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GWI trashes PPP extortion claims

GWI CEO Dr Richard Van West Charles

GWI CEO Dr Richard Van West Charles

The Guyana Water Incorporated is not too pleased with a press statement issued by the People’s Progressive Party at the weekend and is refuting its contents in its entirety saying that it was irresponsible and malicious.

The statement issued by the Party had alleged that Heads of Government agencies were demanding that contractors donate monies towards projects being undertaken by the Government / and or agencies.

In the release the Party stated “we have evidence of the head of an agency within the Ministry of the Presidency being in meetings with members of the private sector to seek donations of $12M to carry out certain works.”

GWI CEO Dr Richard Van West Charles at a press conference on Monday morning confirmed that the agency being referred to was the one under his watch while stating that the amount stated was the very amount GWI had raised to build wells in Region Nine.

“Two weeks ago I appealed to contractors and I appealed to them as citizens…I appealed to them to make donations for the drilling of wells in the Rupunnni,” he said adding that there was “no threat of them being blacklisted.”

Dr Charles said that he basically appealed to the humanitarian sides of the contractors that were present whilst reminding them that the donations would be of national import since the existing wells in the Rupunnni are drying up fast.

We want to make it clear in terms of where GWI is because this article seems to paint a broad brush in terms of heads of agencies

Mascood Ahamad and other contractors

Mascood Ahamad and other contractors

“They made donations as far as I was concerned – voluntary,” he said while seated in a room with some of the contractors that made contributions.

The CEO slammed the allegations “reckless and untruthful” while being clear that GWI was prepared to return all the funds that were donated.

While those gathered made no indication that they were willing to accept the funds once returned one contractor was particularly vocal about the issue.

Mascood Ahamad, of Ahamad Construction, said that he would not be collecting any funds from GWI.

He made it clear that was asked for funds and saw the cause as being of importance and was more than inclined to donate the amount he donated.

“Is a simple thing…You (Dr Charles) didn’t demand the money,” Ahamad insisted. (Jomo Brusheildon Paul)