AFC’s Cathy Hughes has no grounds for criticism of gov’t – Min McCoy

Chairperson of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Cathy Hughes, has been lambasted for what has been described as her baseless criticism of government’s newly introduced electronic identification system.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, called out the former Minister of Public Telecommunications for her criticism of a legal process while reaping private benefits from government contracts during her time in office.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy

Recently, government signed a US$35.4 million contract with a German-based company, Veridos Identity Solutions, for the implementation of the national electronic Identification (ID) Card.

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, assured that the contract was signed in accordance with the local laws.

Responding to criticism from the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), the senior finance minister emphasised that the claims made by the organisation have no basis, positing that, “The contract with Veridos was lawfully executed, with an internationally reputable group, and is intended to deliver a product that will transform citizen experience in Guyana with the introduction of the integrated electronic national identification card. Once introduced, the card will enable citizens to interact with all government agencies and many private sector entities using this single unique and secure identifier, and will vastly improve the efficiency of service delivery to citizens.”

Meanwhile, Minister McCoy reminded that this system will bring monumental benefits to Guyanese, taking the economy to new heights in terms of modernisation.

The public affairs minister highlighted that there are public reports with supporting evidence of the former minister’s private company receiving millions in contracts from government through her ministry.

The statement reads: “There are many more corrupt deals in which she was implicated in. Therefore, Cathy is morally bankrupt and unfit to address issues of governance.”

Further, it was recalled that the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector was stalled under the coalition administration, a process that was accelerated and achieved when the PPP/C Government assumed office.

“The ambition, like all of the other members of the APNU/AFC, is to scuttle projects of the PPP/C by requesting information, and then using the information which is shared in the spirit of transparency, to extort stakeholders in the project,” the statement continued.

Minister McCoy added that such was the case with the Amaila Falls Hydropower project, which was stymied by the APNU+AFC government in parliament, while they discreetly sought and benefitted from contracts to represent the developer.

“The PPP/C Government will continue to fight off aggressively any of the Cathys of this world and any attempt to castigate us as being anything other than a government that is genuinely and sincerely working for the betterment and advancement of the country.”