Liberia’s Ebola Challenge and Opportunity: Research Toward a Vaccine

first_imgAs they used to say at Cuttington, when Walter Traub (now Dr. Gwenigale) was there, this is nothing short of “metaphysical” or “far-fetched.” But we at the Daily Observer strongly believe it is NOT: that it is decidedly DOABLE: Liberia should begin NOW the research toward finding a vaccine for Ebola.We admittedly do not have all the scientists in the world, but for starts, we have Dr. Gwenigale himself, Dr. Vuyu Golakai, a surgeon, Dr. Emmett Dennis, a microbiologist, Dr. Billy Johnson, a gynecologist and obstetrician with a PhD in Medicine, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, Dr. Sam Brisbane, Dr. Abraham Borbor and Dr. Roseda Marshall, Dr.  Lily Sanvee; Dr. Bankole Jarrett, Dr. Kate Bryant and her scientific sister Tidi Bryant, all three of whom, though now retired, still can help with their contacts in the United States; Dr. Varney Freeman, a surgeon; Dr. Jerome Washington, a heart specialist, Dr. Juliette Phelps Maxwell, a surgeon, Dr. James Elliott, Dr. T.K. Slewion, Dr. Adama Sirleaf and Dr. Estrada Bernard II,  all practicing in the USA; and all the other Liberian scientists and medical doctors practicing around the world, especially in the USA and Europe.These, we think, are a good start.  Dr. Gwenigale and Dr. Bernice Dahn, Liberia’s Health and Social Welfare Minister and Chief Medical Officer, respectively, and Dr. Johnson, Chief Medical Officer at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, should lead the charge.  They should consult with all our scientists on the ground, convene a retreat and put on paper a basic research design and circulate it to their colleagues around the world.  All Liberian scientists, wherever they are, would be interested and could grab the idea and go running with it, making contacts with their fellow scientists wherever they are, to help research this deadly disease toward developing a vaccine against it.The scientists at the Liberia Institute for Tropical Medicine (LITM) in Charlesville, near Roberts International Airport, would be a good place to start. As we have always said, MONEY is NOT the problem.  Long before one cent is raised, people want to see a concrete and challenging IDEA whose time has come.  If they are convinced that it is a worthy cause, they will find the money.  We are positive that the few Liberians with money, such as Bill Morris, Benoni Urey and Emmanuel Shaw; and George Soros (Open Society), Bill Clinton and Tony Blair–friends of Ellen, all–and philanthropists Bill and Malinda Gates, the Amazon and Google people and so many other wealthy and good-hearted ones, would heartily embrace this idea and help support it.The three monied Liberians mentioned–Morris, Urey and Shaw—could begin by financing and hosting the first retreat–probably at Cuttington, Du Side Hospital or some other appropriate venue, and contribute the seed money to start this important project.  The Daily Observer would be happy to provide all the necessary publicity and promotion for the project idea.Others, seeing that we have cast our buckets where we are, would join in and help carry the idea forward.We pray that Drs. Gwenigale, Johnson, Dahn and all our other scientists on the ground would put aside whatever doubts and fears that may arise, embrace this idea and start the ball rolling.  As mentioned earlier, this idea is NOT far-fetched; it is decidedly DOABLE.Once we start, scientists in Guinea, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where Ebola started, will join in.Let us seize the initiative NOW, rather than wait for others to do what at least we can START doing for ourselves!Here, meanwhile, is an opportunity to develop a data base of ALL Liberian scientists in the USA, Europe and elsewhere who we are sure would welcome the idea to come forward and do something good for Africa.  We call upon Drs. Bryant, Jarrett, Washington and Phelps-Maxwell, Elliott, Slewion, Bernard II and Adama Sirleaf, all of whom are in the USA, to begin now putting together the Liberian scientists’ data base.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What Is Ellen up to?—A Descent to the Tubman Days Is not Possible

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Seirleaf seems to be in desperation at this time.  This first elected  woman President of an African country, whom the world embraced as non other since Nelson Mandela, is asking the Liberian Legislature to give her more emergency powers than even President W.V.S. Tubman, the benevolent  dictator, did not have.The President wrote a letter dated October 2, 2014 to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, calling on the National Legislature to grant her extraordinarily sweeping powers including, can you believe it? the suspension of Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution. Article 1 is the very heart and soul of the Constitution.  Without it, there is no constitution.  Without it, Liberia would descend into a dictatorship or one-person rule.We are positive that this is not what the President wants.It is Article 1 that states: “All power is inherent in the people.”  The word “inherent” means that this power is not given.  It comes naturally, is innate or inborn.  No one can take it away or  attempt to take it away.  The people are the source of all power in the land.So the President has asked the Legislature to do something that is beyond its authority; and something they are totally incapable of doing.In her letter, dated October 1, 2014, President Sirleaf asked the Legislature to “restrict/suspend certain fundamental rights of the Liberian citizens.  These fundamental rights include the suspension of several key and basic portions of the Constitution, including Article 1, Article 12 concerning labor services; Article 13, guaranteeing the free movement of what she called “certain individuals;” Article 14 which guarantees religious freedom; Article 15, which guarantees Freedom of speech and of the press; Article 17, which guarantees freedom of assembly; and Article 24, which guarantees every Liberian citizen the right to property.The Daily Observer immediately contacted the renowned constitutional and human rights lawyer, Counselor Tiawon Gongloe, and asked him to give his reflection on the President’s request to the Legislature.The first point he made was that the request is “belated.”  He cited Article 88 of the Constitution which states: “The President shall, immediately upon the declaration of a state of emergency, but not later than seven days thereafter, lay before the Legislature at its regular session or at a specially convened session, the facts and circumstances leading to such declaration.  The Legislature shall within seventy-two hours, by joint resolution voted by two-thirds of the membership of each house, decide whether the proclamation of a state of emergency is justified or whether the measures taken thereunder are appropriate. . .”Said Cllr. Gongloe, the President’s current request is belated, because she should have returned to the Legislature no later than seven days after August 7, 2014 when its granting of a state of emergency was announced (Daily Observer, August 7, 2014).The President having failed to abide by this constitutional provision, said Cllr. Gongloe, “cannot now come and ask the Legislature for new powers under this current state of emergency.”The second problem with the President’s October 1 request to the Legislature is that it is patently unconstitutional, said Cllr. Gongloe.  He quoted Article 87 of the Constitution which clearly states, “Emergency powers do not include the power to suspend or abrogate the Constitution, dissolve the Legislature or suspend or dismiss the Judiciary; and no constitutional amendment shall be promulgated during a state of emergency.”Several months ago this newspaper, the Daily Observer, asked editorially, who are the President’s advisors?  And we can most certainly ask now, in the wake of this current constitutional fiasco, who are her legal advisors.Given the glaring conflict between her request and what the Constitution says, it is clear that the President’s legal advisors did not do their homework—or did she consult with them or ask them their opinion at all?    We recall that the ruling True Whig Party’s rubber stamp Legislature, gave President Tubman perennial emergency powers.  That is how he became a “benevolent dictator.”  Liberia cannot and will not descend to the Tubman years.  The Liberian people have come too far to return to that.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

300 Finance, Planning Employees to Get ‘Severance Package’

first_imgMore than 300 employees of both the former Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs have applied for the ‘voluntary dismissal cash envelopes’, for fear of not being hired in the ongoing recruitment exercise of the newly merged “Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).”According to reports, the annoyed and anxious   employees were seen queueing for the application forms for what is termed as the Voluntary Separation Package (VSP), which were being issued from the 1st to the 12th December.Two male employees, who requested not to be named, said a majority of effected staff was interested in the VSP offer because that severance package was more than the CSA Severance Package for those who applied for positions and do not get selected, they claimed.They said the amount of US$7,500 is allocated for all staff that have earned a minimum of a college degree, and US$5,000 for all staff who do not have a college degree. According to the two men, these amounts are higher than the CSA Severance Package, details of which they did not disclose.Unconfirmed reports say the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Liberia has urged the MFDP to “reasonably increase the dismissal package” to be commensurate with the years of service of the employees, and also to consider the state of the country’s economy.It may be recalled that the MFDP Minister, Mr. Amara Konneh, as of Monday, December 1, launched the VSP for all employees who are not interested or are afraid to reapply for positions in the ongoing recruitment exercises for the newly merged Ministry.Accordingly, the VSP was set up to ensure the fulfillment of the goal of the “Organogram” of the Ministry which stipulates the employment of a total of 675 personnel at the end of the recruitment process in February 2015.The Organogram is part of the plan of the MFDP to recruit civil servants for the newly merged Ministry.A memorandum from Minister Konneh, dated November 18, 2014, with the objective of Transitional Updates, says the VSP being offered was still in the making. “As was indicated then and now reiterated, the VSP is simply an offer of first choice to all staff and no staff is compelled to take up this offer. All staff still interested can contact the Transition Information Center on the ground floor of MFDP,” the memo said.It added: “All staffs are encouraged to participate in the internal recruitment process for the various positions as they are advertised. Staff that apply for positions and do not get selected will only benefit from the CSA Severance Package.”When contacted, the Media Services Officer at the MFDP, Patience Senbeni, declined to comment but referred our reporter to the Human Resource Manager, Madam Comfort E. Elliot.“The best place to get information on the Voluntary Separation Package is the Human Resource Department,” Ms. Senbeni said.Madam Elliot, on being contacted, also declined to comment, and referred our reporter to the Coordinator of the Transitional Information Center, Mrs. Findley.But Madam Elliot confirmed receiving the last package of the applicants over the weekend.“I am not clothed with the authority to give you the exact number of persons who applied, but I can say we received the last package of our applicants on Friday,” Director Elliot said. “You can direct that question to the Transitional Information Center on the ground (floor),” Madam Elliot told our reporter.Interestingly, when our reporter went to Mrs. Findley, she, too, directed our reporter back to Madam Elliot or the Deputy Minister for Administration, Mr. Edward Eesiah.However, re-contacting Madam Elliot as well as Deputy Minister Esiah proved futile over the weekend on the excuse that they were in “meetings.”Meanwhile, 25 new directors have already been recruited by the MFDP as part of its hiring process. The directors recently underwent training at the Liberia Institution of Professional Administration (LIPA).One of the recruits for Media Services, Zoegar Q. Jaynes, a former journalist, died a few weeks ago.The hiring of Assistant Directors and Supervisors are expected to be released soon, followed by senior officers, economists, analysts and other staff at various levels.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Miller requests time to pay farmers

first_imgLeguan rice farmers court caseRice farmers living on the Essequibo Island of Leguan are expected to begin garnering earnings over the next several months, after almost two years of not receiving full payments for their paddy.Arjune Raghuber had noted that he was owed some $350,000 by the rice millerAccording to reports reaching Guyana Times, the proprietor of Leguan Rice Mill Inc has promised to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to rice farmers on the island.The rice miller’s commitment comes in light of a High Court battle between him and the Leguan farmers; all parties involved have faced challenges since the collapse of the PetroCaribe Venezuela rice deal last year.According to information reaching this publication, the miller, who is the defendant, asked to be granted a six-month period to pay off the farmers.<<>> was also told that the miller intends to pay $2000 per bag of paddy. However, rice farmers on the island have noted that their prior agreement with the miller was $3000 per bag.Young rice farmer Mahendra Tularam had called for the enforcement of the Rice Producers ActThe majority of farmers have rejected the $1000 decrease, while a few others are reportedly contemplating accepting the reduced offer.This newspaper understands that failure to pay off the farmers will result in the proprietor of Leguan Rice Mill Inc being issued with a $2 million levy.The miller had contended that farmers were not paid as a result of the difficulties rice millers were also facing.On March 1, the rice miller had opined that if the Venezuela oil for rice deal had continued, the industry would have stood a better chance, as millers would have more funds in their coffers and farmers would have received their payments.At that time, however, this publication was informed that despite the many complaints, millers did have some success in finding alternative markets for the rice to be sold. The miller had, however, observed that more assistance should have come from Central Government.Meanwhile, the Leguan rice farmers have been adamant that they must be paid for their produce. They had appealed to the Rice Producers Association and the Agriculture Ministry, through its Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) sub-agency, but to no avail.In fact, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder had suggested that the non-payment issue is a matter that should be sorted out between rice farmers and their respective millers.During an earlier visit to Leguan,<<>>was told that depleted rice acreage by the then existing El-Niño weather patterns, coupled with the non-payment by millers had forced many farmers to withdraw money from their savings, while others had no choice but to sell-off significant portions of their livestock.One farmer, Arjune Raghuber, had revealed that the miller owed him $350,000, while 29-year-old MahendraTularam claimed that he was owed $730,000.Tularam had called for the enforcement of the Rice Factory Act which he opined was in place to compel millers to pay what was owed to farmers.He further explained that millers should pay half of the money to farmers within two weeks, while the rest should be paid in 42 days.last_img read more

Legal Clerk accuses Police Constable of assault

first_imgA Legal Clerk on Saturday reached out to this publication alleging that he was assaulted by a Police Constable attached to the Leonora Police Station, West Coast Demerara.Mike Jaundoo, 32, of 2134 Phase 2 Westminster, Parfait Harmony, West Bank Demerara related to Guyana Times a series of events that led to his claim; he has since lodged a report at the Leonora Police Station.According to Jaundoo, on July 7 he was involved in an accident where his vehicle was badly damaged by a man identified only as Sukhoo.A woman, Malika Ramsay, was also involved in the accident. Following the smash-up, Sukhoo, who was at fault, promised to have both Jaundoo’s and Ramsay’s vehicles repaired.However, this promise was never fulfilled in Jaundoo’s case. As such, the man visited Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine and was sent to the now Divisional Commander of Division D (West Demerara-East Bank Essequibo) Leslie James at the La Grange Police Station.Corporal Bridglall was given the task of looking into the matter when Jaundoo visited La Grange, however the Corporal was later transferred to Leonora, and the matter was being dealt with there.Jaundoo explained that Sukhoo was arrested and he was summoned to the Leonora Police Station where he was told the matter will be settled.While there, Jaundoo said that he was approached by the Constable who “threw remarks” which he did not take seriously, as the Constable is known to him for the past 16 years.Following an exchange of words, Jaundoo claims he was attacked and thrown to the ground and was dealt several kicks and cuffs about his body by the Constable. He was able to escape, seeking refuge in the Commander’s office.The matter was reported and Jaundoo was sent for medical attention.The man claims that he was attacked by the Constable because of an old grievance.He is calling for justice as nothing has been done for him since the incident which took place in front of his nine-year-old daughter and wife.This publication contacted the Leonora Police Station but all calls went unanswered.Attempts were also made to contact Commander Leslie James, but this too proved futile.last_img read more

LBA Agrees: Congress before Elections

first_imgNow the right thing must be done to cool all hearts. And Liberia Basketball Association President Rufus Anderson has agreed to do just that.Hence, the January 28 date set for the elections for the leadership of the association has been scrapped.Information reaching the Daily Observer yesterday with stakeholders and the administration, with the Liberia National Olympic officials ended with Anderson administration agreeing to do things right.“Mr. Brown recommended to the administration to scrap the January 28 elections,” said an insider who was at the meeting, “and take necessary measures to promote goodwill.”President Anderson accepted the recommendation to carry out the necessary things, he said. “There will be a new date, after Congress.”“At the Congress the administration is expected to outline its activities for the last four years,” he added.The Anderson administration will also provide a financial report, explaining what funds were received from either the private or government; how much was spent and what contracts were signed.The next step, he said, “will be the setting up of an Independent Elections Commission.”The Commission, without the administration’s influence, “will then produce guidelines about eligibility for interested candidates for the various positions.”The LNOC is the mother body to all federations and associations and it has major influence upon them.“The LNOC sponsors periodic clinics to develop athletes and coaches as well as officials,” admitted another observer who was at the meeting, “and hence its officials are very straightforward when it comes to proper administration.”Until the cancellation of the elections yesterday, the Liberia Basketball Association had released detailed guidelines, including fees for positions from president (U$500); vice presidents for administration and operations, (U$400 each); treasurer, (U$300); Financial Secretary, (U$300) and chaplain (U$200).“It was not released by an elections commission,” the Daily Observer was told yesterday, “and as a result it was clear that some club members would be unhappy.”Though the guidelines emanated from the LBA, they quoted in several places election rules by the Federation of the International Basketball Association, (FIBA).It was learned that 14 third division basketball teams, including Destiny Kings, Star 1, Island Clippers, Bong Shooters, Island Calves, Buchanan Braves, Harbel Tappers and Mamba Point Legends did not take part in last season’s league.“Surprisingly,” another insider hinted, “they were qualified to vote despite being irregulars.”The cancellation of the January 28th election may be a major blow to incumbent Rufus Anderson whose administration has already seen a crack in its unity, with its financial secretary claiming financial impropriator.“It means that eligibility status will be announced by the future Elections Commission and not the LBA as it was done,” our source said. Now with a new eligibility status, it means the surprise that the administration had expected can no longer hold.And this provides other candidates who were apparently told were ineligible another opportunity to join the race.“As far as I’m concerned,” said one club president, “we are aware of those who are capable to lead the LBA and therefore it does not make sense to introduce rules to deny potential candidates a chance to give their support to basketball.”This is so because, like football, basketball owners are simply investing their resources in players without returns for their investment. “We must welcome those who are desirous to see a better basketball,” he said.Another added, “We love the game and want to make sure that it survives and develops to take its proper place in Liberia.”That sounds interesting, but with Anderson not ready to go down so easily, the new rules or eligibility and internal discontent may prove his undoing in the end.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

A PAGE FROM HISTORY: EATING DUMBOY IN LIBERIA IN THE 1800s

first_imgMy attention was drawn to a story in an 1870 Liberian newspaper.  It was about festivities marking the thirty-seven anniversary of the British abolition of slavery in the West Indies (or Caribbean).  Indeed, this was a historic day.  Five years earlier 346 men, women, and children from Barbados had disembarked in Liberia, beneficiaries of the abolition.  That small group would nurture two presidents, Arthur Barclay and his nephew Edwin Barclay. For me, however, the climax of the story was the dumboy some attendants ate in Virginia en route to Clay-Ashland for the celebration.  According to the narrative, the dumboy was “excellent . . . healthy, harmless and nutritious . . . relished by all classes, high and low, rich and poor.”As an occasional dumboy-eater, I was excited not because of the supposed wholesomeness of this starchy paste and peppery soup; this is a topic for another day. Rather, the story whetted my appetite for culinary history.  Who ate the dumboy nearly 150 years ago, and what is its origin?The dumboy was eaten (swallowed to be precise) by women and men in the home of Mr. Isaac Capehart.  Not much is mentioned about their backgrounds, especially the females who are identified simply by the names of their spouses.  The list reads as follows: “Mrs. President Roye, Mrs. Benson, widow of the late lamented Ex-President Benson, Mrs. S. C. Blyden, consort of the distinguished Professor of Languages in Liberia College (i.e., Edward W. Blyden, later president of Liberia College), Professor Martin H. Freeman of Liberia College, and the Commissioner of Education, the Rev. G. W. Gibson” (likely Liberia’s 1900-1904 president); also partaking in the meal, was the anonymous author.These were obviously Americo-Liberians or descendants of the free black Americans who founded Liberia in 1822 and ruled exclusively until 1980.  More importantly, they represented the elite of Liberian society.  I will add another notable to the list.  I subsequently discovered that the preeminent Joseph J. Roberts, Liberia’s founding father (also president of Liberia College) ate dumboy as well.  In his 1859 letter, Roberts indicated that he enjoyed “dumb-bay” as he called it, “with a hearty good will.”Apparently, these dumboy-swallowers were well familiar with this recipe.  For example, the story stated that the dumboywas “nicely prepared by Mrs. Capehart” and   furthermore that “dumboy is associated with pleasant reminiscences to residents of this country . . . Liberians would not exchange it (i.e., dumboy) for any two or three of the best foreign dishes.”So far, there is scant evidence on the origin of dumboy.  Nonetheless, an excerpt from the 1866 Liberian Herald newspaper reported that “dumboy” was a modified version of the Bassa word “dorbouy,” a compound of dor, which stands for mortar and bouy, meaning cassava.  Together, they form “mortared-cassava,” or cassava pounded in a mortar. This translation still holds true, a reminder that languages change very slowly.  It appears that the variation in pronunciation from dorbouy to dumboy coincided with the arrival of the English-speaking black Americans. Anglicization, however, did not alter the technology of making dorbuoy or its recipe; it still was (and continues to be) dorbouy, i.e., cassava pounded in a mortar.  Did the Bassa invent dorbuoy or borrow the recipe?  One may never know, as the African Coast is historically noted for starchy dishes.  In Liberia, for example, besides dumboy there is Deepor (by the Dei?) made from dried-cassava flour; other examples are Ivory Coast’s fufu, Ghana’s Akankye, and DR Congo’s Ugali.  In any case, cassava, which is also the key ingredient in most of the above starchy dishes, was neither indigenous to Liberia nor Africa. Cassava is a root crop from the Caribbean and South America.  It is also known as manioc, yucca and tapioca.  Cassava was among a number of crops including corn, sweet potatoes and ground-peas that Portuguese mariners transported to the African coast, beginning in the sixteenth century.  The introduced plants were intended to supplement the diet of the growing number of resident Europeans and Africans involved in the transatlantic slave trade. These transplanted foods became part of what historians nowadays called the “Columbian Exchange,” i.e., foods, materials, and ideas that spread in the wake of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage to the so-called New World.  One part of that Exchange saw African plants like okra, African rice, benne-seed (or sesame) and plantain, also transferred to the New World via slave ships returning with enslaved Africans.  Through trade with the Europeans, the Bassa, along with other coastal Africans, obtained the New World foods.Cassava was well established on the Grain Coast, or present Liberia, when the black Americans landed.  For example, in 1822, Agent Jehudi Ashmun wrote of obtaining cassava from “Grand Bassa.” Other littoral inhabitants, like the Dei, Kru, and Vai, must have been familiar with this tuber prior to 1822 as well.  It is not known as yet when cassava spread to the Liberian interior.  But in 1858, Liberian explorer George Seymour wrote that cassava was cultivated in “Pessay (Kpelle) Country,” about 100 miles in the interior of Grand Bassa (very likely Margibi and Bong Counties).  The Kpelle could have obtained cassava through their long interactions (some legendary) with the Bassa.  (Remember the old saying: “Zahngbah die Kpelle man wear trousers”?) Like many others, the Kpelle treat dumboy typically as a hungry food, consuming it mainly during the period of scarcity, from around August to October while awaiting the “new rice.”  The Ma/Dan “GB,” is testimony of the diffusion of cassava into their region. There are more questions about dumboy.  Research on this subject could shed further light on relationships between the various Liberian groupings of the period.  For example, since evidence abounds that Americo-Liberians tended to shun “native” culture, how did the former acquire the taste for dumboy?  Moreover, there is undisputed evidence in American studies that dumboy (and cassava) was alien to Americo-Liberians.  So, who taught them (e.g., Mrs. Capehart) to prepare this African dish? Finally, how did cassava diffuse beyond the coast?  Studies indicate that the introduction of sweet potatoes and cassava in Angola and Nigeria, for instance, resulted in social and demographic changes.  Did cassava do likewise here?  Culinary history can make a big contribution.(For references and questions, send email to allenulhist@gmail.com.)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Video of Lusignan prisoners participating in “dog fight” surfaces

first_imgAnother video has surfaced allegedly from the Lusignan lock-ups, this time showing inmates engaging in friendly spars referred to as “dog fights”.The fight which was captured on a smartphone was subsequently leaked to the media. Based on information received, the recording was done on Easter Monday. During the spar, the men described themselves as “Pit Bull”.One of the men with a makeshift leash tied around his neck pretending to be a pit bullActing Director of Prisons, Gladwyn Samuels, when contacted, told Guyana Times that he received the video on his mobile phone just before noon on Thursday and that the sender was requesting a comment on the issue.According to Samuels, upon receiving the disturbing video, he immediately launched an internal investigation into the matter.He explained that the “ring leader” of the gang has been isolated from the rest of the prisoners and that a Board of Inquiry (BoI) has been launched to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter.Just last month, another video gone viral from the same prison led to ranks of the Guyana Prison Service seizing a number of improvised weapons at the Lusignan Holding Bay.These weapons were made from fencing material and a pot cover. The cellphone used to record the video was also confiscated.That video featured three prisoners, two of whom are convicted while the other is on remand, who subsequently faced internal charges.Last year, video of prisoners at the New Amsterdam Prison, who had been remanded for serious offences surfaced, raising new concerns about the quality of supervision and security within the facility.At that time, Head of State David Granger expressed worry about the recent Mother’s Day ‘bash’ that featured prisoners sporting high-priced liquor and narcotics.The video, which was secured and seen by this publication, showed some of the same prisoners featured in photos shared on social media not only drinking alcoholic beverages but smoking marijuana and sporting a significant amount of cash.In one clip, a prisoner was filmed counting at least 12 single $5000 bills as he placed them on a plate that was filled with what appeared to be cannabis and other prohibited substances.Another clip showed the prisoners boasting about the “sweet life” that they are enjoying despite the fact that many of these very men were awaiting trial for grave breaches of the law, including rape, murder, robbery under arms, simply larceny and gun-related offences.last_img read more

Kwizera scores late as Rayon hold Gor Mahia

first_img0Shares0000Gor Mahia forward Ephraim Guikan controls the ball under pressure from a Rayon Sport defender during their CECAFA Kagame Cup game at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on July 1, 2018NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1- Skipper Pierre Kwizera scored in the 89th minute as Rwandese champions Rayon Sport rallied from two goals down to hold record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia to a 2-2 draw in their opening game of the CECAFA Kagame Cup in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Sunday.K’Ogalo looked to be on their way to victory after Jacques Tuyisenge and Humphrey Mieno scored in the first half both off Ephraim Guikan assists, but the Rwandese champions came off better in the second half and rallied for a point. Malian forward Ismaila Diarra pulled one back from the penalty spot before Kwizera popped up with the equalizer just a minute to full time.Head coach Dylan kerr fielded his strongest squad for the tie, only switching in defense where Charles Momanyi started ahead of Joash Onyango while at right back, Innocent Wafula was preferred for Philemon Otieno who was rested.-Gukian assistsEphraim Guikan, handed the duty of filling the boots left by Meddie Kagere who left the club for Tanzania’s Simba showed he is just about doing that when he laid in the assist for the opener.His good work on the ball saw him earn space and slice a low cross which was duly tapped home by Tuyisenge. He created the second goal in same fashion, this time Mieno doing the duty of directing the ball on target.However, Gor seemed to have faded off in the second half and the Rwandese took advantage, Diarra who had missed an open chance in the first half scoring from the spot after Mieno’s handball in the 63rd minute.They kept on the pressure and it bore fruit in the sunset minutes of the game when Kwizera finished off an assist from Kevin Muhire to share the spoils.Gor must now win their second group match on Tuesday against Burundi’s Lydia Ludic to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more