Jagdeo says duty bound to speak out against misdoings
… Stands by statements on Afro-Guyanese group
Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says that he is duty bound to speak out against misdoings and as such, he stands by his statements on the Afro-Guyanese group – International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly- Guyana (IDPADA-G).
The Vice President, in response to a lawsuit filed by IDPADA-G Chairman Vincent Alexander, said that there is evidence to support the recent public statements he made.
That includes audited financial statements that show this body received $100 million of State funds in 2020 but only $343,000 in grants were distributed. Another $42 million was spent on salaries and allowances.
“The First Named Defendant (Jagdeo) will contend that he is politically, legally and morally enjoined and duty bound to speak out and condemn acts of illegalities, corruption, nepotism and cronyism and has a further duty to expose excesses, abuse of power, mismanagement, incompetence in public office, misuse of state resources and violations of the law and the Constitution,” Jagdeo’s lawyers CV Satram and Ron Motilall wrote in response a letter from Alexander’s lawyer, Eusi Anderson.
The legal document also related, “The statements of the First Names Defendant were published verbatim and in a balanced, fair and responsible way, and reflected the honest opinion and fair comment of the author.”
Jagdeo further stated that he received numerous complaints from persons in the Afro-Guyanese community and the intended beneficiaries of the sums that they have been unable to access. Those persons, he said, complained about being excluded from any decisions regarding the use and allocation of those funds.
Alexander, through his lawyer, claims in excess of $150 million for what he deems libellous statements made by the Vice President. He is also seeking a public apology and the retraction of the information that was broadcast.
The Attorney General and the Department of Public Information (DPI) are also named as respondents.
Still, the Vice President defended the statements he made.
Because of the public position he holds, and the information he was armed with, he believes he had a right to speak out. Further, he denied that the publication of the words complained were “Actuated by malice”.
Last year, the Vice-President presented IDPADA-G’s financial statement for 2020, which shows that salaries and allowances amounted to $42 million, conference expenses $4.5 million, travelling and transportation $2.8 million, advertisements $2 million, office material and expenses $9 million, and building rentals and utilities $5 million.
Then, Jagdeo called on the group to come clean and let the nation know how sums received from the government over the years have been expended in the best interest of Afro-Guyanese.