29th Sep 2020

Source: NewsRoom A Washington based US firm, SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund has acquired majority ownership interest in Camex Restaurants Inc. in Guyana, which will enable the fast-food restaurant franchisee to push its growth and expansion plans. The transaction will… Read more

Source: NewsRoom

A Washington based US firm, SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund has acquired majority ownership interest in Camex Restaurants Inc. in Guyana, which will enable the fast-food restaurant franchisee to push its growth and expansion plans.

The transaction will be completed over the coming week and was made public by a statement from The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Guyana Inc. on Tuesday.

Camex Restaurants Inc. is recognized as Guyana’s largest restaurant operator boasting some 28 franchise/locations spread across Guyana with five, brands including Church’s Chicken, Dairy Queen, Pollo Tropical, Mario’s Pizza and Quiznos.

“Founded in 2006, Camex has grown from strength to strength employing at its peak a staff complement of over 380 team members of which approximately 80% are women. It is recognized as a good corporate citizen and has developed a reputation for delivering service and quality products that Guyanese love,” the statement noted.

Having established a presence in Guyana at a strident pace, CAMEX founder Terrence Campbell felt that it was time to bring in an international partner to drive through the next phase of growth.

Mr Campbell is expected to remain very actively involved in the business as Executive Director and Ms. Lisa Insanally will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer.

The new Board of Camex Restaurants Inc. will be Chaired by the Managing Director of SEAF, Mr Kurt Kisto and comprise Directors Terrence Campbell, Jennifer Cipriani, Leo Williams, Floyd Haynes and Zulfikar Ally.

The investment in Camex is the first for the SEAF Fund which was launched last October with its regional office in Kingston Jamaica.

With this new partnership, Camex plans to develop and add new brands to its portfolio, whilst simultaneously expanding operations across the Caricom region.

The SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund is a private equity fund which invests growth capital in fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the countries of the Caribbean Common Market (Caricom).

SEAF is an investment management group headquartered in Washington D.C. which provides growth capital and business assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging and transition markets, underserved by traditional sources of capital.

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14th Aug 2020

Source: NewsRoom Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan moments ago dismissed the 19 fraud charges against President Irfaan Ali which were filed under the David Granger administration over the sale of state lands in “Pradoville 2”. The matter was previously called before… Read more

Source: NewsRoom

Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan moments ago dismissed the 19 fraud charges against President Irfaan Ali which were filed under the David Granger administration over the sale of state lands in “Pradoville 2”.

The matter was previously called before the Chief Magistrate at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on August 6, 2020, where Ali’s attorney Devindra Kissoon made an application for the charges to be dismissed on the basis that the president is immune from suit as per Article 182 of the Constitution.

The Chief Magistrate had previously adjourned the matter to October 26, 2020, but Kissoon wrote again to various parties including the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and spoke with the counsel of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) renewing his application that the charges be dismissed since Article 182(2) of the Constitution mandates that no criminal proceedings shall be continued against a sitting President in respect of any done by him in his private capacity.

Attorney Kissoon has also argued in his letter that it was not in the public interest to prosecute a sitting President and to do so would violate the prosecutors code of conduct adopted in 2018.

Ali, through his attorney, has always maintained that not only do the 19 charges levelled against him not amount to an offence known to law, but even if proven, could not lead to a conviction.

The Chief Magistrate called the matter forward Friday, where prosecutor Patrice Henry, in response to Kissoon’s communication, advised the Court that SOCU has taken a decision that it was not in the public interest to prosecute a sitting President and to so do would violate Article 182(2) of the constitution.

The Chief Magistrate ultimately ruled in Ali’s favour wholly discontinuing all charges against him.

In an invited comment from the President, he emphatically stated that he was very grateful to his attorney Kissoon who stood by side from time investigations commenced to the proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court where Kissoon quickly secured his release on his own recognisance, to tirelessly representing his interests in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Kissoon had successfully obtained successive stays of the Magistrate’s Court proceedings pending the hearing of those civil matters, giving Ali room to campaign and contest the national elections, eventually resulting in him being elected President.

The Court of Appeal was scheduled to rule on an appeal filed by him Friday at 2.30 pm, but it unclear whether those proceedings will proceed in light of the dismissal.

President Ali also expressed gratitude to the Chief Magistrate for her swift and decisive action, and to the members of the judiciary who allowed him an opportunity to be fairly heard.

Finally, he thanked all of his supporters for their unyielding belief in his innocence and characterized the charges as “politically motivated and baseless”, amounting to nothing more than a transparent and poorly orchestrated and failed attempt to prevent him from ascending to the office of the President.

He expressed the hope that with the dismissal of the charges, the path would now be clear for him and the PPP Government to rapidly develop and unite Guyana for the benefit of all Guyanese.

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24th Jun 2020

Source: The St Kitts Nevis Observer THE Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), on Tuesday, ordered the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to halt the electoral process pending its decision on whether or not the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to interpret… Read more

Source: The St Kitts Nevis Observer

THE Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), on Tuesday, ordered the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to halt the electoral process pending its decision on whether or not the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to interpret Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution to mean “more valid votes are cast.”

The March 2 poll has yet to be decided after a recount revealed the opposition coalition the winner…But this has been challenged by GECOM which claims 25 percent of the votes cast were not valid, giving the ruling coalition the win.

In the appeal filed by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo and its Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali, the CCJ ordered that: “The Guyana Elections Commission and its officers and agents take no step to prejudice the fair hearing of this Application including but not limited to issuing a declaration of the results of the elections held on 2nd March 2020, until this Court issues final orders following the hearing and determination of the questions raised before this Honourable Court in the said Application.”

The Order was handed down by a panel of judges led by President of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders in the case – Mohammed Irfaan Ali and Bharrat Jagdeo v Eslyn David, the Chief Elections Officer and others.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ali and Jagdeo, through their attorneys Trinidad Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes and Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall – had applied for special leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in the CCJ with the intention of having it struck out. The Court of Appeal’s decision was handed down on Monday, however, it agreed to stay its order for a period of three days based on a request by Attorney-at-Law Kashir Khan, who was representing Change Guyana and Citizenship Initiative in the original case brought by David.

While the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams had contended the decision of the Court of Appeal could not have been appealed at the level of the CCJ in light of the fact that the Caribbean Court of Justice Act, Chapter 3:07 limits the appellate jurisdiction of the Court in Section 4 (3), the CCJ relied on Section 8 of the Caribbean Court of Justice Act, Cap 3:07 of the Laws of Guyana to issue its orders.

The country’s apex court took into account its overriding objective, including its inherent power to actively manage cases and make orders as may be necessary to meet the ends of justice as stated in Rule 1.3 (2) of the Caribbean Court of Justice (Appellate Jurisdiction) Rules, 2019.

In addition to freezing the electoral process, the CCJ, ordered that case management be done on Thursday. It ordered that: “A Case Management Conference be held on Thursday 25th June 2020 at 3:00 pm via video conference pursuant to Part 8.2(f) of the Caribbean Court of Justice (Appellate Jurisdiction), Rules 2019 with a view to a proposed hearing, to determine issues raised in the Application, on the 1 st day of July 2020 at 10:00 am via video conference.”

Hours after the application was filed on Tuesday, the CCJ, through its Deputy Registrar and Marshal, Gizel Thomas-Roberts had informed the parties in the case that an order would be handed down today.

“I have been instructed by the Bench to inform that the Court will no later than Wednesday 24th June, 2020 issue an Order that (a) maintains the status quo until further order; (b) orders the holding of a CMC (Case Management Conference) in this matter on Thursday 25th June, 2020 at 3:00pm with a view towards (c) a full hearing of all the matters in dispute on Wednesday 1st July, 2020 at 10:00am,” Thomas-Roberts said in a notice to parties involved. The Orders were subsequently issued.

Notably, while the Court of Appeal interpreted the Article 177 (2) (b) to mean “more valid votes are cast” and has since stayed its order, it was unable, due to its limited jurisdiction, to restrict the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, from submitting his Election Report. That Report was submitted to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh on Tuesday before the CCJ issued its order.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Chair of GECOM and her Attorney Kim Kyte-Thomas on Tuesday, PPP/C Attorney Devindra Kissoon asked the Elections Commission to hold its hands in light of the case filed by Ali and Jagdeo in the CCJ.

“In light of the pending appeal, we respectfully write this letter to request that you undertake to take no further steps in matters relating to the Regional and General Elections, including matters relating to the report of the Chief Elections Officer dated and submitted to GECOM today, June 23, 2020, until the matter is finally resolved by the CCJ,” Kissoon said in the letter.

The Elections Commission was expected to meet on Tuesday at 11:00hrs, however, its meeting was cancelled, to allow for the circulation of the written order and decision of the Court of Appeal among its members, and in light of the appeal filed in the CCJ.

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15th May 2020

Source: Kaieteur News On Wednesday, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) started to distribute the remainder of their severance payments to the former cane-cutters of Wales Estate, West Bank Demerara. This is according to a statement issued by… Read more

Source: Kaieteur News

On Wednesday, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) started to distribute the remainder of their severance payments to the former cane-cutters of Wales Estate, West Bank Demerara. This is according to a statement issued by the union yesterday.

It was revealed in the statement that the monies were withheld from the workers notwithstanding a decision of the High Court in their favour. In December, 2018, Justice Sandil Kissoon awarded one month’s pay in lieu of notice to the former Wales workers who took up work at Uitvlugt Estate following the closure of Wales Estate in December, 2016.

The union noted that this was apart from their severance entitlements, which are premised on their years of service to the sugar company. The union noted in its statement that, “The state-owned GuySuCo abided partially with the court’s order as it regarded the workers severance entitlements but refused to pay the workers, who were entitled, their one month’s pay. The union on two occasions early last year had written GuySuCo seeking its full compliance with Justice Kissoon’s decision.”

According to GAWU, notwithstanding the clarity of the court’s order, the GuySuCo remained adamant and refused to honour its legal obligations to the workers: “As a result of the Corporation’s apparent intransigence, the union, through its attorneys-at-law Devindra Kissoon and Natasha Vieira of London House Chambers, approached the High Court to have the outstanding section of Justice Kissoon’s decision enforced.”

That move saw Chief Justice (ag) Roxanne George-Wiltshire on November 21, last year, approving a garnishment order regarding the outstanding sum owed to the workers.
“Through the order, the corporation’s bankers – Demerara Bank Limited – was compelled to pay over to the union, on the workers behalf, the sum of $7.5M which was owed to the workers.”

However, the statement from the union said that the Corporation subsequently appealed the Chief Justice’s decision and when that matter came up for hearing earlier this year, the Corporation withdrew its appeal after its attorney learnt that the order was enforced and the appeal, therefore, became moot: “The withdrawal of the appeal by GuySuCo paved the way for the union to finally pay over to the workers their outstanding monies.”
According to the union, the workers were pleased to be receiving their outstanding payments and expressed their appreciation to the union for its sustained efforts to bring justice to them.

“They also lamented the seemingly arduous and long journey they had to endure to have their lawful rights respected. Indeed, the struggle of the sugar workers of the closed estates to receive their severance entitlements represents a sad chapter in our history but, at the same time, a proud achievement for workers’ rights. It also demonstrates too the obstacles workers have to surmount to having their rights respected and is yet another reminder of the need for workers to be organized lest their rights be disregarded,” the union noted in its statement.

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