ON March 5, 2020 after the People’s Progressive Party, its representatives and a number of men who clearly had weapons stormed the GECOM Command Centre, Mr. Roy Beepat issued what can be described as a knee-jerk, emotive and misguided public advisory purportedly on behalf of the management and vendors of Giftland Mall. In this message, Mr. Beepat threatened to close Giftland Mall until further notice and until the rule of law is followed. The advisory also encouraged other business persons to follow suit. I spoke with several vendors who noted that Mr. Beepat never consulted with them, neither were they aware that he would issue such a contemptuous advisory. Some two days after issuing his first public advisory (March 7, 2020), Mr. Beepat walked back his initial remarks by stating that Giftland will reopen from 10am to 3pm.
Mr. Beepat, like most Guyanese, is getting his news about what took place in GECOM and numerous polling places indirectly; in other words, he was not present inside GECOM during the counting and verification for each electoral district. He was also not present at an overwhelming majority of polling places. Importantly, he was not present in GECOM when the PPP’s agents and representatives attempted to overthrow GECOM, twice, some with guns in hand and waist. Instead of speaking out about this, the threats directed at the GECOM Chairperson, Mr. Lowenfield and other GECOM officials, something that is treasonous and has never happened in the history of Guyana, he issues a calculated, partisan advisory because he thinks this would position him for political favours.
Readers, Giftland Mall sits on nine acres of commercial land which Mr. Beepat acquired several years ago when the PPP was at the helm of government. Mr. Beepat pays less than $200,000 per year for this land; this is way below market value. There are other commercial land leased in the area for three to five times as much as he pays yearly. His remarks are utterly hypocritical and calculated to bring pressure to a sitting government and its supporters. Mr. Beepat also has an option to buy the nine acres of land on which he sits for $12m. He has leased this land more than six years. As someone remarked to me, why would he buy when he has a sweetheart lease that was given to him by the Donald Ramotar- led government?
I do hope that Mr. Beepat publicly apologises to the citizens of this country, the Government of Guyana, patrons of Giftland Mall and the vendors who are paying him a rent to sell in the mall. We know that his remarks were misguided, emotive and partisan, so much so that he failed to even consult and consider the very people who are paying him rent in Giftland Mall.