…urges Finance Minister to release funds in timely mannerAs 2019 comes to an end, Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission on Friday met with President David Granger to brief him on their state of preparedness, where funding for the polls was also put on the frontline.Finance Minister Winston JordanSome $8 billion was approved for the hosting of elections— to which a large fraction still remains unused.After leaving the Ministry of the Presidency, Opposition-nominated Commissioner Bibi Shadick explained that GECOM is on track with activities leading up to the March 2020 polls. She further went on to say that the Secretariat has sufficient funding for the entire process.“Just to ensure whether we’re on track with elections and we are. We have money but we just wanted to make sure that the Finance Minister will give the money when we ask for it in a timely manner,” she positioned.PPP-nominated GECOM Commissioner Bibi ShadickNevertheless, Government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander acknowledged that the availability of these resources will not be an issue.“We’re advised by the executives that that should not be a problem,” he told the media shortly after the engagement.Opposition-nominated Commissioner Robeson Benn added that mechanisms would be installed to ensure that the process for disbursing the monies will be done expeditiously when signalled by GECOM.“He (the President) was basically assured that we’re on line. There was the question of money. It was pointed out that the money should be available in any event and requests for any approvals through the Ministry of Finance should be dealt with expeditiously,” Benn informed.For this meeting, a plethora of senior Government ministers would have attended to hear the preparedness of GECOM and areas which were of concerns. But Finance Minister Winston Jordan, whose Ministry is responsible for supplying the resources, was absent.PPP-nominated Commissioner Robeson BennVoters’ listOn the issue of finalising the voters’ list, the Commissioners insisted that the Secretariat will continue to meet until there is a final decision. So far, officials of GECOM would have been meeting for several weeks with the hopes of reaching a consensus.“We have had not a detrimental delay, but some delays in terms of finalising the material for the revised list of voters. In an attempt to deal with that matter, we are meeting as necessary so we met today (Friday) and we’ll meet tomorrow,” Commissioner Alexander shared.Earlier this week, it was announced that over 6500 persons of the 16,863 ‘new’ registrants were not confirmed during the five-day field verification exercise which concluded last Sunday.Figures released to the media on Monday show that Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) had the highest number of unconfirmed persons, which tallied to 3657.According to GECOM, there were 16,863 ‘new’ registrants but only 10,329 were confirmed.Opposition-nominated Commissioner told this publication last week that field officers who conducted the verification exercise of “new registrants” captured during the scrapped House-to-House (H2H) Registration process have found empty lots at the addresses on record for those persons.He told <<< Guyana Times >>> that they were informed by the party’s scrutineers who worked along with the GECOM staff during the exercise that there were instances where they went to the addresses to verify the names and were met with empty lots.Benn indicated that the Commission had a meeting on Monday and they were updated on the five-day verification exercise. However, he said the information provided was not “very helpful”.Some 370,000 registrations obtained during the scrapped $3 billion H2H exercise, which ran from July 20 to August and was objected to by the Opposition, were sent overseas to be cross-matched with the National Register of Registrants Database (NRRD) in order to filter out the duplicates.However, it was recently reported that international digital security company, Gemalto, indicated that some 37,300 were new registrants who are eligible for voting, that is, they are above the age of 18. But an internal check conducted by GECOM showed that approximately 17,000 of those “new registrants” were already on the voters’ list and some even voted in the past.The remaining “new names” were up for further verification. Recently, it was reported that the Government-nominated Commissioners were pushing to have a sample survey done from a sample size of 10 per cent from the 20,000 to verify these new names before they go on the voters’ list – a process which the PPP Opposition had objected to.Last week, GECOM Chair Retired Justice Claudette Singh cast a tie-breaking vote to have a field verification exercise of all names listed as new registrants.
0Shares0000Boniface Oluoch training at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam in July 2017 before their friendly match against English side Everton FC. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30- Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has moved to defend goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch from the backlash he is facing following two mistakes that led to goals during their CAF Confederation Cup match against Tanzania’s Yanga in Dar es Salaam on Sunday night.Oluoch was at fault for the two goals Yanga scored, spilling the ball to the opponent’s feet in both occasions, but coach Kerr says the shot stopper should not be subjected to public stoning over the errors. “People are condemning Boni, I am not. Yes, it is a mistake and it happens, but he will learn from it. My goalkeeper makes two errors and everybody is on his neck. He makes several other brilliant saves and people are quiet. No one is even talking about the saves he made at 1-1 against AFC Leopards in the derby,” a furious Kerr told Capital Sport.He added; “His confidence is a bit low now but I have talked to him and I will continue keeping confidence in him. He is still my number one. He works very hard in training and well, we are not perfect. Mistakes are there,” Kerr further stated.Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr celebrates with goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch after their 2-0 win over Tanzania’s Simba SC in the SportPesa Super Cup final at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on June 10, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluGor though went on to hold on for the vital 3-2 win despite living dangerously in the final few minutes after Yanga scored their second.“We played very good football in the first half. The energy levels were outstanding and we were just brilliant. It ha snow become a routine playing like we do in training; the passing, the movement.. we were a different class. We should have had seven goals in the first half, “ Kerr quipped.The result, coupled with Rayon Sports’ 1-1 draw away to USM Alger in the second Group D fixture meant K’Ogalo move to the top of the standings heading into the penultimate round of fixtures.Gor Mahia will host Rayon Sport on August 19 in Nairobi while USM will be away to Yanga in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A point for Gor will prove to be enough to take them into the quarter finals for the first time ever.“We know it is just a point and we are through and that is what we are working on. But we are going for the full prize; three points. Rayon picked a point away in Algeria and they have a chance. They will come to Nairobi looking for three points to take them back up,” Kerr said.Gor Mahia’s Ephrem Guikan (2nd left) scores the Kenyan team’s second goal in the 4-0 victory over Young Africans of Tanzania on July 18“It will be tough in Algeria but we will also go in there for a win. It’s possible. If we do that, we top the pool. I have told these players that they have proved they are the best in Kenya and East Africa. They should now prove they are the best in Africa,” added the British tactician.Meanwhile, Gor jetted back to the country from Dar on Monday afternoon and their focus now swiftly rocks back to their Kenyan premier League campaign where their dominance has been so emphatic it is now a norm.K’Ogalo lead the standings with 52 points after 20 matches, a massive 12 points ahead of second placed Sofapaka and with four matches at hand. They will face Kariobangi Sharks in Kisumu.“We want to go 15 points clear and probably get done with the league early. It will not be easy though because Sharks just got beat over the weekend and will come in to get the three points. Our target is to go for a win and keep our run going,” the tactician added.He has hinted that he will make changes to the squad and might give his second string players an opportunity to play, same way he did against Posta Rangers in the FKF Shield where they ended up picking a routine 3-1 win.Eye on the ball: Gor Mahia’s Humphrey Ochieng controls the ball“We have to keep everyone fresh and now we have a squad whereby everyone is capable of going in and doing the job. We are also playing over the weekend against Nakumatt so we have to ensure everyone is fresh,” the coach added.Among the players who might be in line for a place in the weekend game against Nakumatt is right back Karim Nizigiyimana who might make his first appearance in almost a year after picking a nasty ankle ligament injury in Thika September last season.“Karim has been doing his rehab and training and he looks okay now. He will be ready for the Nakumatt game. He might get a few minutes,” the tactician added.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)