Talks breakdown over govt money for Afro-Guyanese organisation

Last Updated on Friday, 14 April 2023, 11:41 by Denis Chabrol


Left to right: IDPADA-G’S Chief Executive Officer Olive Sampson, Chairman Vincent Alexander and lawyer Nigel Hughes

Negotiations between lawyers for the Guyana government and the International Decade for People of African Guyanese Assembly have collapsed over the continued disbursement of government funds to that organisation.

IDPADA-G moved to the court earlier this year to challenge government’s decision on the grounds that over GYD$500 million disbursed so far had not reached a large number of African Guyanese.

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire allowed the two sides to discuss an out-of-court settlement, but IDPADA-G lawyer Dr Vivian Williams told the court on Friday that no agreement had been reached. “The settlement talks have broken down irretrievably and I would like to first indicate ” he said. The judge disallowed the lawyer from providing details because at that juncture the court could not get into “why”.

“No, I don’t need to know why. They broke down…No, no, no. That’s not the court’s business. When the parties go to mediation whether through the court mediation system or on their own and they don’t settle, only come back and tell the court ‘we did not settle’,” she said.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall also told the court that the negotiations were not fruitful. “Your Honour, Mr Williams has accurately reported to the court, unfortunately that we have been unable to arrive at a compromise that we intended to achieve by the mediation process,” he said.

Mr Nandlall said the State would be relying on an affidavit of defence.

The parties have been blocked from discussing the issue in the public.

The chief Justice said that based on her reading of the file there was nothing to go to trial on so the parties were asked to make submissions.

They have been told to returned to court on June 14. 2023 at 1:30 pm for oral arguments and clarifications.

Dr Williams was also advised to file an application with evidence if he wanted the State to given an undertaking that it would not disburse or encumber, presumably the funds.

IDPADA-G said it is now owed more than GYD$40 million in government subsidy though the money had been budgeted.