Government offering $5 Million per child as settlement to families of Mahdia Fire victims

Government offering $5 Million per child as settlement to families of Mahdia Fire victims

In a hush agreement that was drafted by the Attorney General Chambers, the Government of Guyana is offering the families of the victims of the Mahdia School Dorm fire a total of $5 million per child as settlement.

Twenty children lost their lives in the fire, and several others were injured.

A 15-year-old girl is currently before the Courts facing 20 murder charges over allegations that she maliciously set the deadly fire at the dorm.

The agreement covers the relatives of the children who died, as well as those who survived the May 21 fire.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall confirmed to News Source this afternoon that the agreement was put together by the Attorney General’s Chambers on behalf of the Government. He said it was a decision of the Cabinet and his Chambers is carrying out the work of Cabinet.

Mr. Nandlall explained that the agreement is separate and is not connected to the Commission of Inquiry that will take place.

In the agreement seen by News Source, in return for accepting the settlement, which is listed as “financial assistance”, “no party to this agreement admits any liability caused by, arising from, or connected to, the fire of the 21st of May 2023 at the Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory”.

It further states in the agreement that its terms should be voluntarily accepted for the purpose of making a compromise and settlement of all potential claims for liability, injury, loss and damage, concerning the events of the fire on the 21st Day May 2023 at the Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory.

In the agreement, the Government of Guyana indicated that since the fire, it has ensured that the victims and their families, received and benefitted from all the assistance needed in respect to transportation to and from Georgetown, accommodation and all forms of support, including psychosocial assistance, while in Georgetown, all possible medical assistance in Guyana as well as overseas, funeral arrangements and associated expenditures, the replacement of all items destroyed in the said fire, and other forms of support to the families and relatives upon their request.

The Government also stated in the agreement that it continues to commiserate, and remains committed to continuing to offer various forms of assistance to the victims and their families, including psychosocial support.

News Source understands that a number of the parents have already accepted the agreement, while others are still to sign on.

The REO for Region Eight is signing the document on behalf of the Guyana Government, while two Attorneys, one representing the interests of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the other representing the interests of the families, are signing as witnesses to the agreement.

The Agreement seen by News Source carries a date of the 3rd July.

Just last Thursday, President Irfaan Ali at a press conference indicated that he is still moving ahead with a Commission of Inquiry into the fire and persons to serve on the Commission were being contacted.

He made no mention of the agreement with the family of the fire victims.

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