SARA’s CEO claims political loyalty would not affect work

first_imgA top official from the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) was put in the hot seat on Monday, and was forced to defend the Agency in the face of perceived bias even as members of the former Administration are being brought before the courts to answer to various charges.SARA CEO Aubrey RetmyerSARA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aubrey Retmyer was asked about this perceived bias on the sidelines of a training seminar. Reference was made to Retmyer’s perceived affiliation with the People’s National Congress (PNC). However, noting that Guyana is a small country, he claimed not to know many people without political allegiances.“I believe I can have a preference for a political party, but I can be unbiased in a professional sense. And I don’t think that is too much to ask a Guyanese, even if you’re a member or a follower of a political party, to operate professionally.“It’s when you don’t operate professionally, and I’ve said that before that I have no qualms dealing with people that the evidence leads to. And in whatever environment, we’re not going after people because of their political alliance. We’re going after people because of where the evidence leads to.”He was also asked whether SARA has investigated anyone from the current Administration. According to Retmyer, however, a procedure has to be followed, one that involves the provision of information.“No. I remember the PPP, in replying to an invitation they had when we asked them to participate in the anti-corruption walk, they did raise some questions. But we just don’t go after cases. There’s a procedure we use to go after cases. We will stick to that procedure. If we have evidence or information that requires us to investigate something current, we will do it.“What we started off with was the audit reports. Those reports went first to [Special Organised Crime Unit] SOCU; SOCU decided they would take it to PLA (Police Legal Adviser); the PLA took it to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions). We didn’t just jump off and start investigating because people said this or that individual was corrupt.”In April, SARA had invited Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to an anti-corruption walk. The Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had declined this invitation, citing several cases which SARA had failed to investigate. The Party had noted that in the meantime, fabricated charges had been instituted against former Government officials.In declining the invitation, the Opposition Leader said that he viewed the walk as it was – a mere “smokescreen” to detract from the grossest violations of the constitutional and statutory provisions regarding financial probity, transparency, and accountability ever witnessed since independence.Further, he added that he would not participate in such a walk while members of successive PPP/C Governments and other public officials have been discriminated against, victimised, and targeted by a State-sponsored witch-hunt on frivolous, manufactured charges.In a letter sent to SARA Director, Professor Clive Thomas, Jagdeo stated that the parliamentary Opposition held firmly to this position, which was reflected in the PPP press release of April 14, 2018 that stated, among other things, “after being in office for only three years, the APNU/AFC Government can easily be classified as the most corrupt Government in the post-independent English-speaking Caribbean. Indeed, its corruption is only surpassed by its incompetence.”The letter to Dr Thomas added that “the passage of the SARA Act has given you, sir, enormous, in fact, super powers – something we abhor as it is in total contravention to human rights and due process – but sir, you have those powers, so why have you taken no action as a so-called anti-corruption champion to bring members of the present Government to book? As they say, clean your own house so that others can see the light and know you are serious about fighting corruption.”last_img read more

Transfer mistakes! Five players Man United let go who are thriving away from Van Gaal

first_imgA glance at the Premier League table would suggest Manchester United’s season is on track.But all is not well at Old Trafford. A disharmony in the squad, coupled with a hugely disappointing premature exit from the Champions League at the group stages has left Louis van Gaal teetering on the brink.Struck by a series of debilitating injuries, particularly in defence, it is alarming how restricted Van Gaal’s options are currently. At Bournemouth on Saturday, he was forced to field Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson at full back while Anthony Martial is still just 19 and shouldering most of the goalscoring burden.It raises some serious questions about the Dutchman’s transfer policy. Several established stars have been shown the Old Trafford exit in the last two summers because they didn’t fit into Van Gaal’s philosophy. Many of them are now enjoying much happier times away from Manchester.So which ones have moved on to brighter pastures? talkSPORT takes a look…Will Van Gaal live to rue any of these sales? 6 4. Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) – Kagawa initially left United in the same week Di Maria and Radamel Falcao arrived and has reignited his career at Dortmund again since. This season, in particular, the Japanese international has become a key cog in Dortmund’s insatiable attacking unit alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus. He certainly wouldn’t swap his current situation for the sorry state of affairs at Old Trafford right now. 6 2. Patrice Evra (Juventus) – Evra’s transfer u-turn in summer 2014, not long after Van Gaal arrived, signalled a breakdown in trust between player and manager. The arrival of Luke Shaw in late June indicated the beginning of the end of Evra’s Red Devils career but he has hardly looked back. The Frenchman became an integral part of Juventus’s double winning side in Italy last season, while only Barcelona’s brilliance in the Champions League final denied him a third trophy in his debut campaign. 3. Angel di Maria (PSG) – Possibly the most high profile recruit England has welcomed to its shores in the last five years struggled immensely with Van Gaal’s stoic, stifling approach. When United decided to cut their losses on Di Maria in the summer many felt the club would live to regret the move. Seven goals and ten assists in 13 games for PSG would suggest they do, particularly with creativity lacking so glaringly in the current Red Devils side. 1. Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen) – 15 goals in his 12 games, including a quick-fire hat-trick at the weekend, is an astonishing return for ‘Chicharito’. United fans feel hugely aggrieved about his departure, particularly for as little as the reported £7.3m, as their attacking department is looking severely strained as Wayne Rooney’s struggles continue. The Mexican’s knack of being in the right place at the right time would surely have taken some of the responsibility off Anthony Martial? 6 6 5. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – Zaha was billed as English football’s next big thing when United swooped for his signature in January 2013 but his Red Devils career never got off the ground. It seemed his career needed a step back to make any progress forward and a return to Palace last summer has restored his confidence. He has now forged a devilish partnership with Yannick Bolasie on the Eagles’ flanks, terrorising Premier League defenders on a weekly basis. 6 6 Click the yellow arrow to see the five stars who have flourished away from Louis van Gaal last_img read more