Whatever happened to due process?

first_imgDear Editor,In January 2018, the Government of Guyana passed the so-called “Whistleblower” Law, because they wanted to be associated with the philosophy of “combating corruption by encouraging and facilitating disclosures of improper conduct” from public and private sector officers.A week ago, the Attorney General of Guyana urged whistleblowers to come to his office with information so that it can be investigated.Therefore, it is shocking to have read, on September 10, 2018, that Ms Moshamie Ramotar (no relation to Donald Ramotar, I can confirm), a trained accountant who has served in that role for many years, was fired on the spot over an allegation that she was the whistleblower on some alleged massive acts of corruption.What kind of people are running the corporate affairs of the Guyana Chronicle? Whatever happened to due process? Summary dismissal of an employee, and moreso a very senior employee, should only be proceeded with most carefully, and only in exceptional circumstances.With the perception hanging over this Granger Government that it practises “ethnic preferentialism”, it is important that cases like this be handled judiciously, cautiously, and competently.  A person can be summarily dismissed only when that person has taken part in extreme activities like:·      fighting at work or other adverse deliberate behaviour that can cause imminent and serious risk to their colleagues’ health or safety;·      theft;·      fraud; and so on.Let us assume that the Finance Controller is guilty (I have no evidence to arrive at such a conclusion, but let us humour the General Manager on probation), why was a Hearing Committee not established to fully ventilate the issue? And even if that Committee found the Finance Controller guilty, the first step is not summary dismissal.Skilled Human Resource Practitioners would advise that, firstly, you evaluate that person’s personnel file to assess its quality.  Based on that assessment and the findings of the Committee, you then decide whether the person should be issued with a stage one penalty (warning letter) or a stage two penalty (suspension letter).  Only if the evidence presented unearths activities of an extreme nature do you move to a stage three penalty (summary dismissal).But, again, I have no evidence to prove that the Finance Controller is guilty, and until she is proven guilty, she must be treated as innocent.  Did the General Manager (GM) not learn in his law studies the concept of ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies)?  Or is this plain, old-fashioned, ghetto-type bullyism?Those who are pushing this dismissal letter have missed the entire point, and I wonder to what end. The Finance Controller does not have an allegation of misappropriation of public funds hanging over her head.I am, however, grateful for the fact that the Hon Prime Minister has intervened and reversed this improper decision. But notwithstanding the reversal of this impertinent decision, I am now calling upon the Auditor General of Guyana to swiftly examine the books of the Guyana Chronicle to detect if the financial regulations of Guyana were broken in the pursuance of an agenda to set up a so- called Social Media Unit.Regards,Sasenarine Singhlast_img read more

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Lone Star: Starting All Over Again

first_imgIt is normally not easy for a ruined life to be turned over without huge costs. Sometimes a ruined life leaves behind only fleeting memories of the bygone years.In this instance, the remains of a ruined life are used as examples to guide the future.Interestingly, sport is a world of its own; and what was not done yesterday can be done today to change the course of its development for the better.Since the horrible year of 2002, when the national soccer team, Lone Star, crashed against the Black Stars of Ghana and dashed the hopes of thousands of soccer fans, Liberian football has not been able to recover its name or its numerous fans.Many who were old enough to remember the years before 2002, could speak with relish of the time when football was football in Liberia. It was the time that a game between Mighty Barrolle and Invincible Eleven was like the greatest match of all time.Those memories remind us of the names like James Salinsa Debbah, described by sports writers at the time as ‘Most Celebrated Player,’ and George Oppong Weah as the ‘Wizard Dribbler.’So, after the loss of Liberia’s chance for the World Cup in 2002, and the advent of DStv, as well as the loss of the leadership of Invincible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle from the league leadership, Liberian football was even described as being dead, by current FA Boss Musa Bility.For the last twelve years, the national team has not been able to ably represent the country and the latest disappointments were those squandered by both junior and senior national teams recently.After those disappointments, inquiring minds want to know what went wrong and what could be done to remedy what happened.Every knowledgeable soccer administrator knows the steps to achieving success in sports. These steps will include selecting quality players from the national league and blending them together with the professionals abroad who will demonstrate their commitment to support the national agenda.There are also technical issues they are not necessary to be described here. However, the fact now is that Liberia is out of 2015 African Cup of Nations; and this makes good that we must begin at the beginning and plan for the 2017’s edition.It is not shameful to admit that both administrators and players, including the fans, did not do their part well for success, since 2002.This is time to advance suggestions of substance without blaming others. The Sports Writers Association of Liberia must join the Liberia Football Association to examine some of the pertinent issues that were overlooked or that did not come into play that could be responsible for the failure of our football development and the way forward.In doing this, we must remove emotion from our actions and be brave enough to take decisions that could change the destiny of football development.Yes, Lone Star is ruined to its bones, and we know that despite ignominious year of 2002, we can change our football destiny but only if we are determined to do so.One interesting element that could get the nation’s football back on its feet is for Chief Patron President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to play more of a leadership role in this revival.This is because recent history tells that it was only when the late president Samuel Kanyon Doe played a leading role in football that Liberia soccer soared over many nations in Africa.President Doe made it mandatory for government ministries to find employment for national football players to give them the security they needed to devote their time to the game.It was the time that George Oppong Weah and his friends were discovered to take on the soccer world. And the result of those efforts produced the best for Liberia, as history will proudly confirm. Now is the time for the chief patron to make a difference.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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