AFC members want answers for millions of misappropriated campaign funds


A GROUP of Alliance for Change (AFC) members plans to take to the wider membership of that small party their concerns over millions of misappropriated campaign funds. The AFC members are seeking answers for the misuse of the funds which they say could be in the vicinity of $49M.
A reliable source within the AFC told this newspaper that the group feels slighted by several developments within the AFC which do not augur well for accountability and transparency. The group, being spearheaded by a Berbice member, is said to be resolute in its search to uncover the funds which were allegedly pocketed by members of the AFC Executive.
“Mr. Trotman, Mr. Ramjattan, Mr. Nagamootoo and the rest of them pretend to be the guardian of accountability and transparency and here it is, in our very own backyard, people are pocketing moneys for the party’’, the source alleged.
This newspaper understands that previous attempts to raise matters of financial misappropriation within the AFC have been met with cynicism and threats by the leadership of that party.
The AFC has been dogged by several scandals over the last three years, including its link to the ‘cocaine in pepper sauce’ bust in Canada, December 2008.
In May this year, AFC Region 6 Councillor Haseef Yusuf blew the whistle about corruption in the AFC camp, accusing that party’s Member of Parliament, Dr. Veerasammy Ramaya, of misappropriating $4.5 million of campaign funds in Berbice.
After pressure mounted on the AFC, it announced weeks later that it was desirous of investigating the matter but to date there has been no word from that party about the corruption scandal involving its Member of Parliament, Dr. Ramaya.
Dr. Ramaya, who hosts an AFC television programme in Berbice, absented himself from that programme for several weeks and dodged questions about his involvement in financial misappropriation.
A city businessman, Fizal Ali, implicated AFC Executive Member, Sasenarine Singh in bribery demands in exchange for releasing flour to him while Singh worked at the National Milling Company, responsible for wholesale distribution.
The businessman was quoted as saying, ‘’…….in order to get my full quota of flour, Mr. Singh demanded from me $100,000 per week. I used to pay this money weekly to him in cash at his home at Third Street, Alexander Village, Georgetown. I was also forced to deliver three bags of flour weekly, free of cost, to his mother who owned a grocery stall at La Penitence Market. I also purchased for him his first motorcar, a white Honda Accord, at a cost of $450,000. I also financed his studies at the University of Guyana.’’
Singh had threatened to sue over media reports implicating him in bribery demands but there has been no indication of his ever pursuing legal action against the businessman or any media outlet for their reports.
AFC Chairman and Attorney-at-law, Khemraj Ramjattan, was also implicated in several scandals in which clients accused him of swindling them. A pensioner who has an amputated leg, Mr. Michael Taharally, and his wife, Veronica Da silva, publicly accused Ramjattan of swindling them in an estate dispute case in which he had been hired to represent their interest.