…wants full disclosure of campaign financiers, those rewarded by StateThe Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) has issued scathing assessments of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, essentially concluding that the coalition Government is facilitating and proliferating corruption in Guyana.TIGI President, Reverend Compton MeerabuxThe APNU/AFC CabinetTIGI premised its arguments of the coalition’s corruption on the circumstances surrounding the “honorary” appointment of CEO of BK Industries, Brian Tiwari, as a Business Advisor to the Government and also Minister of State Joseph Harmon’s alleged actions with regard to his intervention in the work of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).Harmon, in defence of his appointment of Tiwari, a known financial supporter of the coalition, said his appointment was “honorific” and that “we have issued several instruments like these to persons both from the APNU and the AFC side and you would notice that I have signed it for many persons who have helped us in the campaign and those who have the capacity to help us further.” It has been pointed out by analysts that it is common on US official business trips for business officials to accompany Government dignitaries so as to explore business opportunities. This was the case, for instance, in President Obama’s recent trip to Cuba.According to TIGI, “the Minister of State is confirming that the Government has been using its position to employ and reward, out of State resources, its supporters and donors. By the Minister’s own admission, well-paying and prestigious jobs and other privileges were up for sale during the 2015 elections campaign in which the party stood on an anti-corruption and transparency platform. By any international standard, the conduct of Mr Harmon and by extension, the Government, constitutes corruption.” However, one Government official pointed out that it is making assertions that are unsubstantiated since Harmon never said “jobs and other privileges were up for sale” and only “honorific titles” were assigned for developing business for Guyana.TIGI, in rejecting the state of affairs of the APNU/AFC Government, called for the Government to immediately release all its information on the instruments of appointments made by the Government and the criteria used by them to make such appointments, in addition, to the identity of the donors pre- and post-elections 2015 and the “amount and or value of their contributions”. The bodies reasoning for the disclosure is premised on the recognition that “the absence of transparency usually spawns authoritarianism and corruption.”TIGI remarked that it expected the APNU/AFC coalition which campaigned on the anti-corruption platform to immediately tackle the corruption they were so vigorously speaking out against once they took up office.“Regretfully, the action by Mr Harmon and the inaction and silence of the coalition on corruption suggest that any expectation of early improvement in the perception of corruption in Guyana is at best premature and at worst dangerously misconceived,” the Institute said.Calls to Minister Harmon to provide a response to the damning remarks levied against the coalition Government proved unsucScessful.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had expressed similar sentiments to that of TIGI, when they said that the APNU/AFC coalition is rewarding campaign financiers. Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo had outlined that the move was a “payback” for the financial and other support that APNU/AFC received.TIGI, which is headed by Reverend Compton Meerabux, opined in its release that the Minister’s action has “set a dark cloud over the operations of the current Government.”
1 West Ham 1-1 West Brom: Lambert’s deflected second-half strike cancels out Zarate’s opener West Brom’s dominant second-half performance meant they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at West Ham on Sunday afternoon.A poor first-half display by Tony Pulis’s men was soon forgotten as the Baggies were on top in the second period, where substitute Rickie Lambert saw his shot deflected fortuitously past goalkeeper Adrian, with the strike going down as a Winston Reid own goal.The Hammers should have taken a comfortable lead into the break after going ahead shortly after a quarter of an hour.Mauro Zarate’s well-crafted free-kick beat Boaz Myhill and Slaven Bilic’s side had further opportunities to add to their tally.Pulis introduced Lambert and the Baggies were a totally different side, taking just four minutes to get back onto level terms after changing formation.With different performances by both sides in each half, a draw was probably a fair result at Upton Park, as West Brom stay 13th and West Ham go up a place to seventh in the Premier League standings.The visitors were incredibly sloppy defensively in the opening 45 and Gareth McAuley gave away two free-kicks in dangerous areas after cheap fouls in quick succession.The first foul proved costly as the defender fouled Diafra Sakho around 20 yards from goal. From a central left position, Argentinean forward Zarate told team-mate Aaron Cresswell to allow him to take the set piece and how right he was.The former Lazio and Inter Milan player curled a delightful ball past the wall and into the top corner to beat Myhill. The Welsh goalkeeper could do little as the ball nestled into the top corner to give the hosts a 17th-minute lead.West Brom were all over the place and the half-time whistle could not come sooner.They were lucky not to be two down as Kouyate and Lanzini went close to doubling the Hammers’ tally.Cresswell’s superb floated cross from the left found Senegal international Kouyate, eight yards from goal, who glanced a header wide and he should have tested the goalkeeper.Lanzini’s chance came when the South American played a neat one-two with compatriot Zarate before sending an outswinging shot at goal from 12 yards, the Baggies goalkeeper Myhill making a good save again to keep his side in the contest.Pulis was clearly unhappy with his side and he made a change at the interval, introducing Lambert and changing to 4-4-2.Lambert’s influence was soon felt as he helped put West Brom back on level terms.From the edge of the box, the former Liverpool striker shot on the turn and the ball took a heavy deflection off the hand of Reid to beat Adrian.The visitors were buoyed by their goal and they were suddenly on top.Adrian made a stunning Peter Schmeichel-inspired starfish-style save to deny Rondon from point-blank range and all of a sudden the Baggies were finding spaces in behind the Hammers’ defence.Jonas Olsson made a good last-ditch block to send Sakho’s shot into the side-netting, while further heroic defending saw substitute Andy Carroll denied by multiple Baggies bodies in the box in the closing stages.