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Harmon is an “honest person”- Nagamootoo; President, Prime Minister differ on stripping Harmon’s powers

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon taking the oath of office before President David Granger

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon taking the oath of office before President David Granger

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo Monday night declared that Minister of State, Joseph Harmon is an “honest person” but he and President David Granger differ on whether Harmon’s powers should be reduced.

“This has nothing to do with an indictment of anyone in particular Minister Harmon. I subscribe to the view also that he is an honest person. I have worked with him. I have nothing about his integrity,” Nagamootoo said.

Speaking with reporters after Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) launched its 50-year old rum in honour of Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary, Nagamootoo suggested that Harmon should be disciplined for appointing Brian “BK” Tiwari a ministerial advisor on business development. “In the context of what is alleged in the BK Tiwari issue, I can see no violation of honesty,” he said.

After public outcry, Granger last month rescinded Tiwari’s appointment that was made on January 29, 2016.

For his part, the President did not answer directly whether Harmon would be disciplined  Harmon had also ordered the Guyana Revenue Authority to abort an operation to seize two luxury vehicles from Baishan Lin for alleged non-payment of duties.  The vehicles were subsequently seized and President Granger later said he has ordered that there be no intrusion in the work of other ministers.

As it relates to the Alliance For Change’s (AFC) intention to ask that Harmon’s several powers be cut, the President said he would await representation at Cabinet on Tuesday although so far he did not see any justification for doing so. “There is a book that stated and nobody made any objection to the duties which were assigned to the Minister of State then and it would be surprising if after two months people feel that the duties have been misused or they need to be trimmed so I have to wait to find out from our colleagues but as far as I am concerned there is no overburdening of the ministry and I don’t seen any powers that they need to be reduced,” the President told reporters.

The Prime Minister, who is the AFC’s Vice Chairman, reiterated his party’s position that some of Harmon’s responsibilities such as Cabinet Secretary should be taken away and handed to a public servant or retired public servant who understands the importance of confidentiality and secrecy. “We are talking not about person, we are talking about responsibilities to diffuse or share responsibilities so that it may not be too cumbersome on one person to handle and juggle many portfolios and make for me the work of office easier and one can concentrate on a specific limited area of functions,” Nagamootoo said.

Reacting to Tiwari’s call that in fairness he should revoke the appointment of all other ministerial advisors, the President rebuffed the prominent businessman. “I wouldn’t respond to Mr. Tiwari and Mr. Tiwari doesn’t determine my policy,” he said.

Tiwari, who said he knew Harmon before the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections, noted that he had been offering his advisory services free of cost.

  • disqus_vD7Mb5kVmA

    Come on guys two months ago people did not know what they know now. Honesty does not depend on some people’s say so. One’s action says a lot.
    Promises made to be people must be kept.

  • ExPPP_Man

    This stooge – look how he ready to stab his colleagues in the back. God will deal with him. He scared to say anything about the real Prime Minister Harmon

    • Col123

      Exppp..your words… He is a pitiful “coolie”…

  • Emile_Mervin

    Last week: The coalition was against the ropes!

    This week: The rope is around the coalition’s neck!

    Next week: Stay tuned!

    Thank Bharrat Harmon!

    The AFC has been subsumed!

    • SYL

      Guys its politics like most places in the world. INHALE AND EXHALE . There are many ways to get the hands in the cookie jar, and that’s the main reason for 90 % of the individuals any where to join the party of the fat cats.

  • KassemB

    The usual Moses struggling to breathe

  • Col123

    After two drinks at DDL, the PM was honest and sincere about his comments.He deserve another 50% increase in salary and a Rolles Royce. Throw in a jet for his personal use and we will have another princess…this PM is a good study on how to stay on top…where the stuff floats!

    • Emile_Mervin

      When Nagamootoo says Harmon is ‘honest’, he has to recognize that the mere fact that Harmon never told the President or Cabinet of BK’s appointment meant he was being shady. This explained why Granger PERSONALLY rescinded the appointment and did not ask Harmon to do the rescinding.

      Additionally, the mere fact that Harmon ordered GRA and SOCU operatives to cease their seizure of Baishanlin’s vehicles, only to have the order overturned days later, meant he was operating outside the scope of his authority and trying to protect a business fraught with highly questionable deals and operations.

      To this day, the public knows nothing OFFICIAL about the visit to China, which we are reading in bits and pieces, that there may have been two or three teams that traveled there. We are also being by Granger that Harmon and an officisl from NICIL traveled together, yet BK, London, Williams and who knows who else also went to China around the same time.

      • eddie

        moses know that the president will not fire Harmon and LIL JOE is raking the papers to find who was behind this exposure and feeding the fire ala the old politician Mosses habit kick in to protect his job/power… look this appointment is not all that is making out to be when that list comes out you will see this guy as a very important money contributor to this collation hence the lapse in judgment and what a novice politician he is because these people is supposed to be behind the scene USA/LOBBY .. what I like is the accountability been demanded by the citizen

        • Emile_Mervin

          I don’t know what Granger will do with Joe, but I know what Joe has been doing to Granger.

          • eddie

            that Granger trusted guy and we all have one of those, it might not be apparent to you but there is a serious infighting going on behind the scene jockeying for power the president have to hold the appearance that everything is ok in Denmark but it not and it will be political suicide if he do anything to LIL JOE because everyone in this government for the exception of granger know who wield the power and I must say I think he let it get to his head and embarrassed the president but he is going nowhere because in a nutshell he have to act this way to keep the others in line and the president is aware of this and you can take this to the bank he will defend him all the way and the other who stand up for granger and lil joe it letting us know who is the inner circle of this government that does not include naggy he is just covering his ass and power this president does not trust this guy and I don’t think can stand him for a minute ,,,,, just a food for thought did it ever strike you the silence of the others daily of the PPP on this controversy

          • Emile_Mervin

            Your take is noted!

      • Col123

        EM..I just wish that I have the patience as you with logic..I am suspecting that you have dabbled in sequence, I am not into computers…thus some of your pivot response…and that is good…it keeps the mind fit…I have friends who know the PM well…the feed back is that he would only look for the nipple when there are problems…..he does not look further….he does not handle confrontation well!

        • Emile_Mervin

          Thanks. I don’t know what it is, but I enjoy analyzing and interchanging ideas. Besides, the more I travel and see places and infrastructural development the more I wish better for Guyana. 50 years after Independence we are still grappling with infantile entanglements. I can live with human error as long as it is followed by commitment to do better and fruits of change. We have to get past this crap playing out!

      • rs dasai

        This is camouflage.The real thing is coming.

  • Emile_Mervin

    What more does Granger need to snap out of his mental paralysis? I’d hate to think that Harmon is Granger’s brain! Worse, I’d hate to think Harmon is next in line to Granger as party leader, because I believe Greenidge should be. Actualy, Greenidge did publicly claim he was cheated of party leadership post at the PNC leadership elections.

  • george wiltshire

    Now we know who signed the pay increase from the President’s office. The pay increase was wrong and the wrong reason was given. The president had a choice to make. He chose to go along with the increase. Hope he has learned his lesson. Now here he is in another situation only more precarious. He is dragging his feet.
    I will continue to pray for this country. As Samuel said it would be a sin for me not to pray for this country. I am beginning go find my hero has feet of clay.

    • Col123

      G: just be careful for what you pray…

  • Michael V.S

    HARMON stabs Granger in the back while backdoor-double-dealing with Tiwarie; BaiShanLin, Su Zhi Rong and Chu Hongbo among others. Without his the ‘presidents’ knowledge or consent.

    Granger in turn APOLOGIZES for HARMon.

    I am confused! Who is the REAL “president” Granger or HARMon???

    “who’s zoomin’, who’s foolin’, who’s zoomin’, who’s foolin’ who?” “who’s zoomin’ who?”