Accusations of abuse of state resources were rife in the National Assembly on Friday as State Minister Joseph Harmon made a shocking disclosure in which he claimed that the previous People’s Progressive Party government leased the historical state-owned Red House for a measly GYD$1000 monthly.
Harmon said what is also disturbing is that the former PPP government continued to pay the staff of the privately operated business using state funds, even after the name change and transfer.
The government spokesman said since he stumbled on this fact, it remained a bone in his throat and he clarified that it was aside from what the several ongoing state audits and inquiries are yet to reveal.
“This is not all but I will leave the rest to the state asset recovery unit to deal with the rest,” he added.
The Minister was at the time making his contribution to the ongoing Budget Debates in the National Assembly.
His disclosures were not contested by the opposition members. Harmon reminded the House of the tens of millions of dollars which the former PPP administration spent to renovate Red House which remained state property until 2012.
During that year a company was established named the Cheddi Jagan Research Inc and the building was leased by the PPP to the company for 99 years for the GYD$1000 monthly.
The late Dr. Cheddi Jagan is the founder leader of the PPP and Red House has since been renamed the Cheddi Jagan Research Center.
Harmon said the PPP cannot deny its disregard for the rule of law and abuse of state resources over the 23 years of executive “misrule.”
To this end, the Minister said the opposition was being deceptive in blaming the 3-month-old APNU+AFC government for the state of the country.
Harmon said the same failed policies that were crafted during the presidency of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, continued until early in 2015 and said as such the need for a fresh start was necessary.
The State Minister promised a turnaround in governance and noted that the new administration boasts of competence to ensure a good life for all Guyanese.
He also promised improvements to the information and technology sector which fall under his responsibility.