By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell

Last week, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo revealed that over two years, just over $20M was transferred from the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Public Service to the accounts of two of Minister Simona Broomes’ children: while one child was transferred GY$2.5M sometime in 2018, the other received US$50,000 (GY$10.47M) in 2018 and a further US$36,450 (GY$7.63M) in 2019.

Since Jagdeo’s revelation last week, there has been no response to his claims from neither the Public Service Department nor Minister Broomes.

However, coincidentally or not, just a few days after Jagdeo made the disclosure, newly appointed Public Service Minister Tabitha Sarabo-Halley fired her personnel staff and the ministry’s chief accountant.

Jagdeo is convinced that the dismissals have to do with the fact that the information regarding Minister Broomes’ children was leaked.

“Clearly, the government felt that this information came from the Public Service Ministry to us but the information did not come from the Public Service Ministry; we got the information from another whistleblower,” said Jagdeo.

He continued, “So guess what the response has been? The minister went there and fired all personnel staff and the accountant.”

Jagdeo posited that the government is worried that more “secrets” from the department would be leaked.

The former president noted that the government is claiming that it is simply restructuring the ministry. However, he said, restructuring would have allowed for the persons to be duly informed with adequate notice. Further, he said that the civil servants would have been transferred.

But instead, he said, “The minister went in and illegally fired the staff with immediate effect.”

Despite the fact that Jagdeo stressed that he did not get information about Broomes from persons in that department, from all indications he has a source within the ministry.

Meanwhile, the government had commented that while allegations were levelled against the public service employees, dismissals had not occurred. Noting this response from the government, Jagdeo read from a letter that was sent from the minister to one of the dismissed employees.

From the letter, Jagdeo quoted, “Pursuant to the aforementioned contract of employment, your services are hereby terminated with immediate effect.”

He said too that there will be a lockdown and only “party hacks” will get the positions previously held by persons who held their positions for decades.

Jagdeo also said that the PPP still wants an explanation as to why the money was transferred to Broomes’ children.



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