Chronicle to petition President as Sherod Duncan returns as GM

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Staff of Guyana National Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Chronicle newspaper, plan to petition President David Granger in hopes that he will reverse the reinstatement of Sherod Duncan as General Manager.

In the draft petition seen by the News Room, the staff members say Duncan’s return has reignited the fear which dominated the company when Duncan, as General Manager, had unilaterally fired the Finance Controller, Moshamie Ramotar. They viewed her as one of the mothers of the company and felt she was subject to an unjust act.

“Some staff members, with years of experience, have already decided that they would be resigning very soon while some of us remain hopeful that you will address this matter,” the draft petition stated.

The Board of the company had voted on April 02, 2019 to fire Duncan following findings of an Auditor General investigation into the operations of the company under Duncan.

The Office of the Auditor General had contracted auditing firm Chateram Ramdihal Chartered Accountants Professional Services Firm to carry out an audit covering the period June 1, 2018, to September 10, 2018.

The investigation into Mr Duncan’s conduct at the company had sparked when he had fired Mrs Ramotar after details of the company’s spending under his tenure were leaked to the press.

Mrs Ramotar was reinstated on the job and Mr Duncan was sent on leave to facilitate the probe, which led to his dismissal.

However, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Tuesday set aside the decision of the Board, saying that no actual vote was taken to fire Duncan. The chairperson of the Board, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, a lawyer and former Magistrate, noted that three Directors had voted to retain Duncan while three voted to dismiss him, causing her to use her right to vote which she cast in favour of dismissing Duncan.

Chandan and two other directors resigned in protest over the Prime Minister’s disregard for their decision.

“We are asking that you review the appointment of Mr Duncan on our behalf, and that this decision be swiftly dealt with even as we keep in mind that you have a busy schedule to manage the affairs of the state,” the draft petition from the staff to the President reads.

The workers want Ms Donna Todd, who acted in the role of General Manager for the past several months, to be confirmed to that post, describing “has been a mother, a true leader and a supporter to us all.”

“We are placing our trust in your good office President, so that each of us, in the six departments of the GNNL, can feel comfortable as we work assiduously to ensure the message of your administration continues to be passed to the public via the Guyana Chronicle,” the draft petition reads.

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