Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, on Monday maintained that she has relinquished all her mining interests even as she continues to wrestle against allegations of conflict of interest.
The Minister’s involvement in mining has again come under the microscope following reports that she was granted permission by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission to operate her dredge – SD 1967 – on Mining Permit H43/MP/000.
But Broomes is maintaining that SD 1967 has been transferred to her son and to her daughter whose name is also Simona Broomes. “I have done nothing wrong. I have been a miner for 28 years and at this time I am humbling myself to serve the Guyanese people,”
She told reporters at her office on Monday.
Broomes said she was not responding to any individual or any attack on her character but was giving clarity to the issue. She believes the manufactured controversy is deliberate in tarnishing her reputation.
“Why would one want to drag my children through the mud, my children have committed no crime.” The Minister called on the citizenry to be watchful of the wild and unfounded statements that are being made. Broomes said she wrote to the GGMC earlier this year asking that the dredge be transferred. She explained that while permission was granted, the formal signing of documents was stalled since her children were aboard.
“All I did was transfer the dredge that has been in existence for decades. The reports out there are completely misleading and incorrect. It has nothing to do about mining permit.”
Broomes trashed claims of a conflict of interest and indicated that she is in no way responsible for granting approval to miners. “I have always taught my children to be law abiding but I knew that my involvement in this Ministry would have posed a lot of problems,” she added.
Minister Broomes said her work prior to becoming a government minister was transparent and she intends to leave a legacy that is also transparent when he gives up the post.
“It is not an easy task but I have committed. I am one of the female ministers that will stand tall and I will not buckle… I am in mining all my life, what are my children to do? Leave everything on the ground and flee?” Broomes said she was never asked by the President or anyone else to relinquish her mining interest but she knew it was the decent thing to do.
“Persons have to read more, study more and understand more before they make statements, they are making wild statements”, she said.