THE Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has threatened to take legal action if Trevor Benn, Chairman of the Acting Management Committee (IMCC) of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU), is not removed from office before April 11 of the GPSCCU . , 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
GPSU President Patrick Yarde on Wednesday said the above request was made by GPSU members to the Chief Development Cooperative Officer (CCDO) at the Ministry of Labor on Tuesday. Yarde told the Guyana Chronicle that several members of the GPSU and GPSCCU are calling for Benn to be dismissed as chairman at the highly-anticipated AGM, in light of the criminal charges against him that are currently garner the attention of the court. Benn, a former Commissioner and CEO of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), was taken to court for misconduct on a public office charge in connection with alleged illegal leasing of State lands.
The call for Benn’s removal comes just days before the Credit Union AGM on April 11, 2021, which will elect management committee members. Yarde believes that Benn should not be allowed to oversee the election, as it would throw “bad light” on the entire Credit Union. In their letter to the governing body, GPSU and GPSCCU members said: “The co-operative laws state that a person convicted by the court should not be on the Credit Union Management Committee. However, based on the seriousness of the allegations concerning Mr Benn, the expectations of Credit Union members that the CCDO would have been professional in the decision-making process and dismiss Mr Benn as Chair of the Interim Management committee. . ”
The last elected management committee of the GPSCCU was sacked on May 26, 2018, and replaced by IMC by Chief Cooperative Development Officer Perlina Gifth.
It was reported that the IMC had listed the credit union, due to the alleged mismanagement by Yarde and others. Under the previous administration of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC), the Ministry of Social Protection had said that it was very disappointed with the conduct and conduct of the credit union Management Committee, to the extent that it age accused of acting against the interests of its members and the principles of prudent management styles.
In a statement issued back in July 2017, the ministry’s Labor Department had stated that over 14,000 GPSCCU members had not received dividends for a number of years, due to the institution’s inability, and in some respects, apparent refusal to maintain AGM.
An AGM is usually held upon completion of the Association’s Audit of Accounts, in accordance with the Provisions and Regulations as contained in the Cooperative Laws Act, Chapter 88:01, Guyana Laws.
In the meantime, Yarde believes the IMC had plans for committee elections April 21, 2021, as it had used the COVID-19 pandemic as a shield to implement systems that would guarantee a victory for its members at the upcoming event. .
Yarde said the IMC had introduced electronic voting, which, in its view, would disenfranchise many voters who may not have access to electronic devices, or even the Internet to exercise their right to vote. He further highlighted that before the GPSCCU used to pay the cost of its members traveling to its Hadfield Street headquarters to cast their vote, it would not be done this time.