Alone bandit brandishing a cutlass broke into several homes in Upper Corentyne, Berbice over the weekend.Reports are the man broke in to three homes at Number 45 and 46 Villages and attempted to enter a fourth where an elderly couple lives.The first incident occurred about 22:30h on Saturday at a home in Number 45 Village. After gaining entry by forcing open a window, the man ransacked the family’s kitchen and escaped with valuables.Moments later, he went to the home of Melessa Narine of Lot 13 Number 45 Village. At the time, the seven months pregnant Narine was asleep. The woman woke up after she felt a cold object at her neck and the glare of lights on her face. The intruder, who was wearing one of her maternity dresses and had a towel over his head, held a cutlass to her neck, she recalled, and demanded money and jewellery.Narine told this publication that she attempted to escape after handing over $22,200, a gold chain and a gold ring. She explained that she watched the bandit pick up her bicycle and ride out of the yard.According to Narine, when she went outside she discovered her car was broken in to, but the intruder was unable to escape with it since the battery was disconnected.Shortly after that incident, Somwattie Pertab, 77, and her 79-year-old husband, Pertab Rameshar, heard strange sounds in their home.Pertab told this publication that her husband recommended that she turn on the exterior light and remain quiet. She explained that after switching on the light, the sound stopped and shortly after she raised an alarm.This alerted neighbours who rushed to their assistance and they discovered that attempts were made to open a window on the lower flat of the two-storey house. The would-be intruder left behind a towel which he had used to attempt to hold the window open.Meanwhile, at Number 46 Village, Kerpal Dammar said he saw a strange bicycle parked on the road in front of his yard which was something unusual at that time. “The bicycle look like a new bicycle.”The licensed firearm holder noted that he loaded his gun and waited to see who would be coming for the bicycle, as his dogs barked continuously. Ten minutes later, a man dressed in black was seen walking along the side of his yard. “He had nothing in his hands, so I decided not to shot at him, but to fire a warning shot to see if he would surrender. He did not surrender, so I fired three more rounds in the air. From there, he ran and picked up the bicycle and rode away.”Businessman kerpal Dammar fired four warning shotsDammar, who operated a trucking service, said they gave chase but only found some female clothing the man was wearing at the time.He then discovered that the entire lower flat of his home was ransacked. Sweets and chocolate were removed from a bus which was parked under his house.A bag with $8000 worth of textbooks was also stolen. “He mix tea and he drink and he eat biscuits and I had apples and grapes in the fridge and he eat out all. In the cupboard, I had two bottles of pepper sauce and I still don’t know why he took the pepper sauce,” the businessman said. The Police were alerted and are investigating.
…PPP’s 45,000 margin equals 9 seatsEven though the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has filed a no- confidence motion against the Government, the Party believes the coalition’s losses at the Local Government Elections (LGE) are the public’s own vote of no confidence.In an interview with Guyana Times, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo explained that his party has observed the dissatisfaction of the people, and as such, took action as the people’s representatives. “People spoke about this. They’re very dissatisfied, through the election results,” Jagdeo said. “And we’re just bringing that dissatisfaction, their voice, to the National Assembly, to say to the Government we’re dissatisfied with the direction the country is going in.”“So win or lose, the country will benefit from this. Because it will force this Government to sit up and take notice that we are unhappy with the visionless policies that they’re practising and that they’re harming our future,” he added.Jagdeo had first announced the no-confidence motion during his Thursday press conference right after it was clear that the people had repudiated the coalition Government. The next day, the scheduled sitting of the National Assembly was abruptly cancelled at Government’s request and the Opposition turned up to an empty chamber. At the half empty Parliament chambers, he reiterated some of his expectations regarding the motion.“We have already succeeded, by filing this motion and getting this Government to sit up and notice these issues we are dissatisfied with. And we believe this will force them, if the PPP fails to secure the majority in the house, to take cognisance of the reasons why we are filing the no-confidence motion. And it will force them to bring a better budget… We’d like to see the restoration of the children grant. The same money they’ve increased food in Government by, they can give the children the $10,000 grant. It’s a matter of priorities. They should restore water subsidies for pensioners. reverse the VAT on electricity, water, medical supplies, food, and machinery,” he added.Jagdeo had noted that some other measures he wants the Government to take is to reduce excise taxes, reverse the increases in land fees for Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary (MMA) farmers… increases the farmers have still been unable to meet.Better governanceIn a published advertisement, the PPP went into further details on their reasons for filing the motion, and which were the concrete reasons for the peoples’ rejection of the People’s National Congress-led coalition. It pointed to the thousands of jobs that have been lost as a result of the closure of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates.In addition, the Party referred to the various scandals that have erupted under the Administration. They include the single sourcing of the feasibility contract for the new Demerara River crossing, the single sourcing of a drugs bond and the single sourcing of drug procurement contracts.The Party noted the numerous breaches of fiscal laws flagged by the Audit Office of Guyana in its reports, as well as the lack of accountability in the D’Urban Park project; something even the Auditor General had to launch a special probe into.The depletion of Guyana gold and foreign reserves was also highlighted. In fact, a report from the Central Bank earlier this year had indicated that Guyana’s net foreign reserves, held by the Bank in foreign currency notes; has fallen to its lowest point since 2008.Tax collection has increased dramatically; a point alluded to by the Party. This publication had reported findings from the recently released 2017 Auditor General report, which had showed that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) collected more taxes than was even anticipated.In the End of Year Budget and Reconciliation Report, it noted that the projected revenue for 2017 was $186 billion. Instead, Government actually collected $195 billion in current revenue. This includes duties, levy, personal income and withholding taxes.Court settlements since the coalition Government took office were also zeroed in on by the Party. The Attorney General’s Chambers has come under much criticism for not being able to secure success for several cases against the State.Since taking office, in addition to losing cases, Government has opted to enter into out-of-court settlements. These settlements included sums to the tune of US$5.7 million; $226 million and $3.8 billion.Following the motion, the Government side gathered on Friday afternoon for a meeting chaired by Prime Minister and acting President Moses Nagamootoo to discuss the move.The postponed sitting has meanwhile been rescheduled for Monday.