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Postby duay7t15f » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:55 pm

More than a dozen professionals would be on the breadline after Government’s decision to shut down the operations of the Guyana Elections Commission’s Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) this month end.This was talked about a few months ago. Rumours abounded of the imminent closure of the unit for quite some time but it was only recently that confirmation came.A well placed source in the MMU confirmed that staff members were informed of the move when Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM),Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, Dr Steve Surujbally,Wholesale China Jerseys, met with the staff at their Church Street office on Tuesday morning.Dr. Surujbally had written to Office of the President,Cheap Soccer Jerseys For Sale, outlining compelling reasons why the MMU should not be disbanded. He pointed out that the Unit enjoyed adequate funding from the donor agencies with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) being the coordinator. Even this explanation failed to convince the powers that be to retain the services of the staff of the unit.While the MMU is part of the autonomous GECOM, international funding such as that being provided by the UNDP is subjected to negotiation and approval by the Guyana Government.A spokesperson said that the UNDP has allocated funding towards the unit until 2011. “Unavailability of funds cannot be the primary reason for this closure; there is a more ominous agenda,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping,” a source announced.“The donor agencies have already approved the funds but it is apparent that government officials have already decided on their course of action,” said the source who requested anonymity.This view was confirmed by a well placed source within GECOM who said that the move to pull the plug came as a surprise, especially since approval was earlier given by government to continue with the arrangement up to 2011 which would have completed the UNDP project cycle. “The reason for the closure may have been authentic but one becomes suspicious when it is noted that the decision to discontinue operations is recanted in 2010, one year before the specified life of the project cycle and also when elections are due,” the source revealed.Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM),Cheap Soccer Jerseys, Vishnu Persaud, confirmed that instructions have been handed down to close the Unit by July 31.“The project was implemented in 2006 to facilitate a peaceful and stable political environment. There was no definitive life to the project and the staff was operating on a contractual basis with a clause to terminate by way of notice by either party,” Persaud confirmed.He did not elaborate on the time factor pertaining to the delivery of notices but intimated that the MMU was contrived on a short-term basis. Persaud further said that as far as he knew the unit was never intended to be a long-term project and was supposed to be closed after 2006 elections.The PRO (GECOM) admitted that the donor agencies saw great value in the work being done by the staff of the MMU and were willing to continue with the initial funding arrangement. However, he pointed out that because of the bilateral agreement between the government and the donor agents both parties would have to agree on a common way forward. He said that he could not give a definitive reason for the decision to close the unit.Most of the displaced staff members are highly qualified people,NFL Jerseys Authentic, with three members having Masters degrees in diverse areas ranging from mass communications to law, while several others are graduates of the University of Guyana, with diplomas and degrees.Quizzed on the possibility of additional employment for the displaced staff,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, Persaud confirmed that such an arrangement is being considered.“Government has kept its end of the bargain and consideration would have been given to additional employment but all staff knew of the termination clause,” he said.A source close to the MMU staff said that while they were aware of the termination clause in the contract, they would have expected a more humanitarian approach to the issue. “At least we could have been given some time to put our lives in order.”
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