Post Office Board should resign for allowing Gov’t to hijack Cheddi Jagan stamps – Fmr. Chairman
By Devina Samaroo
Former Chairman of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), Juan Edghill has called for the Post Master General and the Directors of the Agency to resign for allowing the Government to interfere and hijack a business transaction it had with a private entity to produce the Cheddi Jagan stamps.
Last month, Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes announced that the Post Office would be issuing commemorative stamps to celebrate the former president’s 100th birth anniversary, following an arrangement with the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre.
The stamps were supposed to be launched on March 21 to coincide with Jagan’s 100th birth anniversary the next day.
However, the Research Centre never received the stamps from the Post Office. According to a statement it released to the media, no explanation was given by entity other than advising that it contact the Ministry of the Presidency.
After being accused of political interference, the Ministry issued a statement claiming that President David Granger will not allow national symbols to be used for private, partisan or political messages.
Edghill told News Room during an interview today that Government had no business getting involved in a private transaction between the Post Office and a private entity.
“When the President of Guyana is trying to use fancy language to hoodwink the population, I stand by my original statement that I made, this intervention by the Ministry of the Presidency is petty, partisan politics,” Edghill said.
Edghill, who is also an Opposition Parliamentarian, explained that post offices worldwide have a philatelic department where they print commemorative stamps for sale internationally.
Edghill said Guyana’s Post Office would have been involved in selling commemorative stamps for Nelson Mandela, O.J Simpson, Mother Theresa and other notable international figures.
He emphasised that these are private arrangements and that the government has no authority to intervene.
Edghill said, if the Government wished, it could have approached the Post Office to print stamps for Cheddi Jagan under another theme and arrangement.
“If the Government of Guyana wants to issue a philatelic stamp to celebration Cheddi Jagan and all other Presidents even in the face of the Cheddi Jagan (Research Centre) stamp, they could still do so,” Edghill explained.
He suggested that the Government could have done stamps in recognition of ‘Presidents of Guyana’ and have a Cheddi Jagan commemorative stamp produced.
The former Chairman said the current Board of Directors has demonstrated their inability to represent the interest of the Post Office and as such, he says they should resign.
“If you are the Chairman and Directors of a Board and you have given approval for a business that you are governing to take place and an entity outside of your decision-making process could tell you that you cannot fulfil your contractual obligation and tell your client that you have to make contact with me, then you have failed, you are jellyfishes, you are spineless, you lack the ability to govern,” he contended.
The Cheddi Jagan Research Centre had already paid the Post Office $200,000 for the stamps which were never delivered.
Edghill said that the Research Centre has enough grounds on which to sue the Post Office for breach of contract.