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BK Tiwari says he was appointed to advise Harmon, not government

Brian Tiwari.

Brian Tiwari.

Prominent businessman, Brian “BK” Tiwari appears to have separated his now rescinded appointment from the rest of the government, saying that he was merely an advisor only to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and not the coalition-led administration.

By the Head of BK International’s account, it calls into question what was Tiwari’s appointment that President David Granger said he revoked. Granger has said that his administration has no need for Tiwari’s services and the Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin has never asked for assistance.

Breaking his silence on a business development advisor position that has enraged government supporters, Tiwari has dismissed claims that he was appointed to provide business development advice to the government.

The local businessman, who is currently overseas, told Demerara Waves Monday, April 4, 2016 that information currently being peddled about his appointment in relation to the government has been misconstrued and misinformation is being fed to the public.

Tiwari said his appointment was only to provide business advice to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, and as far as he knows that is the information provided on the document signed between himself and Minister Harmon.

“I don’t know where they (media) are getting this from. It has nothing to do with the government,” Tiwari said about his advisorial appointment. While the businessman said he is unable to put his hands on the document signed between himself and the Minister, he said, “When I remember reading the document it said, ‘within the Ministry’, it had nothing to do with the government. Nothing on behalf of the government.” Tiwari insisted that he is of the view that the Minister could appoint advisors to aid him in the functioning of his duties.

President David Granger speaking with the media.

President David Granger speaking with the media.

BK International confirmed that the company’s leader was appointed on honorary grounds as stated by Minister Harmon who provided an explanation about Tiwari’s appointment when public perception became clear that they were not happy about the former PPP-linked businessman’s involvement.

However, in support of BK, one public commentator has given his approval of the Tiwari appointment stated that the relationship was a legitimate one between the two sides. “PM Nagamootoo made 27 honorary appointments in the Diaspora, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a token to the comrade for the assistance that they would have provided to the party. They receive a piece of document from the PM, they frame it and put it on their wall, that doesn’t mean anything,” said the commentator who has worked for BK International in the past.

Harmon, in his explanation, has told media operatives that Tiwari’s appointment was one of “many” appointments of persons who helped during the party’s campaign and those who have the capacity to help further.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

Unconfirmed reports are that BK would have provided some GYD$100 million to the A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition during their 2015 election campaign. While some are skeptical that BK’s funding was that astronomical, it was rumoured further that the sum had offset the $100 million that Chinese company Bai Shan Lin had given to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) for their political campaign. Even former PPP executive member and prominent commenter Ralph Ramkarran in his weekend edition of the Conversation Tree indicated his disbelief that BK had provided that large amount to the government, claiming that even if he did he miscalculated his approach in transitioning to the new government.

“Brian Tiwari ignored already existing signs and believed that the same strategies he adopted in the past would work in changing times. He transitioned from the past administration to the current, hauling with him what is rumoured to be a gargantuan gift. Many did not believe its quantum when they heard of it. Mr. Tiwari is known as a man of unfailing generosity, solicited and unsolicited, but he was not thought to be that generous! But maybe it was true and Mr. Tiwari felt that it was enough to earn him the ‘honorific.’ But he miscalculated, “Ramkarran wrote.

Minister Harmon had promised a full media briefing on the issue which set the media buzzing. Sources have said that the minister has been advised against briefing the media on the controversial issue. BK International is however set to have a full release on the Harmon appointment, the company’s office told Demerara Waves.

Since APNU+AFC came to power, BK International had spearheaded a clean-up exercise, rehabilitated the Independence Arch on Brickdam and has been developing D’urban Park aback the 1763 Slave Rebellion ‘Cuffy’ Monument.

APNU+AFC coalition supporters have been very keen attention to the issue, especially since the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)- the largest party in APNU- had in the past raised grave concerns that BK International appeared to have continually benefited from multi-million dollar contracts although the integrity of several infrastructural projects have been called into serious question.

The controversy over Tiwari’s appointment has come at a time when a recent  government-sponsored forensic audit has pointed to major concerns about BK International’s land purchases and sales.

(by Zena Henry)

  • Emile_Mervin

    BK,

    Better to remain quiet and let people think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. There is no such title as Business Advisor to the Minister of State appointed by the same minister, which was why Granger tried to do damage control by revoking the appointment instead of waiting for Harmon to revoke it.

    By opening your mouth, you now obligate air head Harmon to now come clean about his true motive for appointing you and then taking you on the China trip. See, you are not a public servant, so there is no compunction for you to speak. Harmon, however, is a cabinet minister and so he has a lot if explaining to do, including why he appointed you, what you did while in China, and whether money changed hands among you, Harmon and the Chinese who bought state lands that you acquired from the corrupt PPP regime in Guyana.

    BTW, FYI, if government paid your trip, then you cannot be deemed a personal advisor to Harmon. Just shut up unless an investigation requires you to lawyer up before you speak again.

    • Gtloyal

      Like u know something?

      • Emile_Mervin

        If I knew something, would I be asking questions? We spent almost 15 years pejoratively pounding and pummeling Jagdeo and the PPP, so why should we give anyone in the coalition a pass for pulling a Jagdeo on us? Credit is due Granger for distancing himself from this ill-advised appointment, but he had to see the signs or check the blogs that kept highlighting Harmon as a potential threat to the coalition’s image as the political change agent. Had Nagamootoo or Ramjattan or Cathy Hughes done something like this, many would be calling for their resignations.

        • SYL

          In regular language Harmon is an “upstart” This guy would put the President in trouble sooner than later.If he has done anything wrong in this engagement, he shall have to bear the consequences of disciplinary actions.

        • eddie

          Credit is due Granger for distancing himself from this ill-advised appointment, REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so granger was kept in the dark about this appointment when he found out he did the right thing by firing him but the person that upstage him remain in-tack,,, let me see if I can help you here,,,,, granger fired Tiwari because of the backlash and he was aware of the hiring ,,, it just that this government is making too much amateurish decision,,,, now that is expected from anything new ” government , business religious origination” but it is becoming too frequent and the grace period has long past.. there biggest mistake was consuming themselves with the PPP and all the accusation and had to keep information coming to quell the firestorm and lost sight of what they had to do.. I don’t think there is any statue of limitation so these investigation should have been done in the background and level the charges when all information is gather

          • Col123

            eddie: ” biggest mistake was consuming themselves with the PPP”….I was of that opinion also..but their election campaign was focus on that…thus the entanglement…..they had a great opportunity …and still do… to concentrate on developing and growing the economy… Mr Harmon’s extraneous relationship and activities are just casting the same PPP’s shadow on this govt….

          • eddie

            this country will never get better with these politician “old relic” they only know one way to operate,,, remember this guy Harmon during the run up to the election I really thought that we finally have someone that have the citizen best interest at heart only for him to show his true color and I will bet you all in cabinet position will not apologize for this action because there are doing it too,, why not give the young generation of this country a chance yes they will make mistake but at least we will hold them responsible and help guide them to do a better job for our country and YES I know it will not be easy because of the perceive conception of Guyana as a corrupt country but at least we give ourself a new start and hope for the best rather that having the old relic and know we will get the same bullshit, because if the PPP come in again they will start out good and then revert to there same old trick too……….. with the PPP and APNU/PNC/AFC we might as well use the old Jim Jones theory “those who forget the past will be condemn to repeat it” well it not Jim Jones theory it a passage from the bible but I use it in this context to show the end result

  • Kaieteur_Canada

    BK is Bad Karma, accept his generousity but keep him on the other side of the fence.

  • Col123

    Where there is money…there is honey…that’s where the bees gather…and stupid folks get stung!…I read somewhere that this chap, on his private plane, recently took Pres Granger to a South American conference …what’s the story about sleeping with dogs…you get dog food!..forget the fleas…these are supposed to be clean dogs!