat on the spot reserved for a coach to direct their players and did not engage in directing his players when they seemed to be overlooking playing instructions.The players, we are all aware, are based abroad and clearly, Coach Kojo did not have them together as a group. The three foreign-based players Murphy Dorley, Sylvanus Nimely and Adolphus Marshall, according to reporter Akoi, have joined the team.And I can bet my pen that the Congolese face the same problem where their stars joined them in the last minute which should suggest to the players that their Congolese counterparts have not had extraordinary opportunities in their preparation for this Sunday’s match.Playing at home, the Congolese will be seeking for an early lead that most often seems to dampen the fighting spirit of the most determined team. Lone Star should be above that and be cautious as the serpent. Lone Star, despite away pressure, should work together as a team and make a difference.The players should know that if they want to qualify for next year’s Nations Cup in Cameroun then they must play as they have never played before in any match.We wish them good luck!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
-As Judge Dixon reverses predecessor’s judgmentJudge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ on August 14, 2019 set aside a US$3.5 million bond secured by the American Underwriter Group, Insurance Company (AUG) for the release of two Lebanese nationals, Salah and his son Tamer Farhat, citing legal insufficiency (not enough).The Farhats were indicted in 2018 of the crimes of money laundering, theft of property, misapplication of entrusted and criminal conspiracy in connection to the alleged disappearance of over US$1.3 million from the coffers of the Tayo Motors where Salah served as managing partner and Tamer as the assistant managing director .The case against the family was filed by Ezzat Eid, another Lebanese national, believed to be majority shareholder in the company.AUG got involved with the case when the defendants paid an unspecified amount of money to have the company serve as their surety. However, in the ruling of Judge Dixon, he decreed that the court will not accept anymore bonds from the AUG in the case.Dixon’s ruling further said that the defendants should use a different company to raise the US$3.5 million bond or they should submit a comprehensive listing of their assets equivalent to the US$3.5 million.He also warned that the defendants should make available that US$3.5 million bond by Wednesday, August 21.“The defendants are hereby given up to Wednesday, August 21 to provide said bond for its approval otherwise, they shall be detained at the common jail until they can file a valid bond or remain in prison throughout the course of the trial,” the criminal court judge said.The judge said that it was Judge Boima Kontoe, who imposed the US$3.5 million bond in 2018.Judge Dixon recently replaced Judge Peter Gbeneweleh, who had accepted the AUG’s bond.Judge Gbeweneleh then said that AUG had never subpoenaed the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to testify during the justification of the bond.Besides, Gbeneweleh said during the trial that AUG’s business registration certificate had less than 10 days to expire. He signed the bond but advised that the company upgraded it registration process.A legal expert, who spoke with the Daily Observer, said presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a basic principle of the Liberian justice system, noting that defendants should not be unnecessarily punished or detained before being found guilty.In general, the lawyer said that after a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they appear in court and face a judge, who decides whether to release the accused, set bail or hold the person in custody.In many cases, he said, judges sometimes release defendant(s) on a simple promise to appear for their next court date.However, when a judge decides to impose “money” bail conditions, the defendant is likely to spend at least some time in jail – often for the sole reason that they do not have the money needed to post bail immediately and must raise it from friends and family, or must navigate the slow, inefficient commercial bail system.“At a time when the country is focused on reducing the jail population in order to ending a system that results in the unnecessary, unproductive, and expensive detention of people prior to a conviction must be prioritized,” the expert said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
What is the National Identification Registry (NIR)? This is one of the questions that take minds back to the days of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, when many structures and systems were put in place to optimize the country’s resources, especially its human resource of 4.5 million people.Whether those structures and systems truly met their reasons for which they were established or not, is left with the public and the government’s partners to narrate.One of the new agencies created at the time was the National Identification Registry (NIR).On August 1, 2011, then President Sirleaf signed into law the National Identification Registry Act, which repealed People’s Redemption Council (PRC) Decree #65, establishing the National Identification Card System.In May, 2012, President Sirleaf established the NIR Board of Registrars.A National Work Plan for the Registry was on Thursday, October 22, 2015, approved for a nine months at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Monrovia. This, according to the then Acting Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, climaxed a number of key steps that has made the Registry a government fully functional entity.Varney Sirleaf later became Minister proper, under the leadership of former President Sirleaf and President George Weah allowed him to continue in his role as Internal Affairs Minister.Former President Sirleaf, having signed into law the National Registry Act on August 1, 2011, appointed J. Tiah Nagbe, former MIA Deputy Minister for Research and Development Planning as executive director, and head of the management team of the NIR.“He is supported by Zeze R. Reed, Deputy Executive Director for Technical Services, and Mrs. Haja Kumba Liberty, Deputy Executive Director for Administration. This team will enjoy the full support of our board and me, as chairman, as long as they serve with diligence, dedication, and dignity,” President Sirleaf said at a ceremony installing into office the new team at the NIR.The National Identification Registry is in existence primarily to design, establish, maintain and administer the country’s National Biometric Identification system (NBIS). This body is to be a modern computerized database containing information for all citizens and residents.On October 30, 2017, the NIR began the registration of citizens, with first applicants being government officials, among whom were ministers, lawmakers and former President Sirleaf. They received their biometric ID cards valid for a year each and, as of that time, the process has been going on without a hitch.Due to the poor turnout of people to sign up for their NIR Biometric ID cards, the agency designed strategies, among which has been a vibrant publicity mechanism.Since then, a number of newspapers, including the Daily Observer, and a host of radio stations have been, and continue to provide coverage to programs and activities of the NIR. Today, April 11, the NIR begins a weekly column in the Daily Observer highlighting the tremendous potential benefits of the digital, social and economic transformation inherent in the NIR’s raison d’etre.It may be recalled that on April 1, 2019, the NIR launched the registration of foreign residents for biometric ID Cards.About the cost for the NIR ID Cards, Liberian citizens are charged US$5 or its equivalent in Liberian dollar, while citizens of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries are paying US$10 or its equivalent in Liberian dollar.Foreign nationals, who are not of ECOWAS origin are required to pay US$20 each for the NIR ID cards.Meanwhile, the NIR is closely working in collaboration with the Liberia Immigration (LIS) on the issues of citizenship identification and all other requirements necessary for non-Liberian citizens to live in the country and carry out activities requiring development programs.LIS Acting Commissioner General, Moses K. Yebleh, recently said at a press conference in Monrovia that for a peaceful coexistence, all aliens and foreigners should cooperate with his office, which is responsible to communicate to the NIR all details pertaining their stay in the country.“We are not to discriminate in our work for anyone, but it is good for the people out there to know that the country’s immigration laws are respected, because this is a global requirement of anyone, who resides in a different country other than the one in which he/she is from as a citizen,” Yebleh said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) – Advertisement – NIR Executive Director J. Nagbe Tiah: “We will set up a new biometric civil registry and issue the first one million ID cards, including 50,000 ECOWAS standard cards.”
Twenty-five high-level public servants are now better equipped to lead the various departments they manage, following completion of training through the Caribbean Leadership Project.A small presentation ceremony for the participants was held on Thursday at the Department of the Public Service on Waterloo Street, Georgetown. The programme, held under the theme ‘Leading for Results”, was geared towards training of level-three managers and focused on the improvement of leadershipParticipants of the Caribbean Leadership Project efficiency in the Public Service.Public Service Department Permanent Secretary, Reginald Brotherson, said that “public servants attitude and the way the public service is viewed, must be changed”. According to Brotherson, the “nonsense” that occurs within the public service can no longer be tolerated if change is to happen.“The whole issue of service, service delivery and people taking their own time to do things but not taking their time to get acquainted with public service rules, the FMA Act. They are not getting acquainted with the debates that are happening in Parliament, that are going to change our lives and the trajectory that Guyana is on for level-three managers…”, Brotherson said.Public Service Ministerial Advisor, Vincent Alexander, noted that the public service is at a point where change is crucial and the training provided, indicates that the Government has signalled its commitment to ensuring this happens.According to Alexander, “change has to be brought about based on new ideas, implementation of those ideas, so you are challenged not to be routine. Leaders cannot be routine. They cannot just go to work and do what has to be done. They have to be thinkers and doers.”Introspection as a leader, Alexander pointed out, is a very critical element when dealing with others.“One must see the work place and its human resource as a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece of that puzzle has its place… the challenge really is to find the correct place for each and every piece of that puzzle and if you do that then you would be able to complete the objective of putting that puzzle together and that is what the challenge is for the leaders of today,” Alexander was quoted as saying by the Department of Public Information.Participants described the training as timely and said it forced them to make changes in the way they managed departments.Chief Probation and Service Officer from the Social Protection Ministry, Oslyn Smith, stated, “The skills that I would have learnt from the training, has forced me to examine myself because as a leader it is necessary for me to be in order before I try to impose or make any special request or give any instruction. My way of thinking, the way I go about doing business, the Ministry’s work and so on, that has to be in order.”Principal Regional Development Officer of the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Anil Roberts pointed out that “What our facilitators have taught us will last forever in our life as public servants and also help upkeep the standard of the public service as well.”The seven-year Caribbean Leadership Project which is funded by Canada, focuses on the areas of service delivery, leadership, administration transitions and team building, in keeping with its policy to ensure efficient public service. The programme commenced on September 12, 2016.
An elderly man was on Wednesday fined $65,000 for stealing a number of items after he admitted to the crime and apologised.Derrick Burrowes admitted to Magistrate Fabayo Azore that he stole 17 four-inch saddles, eight six-inch saddles and four water meters, property of Guyana Water Inc (GWI).The remorseful man did not hesitate to plead guilty to the charge, stating that he had an explanation for his action.The push-cart man told the court that he saw the items in a bag and thought that they were scrap metal, so he took the items to a scrap metal yard to be sold. The 53-year-old man begged the court for leniency, as he would not have taken the items if he knew that they were new.The prosecution informed the court that Burrowes cooperated with Police and this led to the items being recovered. He was fined $65,000.
The Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) is currently conducting a programme to remove faulty meters.Metering Manager of the Loss Reduction Department, Wayne Watson told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the utility company began an investigation in November last year, to sort and replace faulty meters after it was discovered that there was a large number of straight feed prepaid and postpaid customers.Metering Manager of the Loss Reduction Department, Wayne WatsonHe said that teams were currently working on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) corridor from Timehri to Houston replacing these faulty meters. The exercise is expected to move to the East Coast Demerara (ECD) corridor within the next few weeks.Watson noted that GPL is fully equipped with the necessary tools to replace the faulty meters. He explained the main issue with the “straight feed meters were the fact that persons are extending their houses either in size or internally upgrading along with the extension.” Watson said initially when persons apply for the service, they receive 30 amps; however, with additions to their homes such as water pumps and air conditioning units, their load base has now increased.Watson said these additions were often made without proper consultation with the Government Inspectorate Office. He recommended that persons visit any GPL office to determine if they should increase their amps. Watson also advised that GPL clients relay their issues to the power company “rather than having an unauthorised person attempt to address a problem they are not fully acquainted with.”
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday met with India’s Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Dr Satya Pal Singh and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretary General Akbar Khan, at his Church Street, Queenstown office.Discussions centred on building better relationsand ties between the parties involved and a host of other issues related to Guyana’s national development and long-term ties with India and CPA.
Residents and officials of the heavily-inundated areas in Kwakwani, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) have reported that up to Sunday afternoon, the water level receded by four inches.A CDC supply truck being off-loaded in the communityResidents are optimistic that the waters will continue receding.A multi-agency team led by the acting Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig visited the community on Friday.Initial assessments were made of the areas affected: Waterfront, Lamp Island, Aroaima and Ginger Island. These communities are located in close proximity to the Upper Berbice River that borders Kwakwani. Approximately 300 households have been affected by the flooding.Resident Cort Simeon of the Waterfront area said that he would constantly check the water level and realised that it had receded four inches.On Sunday morning, the residents received supplies of cleaning agents and utensils as well as medical supplies. These include long boots, soap powder, bleach, soap, and other cleaning agents.Another resident, Mavis Lewis, said that the items distributed to the residents were what they needed right now, given the intensity of the flood and the environmental health issues that the residents are exposed to.“I think all the residents are glad to get the items; I think the CDC’s response was very good. They were prompt and we appreciate that very much,” Lewis told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
2010 Judicial Review Act– to pay respondent $150,000′The State was on Thursday ordered to pay $150,000 in court costs by the Appeal Court following Attorney General Basil Williams’s unsuccessful bid to continue refusing to comply with the order of acting Chief Justice Roxane George that the AG must bring the Judicial Review Act (JRA) into force.The Appeal Court’s decision was handed down by Justice Rafiq Khan, who dismissed an application that Williams filed to stay the execution of Justice George’s decision, which compelled the AG to enforce the Act by July 31, 2018.Applicants Solicitor General Kym Kyte and Deputy Solicitor General Debra KumarAttorney Anil Nandlallappeared for the State while Attorney Anil Nandlall was the respondent. After Justice Khan’s decision was announced, Nandlall explained that if Williams continued to refuse to comply with the acting Chief Justice’s order, contempt of court proceedings would be filed against the AG.According to the facts of the case, the National Assembly passed the Bill and it was assented to by the then President Bharrat Jagdeo since 2010. However, it was posited that the then Government never operationalised the Act, because the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) were not put into effect. The CPR came into effect in 2017, but the JRA was still not implemented by the current AG.Former Attorney General Nandlall had moved to the court to determine: whether the Minister had discretion to bring into force the JRA after the promulgation of CPR, whether the Minister had a duty to issue the order to bring into force the JRA, and whether the Court can compel the Minister to fulfil his duty.In December 2017, the acting Chief Justice had granted an Order Rue Nisi of Mandamus, directing Williams to show cause why the said Order Nisi should not be made absolute. Williams later mounted an appeal on June 13, 2018, having noted that there were serious issues regarding “judicial interference” with the powers of the Executive and the Court by the May 28, 2018 decision. He contended that the Judiciary attempted to govern from the bench and to usurp theAttorney General Basil Williamspower which was explicitly vested in the Legal Affairs Minister which he said was in breach of the doctrine of the separation of powers.In Williams’s appeal, which Justice Khan has rejected, he had outlined that acting Chief Justice George had “committed a specific illegality when by her ruling she purported to dictate to the Minister of Legal Affairs her own timelines to bring the Judicial Review Act into force in contravention of the doctrine of separation of powers and as such, exercised his discretion”.In addition, the appeal posited that the acting CJ committed a specific illegality when she failed to apply the overriding objective of the new CPR to deal with cases in the interest of the parties just and when she ruled that the applicant/appellant had breached a duty by not bringing the JRA into force.In his decision, Justice Khan reasoned that while there was separation of powers, the three arms of Government do not exist in separate bubbles. He highlighted that when Bills are passed in Parliament and are assented to, they become part of Guyana’s laws. The Appellate Judge noted that the JRA would seek to modernise the “archaic” Crown Office system and harmonise it with systems and procedures of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).The Court explained that it would be sensible to explain that the JRA was not enforced owing to CPR not being in place, but this was no longer the case. Justice Khan also observed that the applicant, the AG, did not explain how he would have suffered “irreversible hardship” if a stay was not granted. The Judge surmised in the case disposal that the applicant did not satisfy the Court that his appeal has any reasonable prospect of success.
The first ever solar farm located at Khan’s Hill, Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini) is expected to be fully operational by the end of this month. According to the Department of Public Information, the farm has been substantially completed with testing being carried out to efficiently integrate its electricity supply into the local grid system.The initiative is anticipated to increase the electricity supply to residents by eight hours. According to the mid-year report, feasibility studies for the establishment of solar farms have so far been completedFinancing for the development of these farms is being pursued with support fromThe solar farm at Khan’s Hill in Mabarumathe country’s development partners. The report further states that geotechnical studies for the development of hydropower projects at Kumu and Moco Moco are expected to begin in the third quarter, and once completed will be included in a feasibility study.Following a recent visit to Norway by Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and other officials, Government has secured $80 million under the Guyana-Norway partnership agreement.The money will be directed towards intensified efforts to achieving 100 per cent renewable energy use.To date, under the energy efficiency programme, a total of 11,273 LED lamps and 1027 motion sensors have been outfitted to Government buildings. A total of 90 of said buildings – above the 74 target – will have solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed by year-end.This represents 1.9 kilowatts of new installed solar capacity.