Top AFC official frowns on PM instruction to withdraw Chronicle GM dismissal

 

Sherod Duncan

A senior official in the leadership of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Wednesday night poured cold water on Prime Minister Nagamootoo’s instruction to the Guyana Chronicle’s Board of Directors to withdraw its decision to sack Sherod Duncan from the post of General Manager over alleged financial mismanagement.

The official told Demerara Waves Online News on condition of anonymity that Duncan’s actions did not warrant dismissal because he did not steal or defraud the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Chronicle newspapers, of any monies.

“I thought that a reprimand or suspension should have sufficed, but not dismissal,” the long-serving AFC executive member said.

The official, who first learnt of the decision while in Cabinet on Tuesday, seemed concerned that the Prime Minister did not engage the seven-member Board “much earlier and asked for the decision to be justified” instead of instructing the board two months later to pull back the termination of Duncan’s employment.

“Sending a “command” now will naturally raise eyebrows and questions,” the high-level AFC official said, adding that “had I been briefed before, would have advised against this.”

Three board members—Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Hilbert Foster and Mervyn Williams—have since resigned in protest and refuted the Prime Minister’s claim that no vote had been taken on Duncan’s fate but instead asking board members’ views. Chandan-Edmond has said the board’s minutes prove that the Prime Minister’s virtual hearsay account is not factual.

Duncan, who is the AFC’s Region 4 Chairman, is regarded as somewhat of a power-player in the run-up to his party’s National Conference which would decide the fate of Nagamootoo as prime minister should the coalition win the next general elections.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo

Nagamootoo and AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan have been jostling each other for the prime ministerial candidacy.

AFC Leader Raphael Trotman has already publicly reasoned that to replace Nagamootoo would be to vindicate the opposition People’s Progressive Party that the David Granger-Nagamootoo ticket has failed Guyana since the coalition came to power in 2015.

Nagamootoo has already sent a clear signal at a government outreach on the Essequibo Coast that he is vying for the number two spot in the government again when he remarked that he and the President have discussed the possibility of providing free university education “in our second term in office”.

Critics of Ramjattan inside and outside the party do not believe he deserves to be Prime Minister because he has not managed the security sector effectively. In recent weeks, the Public Security Minister has been defending his record especially in light of concerns about increased robberies.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo often taunts Nagamootoo, saying he is virtually a rubber stamp without any real responsibilities and he has not even delivered on the coalition’s promise to further reform Guyana’s constitution.

Original Post
kp posted:

Top AFC official frowns on PM instruction to withdraw Chronicle GM dismissal

Sherod Duncan

A senior official in the leadership of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Wednesday night poured cold water on Prime Minister Nagamootoo’s instruction to the Guyana Chronicle’s Board of Directors to withdraw its decision to sack Sherod Duncan from the post of General Manager over alleged financial mismanagement.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo often taunts Nagamootoo, saying he is virtually a rubber stamp without any real responsibilities and he has not even delivered on the coalition’s promise to further reform Guyana’s constitution.

For over four years, he struggled here, there and everywhere yet he has not produced one tangible result on the reform the constitution.

Fourth Director resigns over reinstatement of Chronicle GM


Aaron Fraser yesterday became the fourth board member to have resigned since the reinstatement of Chronicle’s General Manager, Sherod Duncan.
Other board members who had already resigned were Board Chair Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Mervyn Williams and Hilbert Foster.

GNNL Board Member, Aaron Fraser, resigned yesterday

Sources indicated that Fraser yesterday submitted his resignation amidst the controversy that surrounds Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s decision to reinstate Duncan who was sacked in April of this year. Duncan was fired from the Guyana National Newspaper Limited (GNNL) following recommendations from an audit which found that there were several breaches of financial regulations.
Meanwhile, sources have indicated that Duncan is off the job as he was ordered to leave the property since a new board did not reinstate him. That aside, it is said that he was given severance pay, and would need to return that to the company if he is seeking reinstatement
As reported, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in a letter had informed GNNL’s Chairman, Geeta Chandan-Edmond that the unilateral decision to terminate Mr. Duncan was arbitrary, capricious, unlawful and in excess of the jurisdiction of the Board. It further stated that the Chairman misled the Office of the Prime Minister with the claim that the Board of Directors came to this decision to fire Duncan. The Prime Minister had written that the Chairman deliberately sought to terminate Duncan without following the prescribed procedures and had misled his office.
Duncan had served as General Manager of the GNNL from June 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019.
The Board of Directors of GNNL had circulated a statement which indicated that Duncan was dismissed because of his alleged involvement in the financial irregularities.
In a special meeting, directors of the company had decided that numerous breaches identified in the report in all of the areas under review were of a serious nature and disciplinary action against the General Manager was necessary, especially since he was on probation.
According to a statement, one GNNL Director had recommended one month suspension and an extension of probation for Duncan, while two Directors recommended an extension in the probation period, and three other Directors held the view that Duncan’s services be terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct.
It is said that a vote on the matter of Duncan’s termination was tabled and three Directors voted against, while three voted in favour. There was a tie and the Chairman Geeta Chandan-Edmond supported the termination of Duncan in accordance with Article 94 of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation.
A special audit ordered by the Office of the Auditor General had found numerous violations during the short three-month period under Duncan’s stewardship of the company.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post

×
×
×
×
×