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Guyana Chronicle accepts blame for erroneous citizenship notices; Citizenship Ministry not responsible for publications

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix.

The state-owned Guyana Chronicle newspaper on Thursday accepted responsibility for a mix-up in the publication of notices by foreigners who have applied to become Guyanese.

“A mix-up in the computer system at the Advertising Department of the Guyana Chronicle was responsible for the incorrect names and photographs of persons seeking naturalisation status here being published recently,” the newspaper quoted Donna Todd, General Manager of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL), as saying.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration also said it played no part in submitting the notices. Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix said his ministry had nothing to do with the publications. He said it is the applicants who interface with the newspapers.

“The Department has nothing to do with the publication. That is a function of the applicant for naturalisation. It becomes a fraud when the publication is presented to the Department by the person who is attempting to perpetrate the fraud. We have nothing to do with the publication except to require it to be done as part of the process,” Felix told Demerara Waves Online News.

Curiously, the Guyana Chronicle questioned how the Opposition Leader’s Office did not pick up the corrected notices within the days immediately after they were first carried in the same way it had spotted those with mistakes. “Although Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has indicated that the party was researching the issue, the group failed to notice the corrected copies of the persons seeking naturalisation status were published following the mistakes,” the newspaper said.

The Guyana Chronicle newspaper further stated that the GNNL management also noted that steps were immediately taken to ensure that there were no recurrence of such mistakes.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday used the two erroneous publications as the basis for levelling charges of a human smuggling racket and the granting of Guyanese citizenship ahead of any possible house-to-house registration.