The new Government plans to fully investigate the deal made between the former APNU+AFC administration and Wilfred Rambarran, the owner of the Ocean View Hotel which has since been converted into a COVID-19 hospital.
Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo believes that the deal was plagued with “irregularities” and “illegalities” and promised a full investigation.
“The individual who claims he owns the land, he stayed quiet throughout the several months that the media was questioning what’s going on with the hospital and suddenly the first week of the Government, he sent a lawyer’s letter, he wants to be paid billions of dollars.
“Well, I must say, he will have a long wait…we believe a lot of irregularities, illegalities took place through this deal and that will be fully investigated,” the Vice President told reporters during a press conference Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Dr Jagdeo said the COVID-19 hospita – located at Lilieendal, East Coast Demerara, is not equipped to deal with the pandemic and will have to either undergo major renovation or equipping and retrofitting.
Months after the former David Granger Government issued a Notice of Compulsory Acquisition for the former Ocean View Hotel and went ahead to refurbish the building into a COVD – 19 hospital, the owner said that they never entered into negotiations with the former APNU+AFC Government and is treating the notice as unconstitutional and ineffective in law.
According to a lawyer’s letter written to the Attorney General Anil Nandlall and Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, the owner is demanding that the new Government pay all arrears of rent due within 14 days of the date of the letter, failing which he will terminate the existing tenancy and take steps to recover possession of the property.
A tenancy agreement was reportedly reached with the Ministry of Health for one year at a monthly rental of $13 million.