Adolescent mothers to be reintegrated into school system

first_img…over 6000 pregnancies recorded in 2 yearsAfter over one year of research and consultations, the National Policy for the Reintegration of Adolescent Mothers into the Formal Education System was on Monday released to the Education Ministry.UNICEF Representative Sylvie Fouet presenting the policy to Education Minister Nicolette HenryWith this initiative – that will be implemented soon – many adolescent mothers will be given an opportunity to complete their formal secondary education and the system will also be used as a preventative measure whereby stakeholders will be sensitized to ensure that the policy is effective.Present at the launch of the policy framework document was the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative, Sylvie Fouet, who highlighted that Guyana is second on the list for the highest number of teenage mothers in the Caribbean and Latin America, with about 97 births for every 1000 teenage girls. It is also in close range with The Dominican Republic which tops he list.Some alarming statistics according to her reveal that, “Teen pregnancy is about 20 to 22 per cent or about one out of five teenage girls below the age of 19.”Among the 15 factors that lead to teenage pregnancies as highlighted in the study, it was revealed that some of them include school dropouts, lack of knowledge and difficult relationships with parents and family members, poverty, incest, exploitation and sexual abuse.During interactions with teen mothers, most of them had thoughts of illegal abortion and abandoning their newborn child.Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson highlighted that unsuccessful attempts by the Education Ministry to bring awareness in the past could be blamed on the lack of a framework document to use as a guide when dealing with such situations.“A factor that must not be discounted is that many adolescent pregnancies maybe a consequence of forced sex, rather than consensual or risky sexual behaviour and therefore we have a responsibility to protect those girls.”Brief remarks were also given by Education Minister Nicolette Henry who noted that this is a way of modernising education in Guyana.“Teenage pregnancy is a complex issue which has multiple contributing factors that are common knowledge to many. It is a symptom of a bigger societal sickness. It is now just a health issue, but a development issue that is deep-rooted in poverty, gender inequality, violence, child forced marriages, and power imbalances between teenage girls and their partners,” she said.In 2015, some 3712 girls were reported pregnant while in 2016, a total of 3032 were recorded. In both cases, the age range was between 15 to19 years.last_img read more

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Curtains & Drapery Designs gives back to the community

first_imgOne of the beneficiaries of the W.R Goodwill Foundation outreach programmeThrough its foundation, the WR Goodwill Foundation, Curtains & Drapery Designs embarked on a back-to-school outreach programme which saw underprivileged children from several communities receiving school uniforms and supplieslast_img

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Alleged mastermind slapped with murder charge

first_imgVendor’s murderThirty-two-year-old Roy Stanford of ‘A’ Field, Sophia, alleged mastermind in the shooting death of Bourda Market cheese vendor Troy Ramalho, committed on August 15 during the course of a robbery, was on Friday remanded to prison after being arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge of murder.Late last month, two other men who are also said to be implicated in the murder were remanded to jail.During Friday’s court hearing, taxi driver George Patron told the court he was not a part of the heinous crime that was committed, and that he was only a taxi driver who was hired to take the men to the location.The trio are expected to make their next court appearance on September 24.Reports are that, after the killing, Patron allegedly admitted to investigators that he had transported Morris and two other men to the scene of the robbery.The taxi driver reportedly told Police he had picked up the men at Stabroek, Georgetown, and they had asked him to drive to Robb Street, Georgetown.He claimed he was told to wait for the men to return, and was instructed to park on Alexander Street, between Regent Street and North Road.According to him, after the men had excited the vehicle, he heard gunshots, after which they came running towards the car. He reportedly told Police the following day he was given $40,000 by the men, who are known to him.last_img read more

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Lawrence urges PNCR General Council to expand support base

first_imgThe recently elected Chairwoman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, during her inaugural address to that party’s General Council, called on party members to expand the support base of the party as they gear into campaign mode for the 2020 General Elections.According to a statement from that Party following its last General Council for 2018, Lawrence said the time was now for the PNCR to recharge and retool its base, “…no one must be left behind. Now is not the time for armchair service; now is the time to work the ground tirelessly and dutifully.”The PNCR General Council was held on Saturday at the party’s headquarters at Congress Place, Sophia, and was chaired by Lawrence, who also extended best wishes to its Leader, President David Granger, who is currently suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is expected to return to Cuba on Tuesday for follow-up treatment.Lawrence called on party leaders to re-engage and talk to party members and supporters, even if it means that the ministers and party leaders must get out of their offices and work within the communities. She called for programmes to be put in place to ensure this happens, since their services should be people- centred.The Chairwoman called on the party to embark on a massive membership drive to broaden and strengthen its base. She said, “We must be ready to fortify grass-roots democracy by playing a greater role in local government countrywide, and by providing solutions to rural and agrarian problems. With this, the party must be totally committed to enduring equality for all, and to protecting our citizens’ fundamental rights.”The Party Chairman iterated that the PNCR remains committed to achieving national unity and improving relations with all communities and groups, the statement related.Lawrence called on all ministers of the Government and party leaders to recommit themselves to service to the people, and promised that the Coalition Government would continue to work towards delivering a good life to all Guyanese.Meanwhile, PNCR General Secretary, Social Protection Minister Amna Ally, presented her report on the scope of work the party conducted over the last quarter. The focus of her report was mainly on membership, achievements, local government elections, projections, and other related party affairs.A panel discussion was also held on Budget 2019, and included Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Lawrence, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton, and Education Minister Dr Nicolette Henry.The General Council, the second highest decision-making forum of the PNCR, meets once every quarter.While Lawrence called for unity and service to all during her maiden General Council address, she made a different comment just recently, when she told a PNCR Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) meeting that “…the only friends I got is PNC, so the only people I could give work to is PNC.”She has since received flack for her comment from all sections of society, and is yet to issue an apology or to defend the said statements. In fact, the PNCR issued a statement in which they indicated that Lawrence is committed to national unity.last_img read more

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Minister Harmon, family fete West Demerara children

first_imgMinister of State, Joseph Harmon, and his daughter Danielle Harmon-Klien, on Sunday, at their annual Children’s Christmas Party, feted over 400 children drawn from communities on the West Bank Demerara. The activity was held in the West Demerara Secondary School’s auditorium.The children, coming from the communities of Phoenix Park, Pouderoyen, Best Village, Vreed-en- Hoop and Malgre Tout, among other communities, were delighted to receive Christmas presents and goodies.This year marks the 12th year that Minister Harmon and his family have hosted the Christmas party for children living in the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Region (Three). Every year since its inception, the Christmas Party has grown, and it consequently can no longer be kept at the Minister’s Phoenix Park home.The Minister of State believes in giving back to the community, and he said he remains committed to contributing in a tangible way to the development of youths.He said that as a member of Government, there are both personal and professional considerations for children and young people, and he noted that the APNU+AFC Government would continue to invest in youths.Mrs Harmon-Klien, who is based in the United States, has said she looks forward to spending time with the children each year.Ten-year-old Alisha Moideen of Best Village said she is happy to have been invited to the party. Two other children, Ms. Zaynab Providence and Ms. Badieh Williams of Phoenix Park, each thanked the Deputy Regional Executive Officer of Region Three, Mrs Jenifer Ferreira- Dougal, as well as other regional officials, for having them attend the Christmas party.last_img read more

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Noel Fernandes wins GTT’s Christmas BMW

first_imgOn Friday, a combination of excitement, suspense and anticipation filled the atmosphere at the Stabroek Market Square, Georgetown, as GTT’s Christmas promotion’s four finalists competed against each other for the grand prize BMW X1, which comes with one-year free insurance and one year free super 95 gas from Guyoil.Families and supporters of the four finalists flooded the location to back their favourite contestant.Voting was the first leg of the competition, then Shameer Rahamut, Shinella Charles, Noel Fernandes and Sean Charles all battled through several obstacle challenges in the second leg of the competition to win the grand prize. The second leg of the competition comprised of Cake Eating, Dunk that Junk, Balloon blow up, Question and Answers on GTT’s Plus Sized promotion and a sing off battle.Quadrupling his competitors’ votes with help from the public, was Enterprise Gardens’, Noel Fernandes. He also scored ample points in the obstacle challenges which led to Fernandes emerging as the winner of GTT’s BMW X1.After being announced the winner of the BMW X1, Fernandes in full excitement said he was elated to be the victor of the competition. “I feel very deserving.I placed my best foot forward and this is the reward I am reaping now. I am just thankful to GTT for affording me such an opportunity and I promise to take good care of the vehicle and drive responsibly.” An overjoyed Fernandes drove off in his new BMW X1 with his wife and son who both shared his sentiments.Copping the second prize was Sean Charles from Agricola who took home $150,000. Stealing the crowd’s heart was Shinella Charles who placed third and took away $100,000, followed by Shameer Rahamut who walked away with $50,000.Partnering on the promotion with GTT was Guyoil who handed over one-year free supply of Super 95 Gas to the winner of the BMW X1.last_img read more

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Tech firm donates new computers to Kwakwani Secondary School

first_img…As school commissions computer labStudents of the Kwakwani Secondary School in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are expected to have a wider knowledge of the technology field because that educational institution was recently gifted with 15 new computers and new air conditioners for the commissioning of its computer lab.A student of the Kwakwani Secondary School cutting the ribbon to officially open the Computer LabThe generous donation was made by Rahaman Razac of R. Razac Business Enterprise as part of his corporate social responsibility to the community’s development.Head teacher of the Secondary School, Pamela Adrian, in her brief remarks at the opening of the facility, expressed gratitude to the businessman, the Guyana Forestry Commission, and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman for making the event possible.Adrian noted that the event is a “memorable moment” for the school, and she pointed out that the donation is evidence of Razac’s understanding of making technology an embraceable tool to use in classrooms. She said the hardware now allows students to experience the era of digital explosion and develop their minds.Minister Trotman, who graced the opening ceremony with his presence, expressed his satisfaction and happiness for the contributions made. He urged students present to properly care for and utilise the equipment received in ways which would aid in their educational development.“We are in the age of technology; computers are the new slate. I challenge you all to make use of this technology and take care of it. Leave the computers in good standing for those coming after you, and focus on your schoolwork and studies.” Trotman admonishedResidents of the community also commended the businessman for the donation, and noted that it would now assist the secondary school and the entire community, since most of the students would benefit.The Minister and the GFC expressed their continuous commitment to the educational development of youths of the community, and to Kwakwani’s overall development through the natural resources sector.last_img read more

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Fire ravages ornament maker’s home

first_imgA Hadfield Street, Georgetown man is now left without a roof over his head after a fire completely ravaged his home just before midnight on Saturday.House owner Rudy Morgan said he was awakened by a crackling sound and intense heat on his body, and upon checking, saw that his Lot 47 Hadfield Street Lodge home was on fire.The man, who makes ornaments along Main Street Georgetown, was the lone occupant of the one-flat wooden house. He recalled that, before going to bed, he had lit a mosquito coil, which he surmised might have been the cause of the fire.“I was sleeping, I was on my bed…to tell you the truth, I got lil water under my house, so the mosquitoes were a lot. So I light two coils, and then I went to bed, went under my netting and went to sleep. When I sleeping, I feel the heat on my skin, so I jump up,” Morgan relayed.Rudy MorganThe man recounted that he quickly hopped out of bed and made attempts to douse the flames before the fire spread further, but this proved futile.“I run and I used some bottled water that I had to try and out the fire, but before I know it, the fire ran through half of my house,” he explained.Fearing for his safety, Morgan said, he exited the house and began calling on neighbours to alert them.The Fire Service was also called to the scene; however, by the time they arrived, the entire house was already burnt to the ground.The ornament-maker estimates his losses to be in excess of $1 million. He told this publication that all his craft items have been destroyed in the fire.“I had all of my ornaments that I does sell in here and outside, and everything burned. I lost my livelihood, because all the materials that I does use and so gone,” Morgan cried.Now homeless, the man is calling on the public to lend him assistance in rebuilding. He revealed that all the cash he had in his home has been lost in the fire.last_img read more

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Guyanese remanded for disorderly behaviour on T&T-bound flight

first_imgA Guyanese woman has been remanded to a Trinidad prison after she reportedly behaved disorderly on a Trinidad-bound flight. Sylvanie Roxanne Shivnarine reportedly behaved in a disorderly manner on flight BW457, which left Guyana for Trinidad on Monday. According to a report from the T&T Newsday, upon arrival in the twin island Republic, the woman was taken off the flight by security officials. She was slapped with a charge which stated that on July 20, she behaved in a manner which caused annoyance to passengers on-board the flight. Shivnarine appeared before the Arima Magistrates’ First Court, but was not required to plea to the indictable charge. Magistrate Cheron Raphael remanded Shivnarine to prison, stating that bail could not be granted since she did not pass through Trinidad’s immigration after she was taken off the flight. However, according to the news report, she is expected to be processed by immigration shortly. Shivanrine is expected to make her second Court appearance on Thursday. As the Guyanese woman was being taken away from Court, she was weeping uncontrollably.last_img read more

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UCITC students gain insight into emerging oil and gas industry

first_imgA section of the students during the interactive sessionA number of students attached to the Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre (UCITC) were given insight on the country’s rapidly emerging oil and gas industry during an interactive session. The teens were lectured on the potential impact and transformation it will have on the economy.Office Manager at the Energy Department Sharon Patterson explained that through these interactive sessions, the aim is to improve the level of awareness about the oil and gas sector and what it has to offer, especially to young persons.“We want to be able to provide information and sensitise persons, regardless if it’s young people, the RDC, or religious groups. We want to provide information on the sector and what it offers. Additionally, we want to make persons aware of the opportunities that exist within and beyond the sector, benefits that can be derived and our aim is to provide an opportunity for participants to directly be involved in the discussions of oil and gas,” Patterson noted.Further, she said that at the end of 2018, more than 54 per cent of persons directly employed in the oil and gas sector were Guyanese, with plans for that figure to increase to 75 per cent by the end of 2020.These interactive sessions seek to educate a large number of Guyanese, as scores of Berbicians were also sensitised earlier this year on the multiplier effect of the new sector. This session was, however, hosted by Head of the Department of Energy Dr Mark Bynoe.During this recent session, Bynoe explained that the sector will be managed through recruitment and instructional strengthening, the revision of the legal framework, and partnering with other agencies, while informing that the right policies will be established to assist with managing the sector.In March of 2019, 24 Guyanese operations and maintenance technicians had joined the US oil giant, ExxonMobil, while another 50 technicians will commence recruitment in early 2020.last_img read more

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“Harmon’s powers not too burdensome” – Granger tells AFC

first_imgBy Devina SamarooPresident David Granger has completely disregarded calls made by the Alliance For Change (AFC) for the powers entrusted to Minister of State Joseph Harmon to be reduced, noting that his duties and responsibilities are not at all too burdensome.The AFC, the smaller partner in the A Partnership for National Unity/AFC coalition Government, believes that too much authority has been given to Minister Harmon.In this regard, the party called for Harmon’s powers to be trimmed. The AFC had explained that the concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of the Presidential Secretariat in a single person is a matter of concern and that in fact, the powers should be separated.Responding to these demands, President Granger appeared to be in full support of the duties and responsibilities assigned to Minister Harmon.“I don’t think that they are so burdensome that he cannot take all three responsibilities. I am standing by the duties which were assigned to him last May and this is what we have been working with for the last 11 months and this is what was explained to the Cabinet retreat in January,” the President said.He also posited that he was surprised that the AFC now seemed to find fault in the distribution of duties and responsibilities among Cabinet members.“We had a retreat of the Cabinet earlier this year and we put out a very clear statement on the responsibilities of all 14 Ministers and the Ministry of the Presidency. So there is a book and it is stated, and nobody made any objections to the duties which were assigned to the Minister of State then and it would be surprising that after two months, people feel that the duties are being misused or they need to be trimmed,” he explained.Notwithstanding his firm position in defence of Minister Harmon, the President said the matter would be extensively discussed when Cabinet meets today.“I have to wait to find out from our colleagues what they actually mean, but as far as I am concerned, there is no overburdening of the Ministry and I don’t see what powers they need to be reduced,” he stated.last_img read more

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Hundreds of Linden CIIP workers issued termination letters

first_imgBY UTAMU BELLEOver 200 workers under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) in Linden have been issued termination letters, to facilitate the rehiring of about 50 less workers under a “superior contract”.This newspaper understands that approximately 300 persons from both Wismar and Mackenzie, Linden were initially on the programme, however under the superior contract which is expected to take shape sometime next month, only 250 would be hired. This has created some amount of disagreement by some workers, who are at odds with the decision.Speaking on the issue, Linden Town Clerk Jenella Bowen explained that the programme which is conducted through the municipality of the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) has undergone some restructuring, based on agreement with the Ministry of Communities.Region 10 Chairman Renis Morian“There were several discussions between the Ministry of Communities and the CIIP project. PS (Permanent Secretary) is aware and all the other players from the ministry, as it relates to this project. A decision was made where we would have 250 persons working instead of 300 persons…we would have started with Mackenzie, having termination contracts for the persons on Mackenzie. So what happens is that the entire CIIP programme will be restructured based on the Council’s agreement. Everyone will be terminated and then people will be rehired. There were 300 persons on, but now we have to bring that figure down to 250”, the Town Clerk indicated.She added that the decision was based on an agreement with the Ministry of Communities, which was embraced by the Council.Bowen further stated that some workers had agreed to uplift their termination letters and that all were terminated to facilitate the rehiring process in both “fairness and justice”. The workers, she noted, were given a one month notice of their termination.Bowen said workers under the programme will continue working 4 hours per day, for 16 days in this month for the usual payment of $12,500. However, come September 5, when the re-established work process commences, the work time will be 8 hours per day, for eight days and the payment increased to $25,000. NIS would also be deducted, according to Bowen.Linden Town Clerk Jenella Bowen“So instead of working 16 days it is 8 days, 8 hours a day…I think that the system can work. I think that it’s for the betterment of the community. I will embrace it. Many of the persons from what I know are single parents. Many of them mothers, and for that I am grateful…and I know the Council will also embrace the project”, the town clerk said.Regional Chairman wants letters rescindedMeanwhile, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) Chairman Renis Morian has called for the letters of termination to be rescinded, since he noted it has created a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness among the workers who depend on the project for a living. He said the decision was not made in “fairness” and proper consultation should have been made to prepare the workers for the changes to come.“You have people in Region 10 who are unemployed, who are doing the CIIP work. So you have a contract that for whatever reason, you’re pulling this contract because it is alleged that you have framed a superior contract. You’re pulling this contract now and there’s a long uncertainty period. I’m saying, pull back the letters. When you’re ready with your new contracts, call the people…I’m saying to the Minister of Communities and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities that those letters should be withdrawn…you don’t just pull a contract and leave a man hanging in the air and you know a man was earning…it has to be discussed with them and they agree…”, Morian stated.The regional chairman said he hopes that good sense will prevail regarding the issue. He recently stated that he was given all assurance by the minister that this will be done.last_img read more

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Less than 12% of oil revenue for Guyanese

first_imgWith optimism high about oil and gas production in Guyana being inevitable and much talk about the tremendous economic benefit this can bring to Guyana, many may be disappointed to learn that, according to sources, the country will receive less than 12 per cent of oil revenue when production starts within the next few years.According to sources, Guyana’s chunk of any oil revenue was pegged at less than 12 per cent. ExxonMobil anticipates it will begin pumping oil by 2020 – about 100,000 barrels per day in the initial stages.The Government was expected to renegotiate the exploration contract with ExxonMobil, but what is not known is if this 12 per cent is what was agreed to initially when this contact was inked 17 years ago or what was derived from the renegotiation process.When contacted, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said he was travelling in an emailed response and did not respond to Guyana Times’ follow-up email for a comment on the issue.In July, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had insisted that he requested a review of the contract with ExxonMobil, since this was Government’s way of ensuring that Guyana got the best possible deal from the extraction of oil when production began.“At the end of the day… you have to say whether we are doing what is best for the interest of the national population and I can tell you we are indeed doing that. A 2009 agreement or 2006 agreement or whenever the agreement was originally made was at a time when there was no discovery of anything, now there is oil,” Minister Jordan had said.While there has been much talk from the Government about the potential of oil revenues to transform Guyana, there has been very little information on what exactly is the Government’s share of the earnings.Already Guyanese were told not to expect too many jobs in the oil and gas industry here, as most of the jobs will be for foreigners with the requisite expertise.On May 20, 2015, ExxonMobil announced a significant oil discovery in the Stabroek Block with its Liza 1 well hitting more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Then, there was a second announcement in June 2016 that the drilling results from the Liza 2 well, the second exploration well in the Stabroek Block, located some 120 miles offshore Guyana, confirmed a “world-class discovery” of oil with a recoverable resource of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Exxon’s Liza 3 well was spud last month and that result is expected in coming weeks.ExxonMobil Corp was recently fined a whopping US$74 billion for underpaying royalties in the central African nation of Chad where the company has been drilling for 15 years.According to international reports on the mega fine by Chad courts, the amount is about five times more than that country’s Gross Domestic Product, which the World Bank estimates at US$13 billion. The High Court in the capital, N’Djamena, announced its ruling on October 5 in response to a complaint from the Chad Finance Ministry that a consortium led by ExxonMobil had not met its tax obligations. The court also demanded the Texas-based oil giant pay US$819 million in overdue royalties.last_img read more

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14-year-old dies in EBD accident

first_imgA teenager has become Guyana’s latest road fatality after he reportedly rode into the path of a minibus on Tuesday evening at Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD).Mark McCoy, 14, of Lot 561 Cinema Street, Diamond, EBD, was pronounced dead about an hour after arriving at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.He reportedly sustained severe head injuries following the collision which occurred at about 18:30h.Reports are a minibus bearing registration plates BVV 989 was heading to Timehri, EBD, whilst the pedal cyclist was proceeding in the opposite direction. He was reportedly towing a male on the handle of the pedal cycle when he reportedlyDead: Mark Mc Coyswerved into the path of the minibus.The other teenager, who was sitting on the handle managed to jump off before Mc Coy slammed into the minibus.As a result of the impact, Mc Coy fell onto the roadway and was rushed to the nearby medical facility in an unconscious state but died soon afterwards.The driver of the minibus, a 46-year-old man of Kaneville, EBD, was taken into Police custody and a breathalyser test was conducted but there were no alcohol recorded in his system.When Guyana Times visited the teen’s home on Wednesday, his mother, Pamela Mc Coy was being comforted by relatives. She explained that she was at home when she received a telephone call informing her that the young man was involved in an accident.She related as she rushed out to go to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, two Police ranks were at her door enquiring about the teen’s relatives. Again, she was informed by the ranks that her son was seriously injured following an accident. Without hesitation, she rushed to the medical facility where she saw her son laying on a stretcher.“I see he on the stretcher and blood was coming out his mouth… soon after they tell me that he didn’t make it,” the woman added. She however recalled that her son left home to accompany a friend to take his grandmother’s dinner and that was the last time she saw him alive.The aggrieved mother noted that her son attended the Dolphin Second School and was at school on Tuesday. She said that he was a well mannered and disciplinedThe bus that was involved in the accidentchild who did not give her any trouble.“I was at his school today (Wednesday) and when I told them of his demise, they started to cry… the teachers and students and the people who he normally buys lunch from,” she cried.Meanwhile, a close family friend told Guyana Times that the Police are yet to locate the bicycle and the other teenager, who was with McCoy when the accident occurred. She explained that there were a lot of eyewitnesses but no one came forward to provide information to the Police when they arrived at the scene.The driver remains in Police custody and is assisting with the investigations. The teenager leaves to mourn his mother and three other siblings. His father passed away just over a year ago. (Bhisham Mohamed)last_img read more

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21-year-old woman opens up about living with a ‘self-confessed’ killer

first_imgThe 21-year-old woman who was living with the self-confessed Black Bush Polder murderer said she did not know that he murdered his wife, but confessed that she was wearing the dead woman’s clothing.Following the arrest of the couple after a missing person’s report was filed at the Whim Police Station on Wednesday, Uma-Davie Nathoo told investigators that she knew “nothing of the crime” and was in disbelief that it had even taken place.Dead: Lilwantie BalackUma-Davie NathooWhen the remains of the body were unearthed, thereby confirming the victim’s demise, this young woman maintained her innocence. “He (partner) can’t put me in that one!” she said. “I wasn’t there! He will have to face it!” she told the Police.The young woman was on Friday evening released from custody on $25,000 station bail after Police were convinced that she was not a participant in the crime. Her paramour’s relatives paid the bail.That same Friday was when the skeletal remains of Wilwantie Balack, also called “Darling”, 39, of Mibicuri North, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, were dug up from a grave at the back of her yard in the agricultural community. Balack had gone missing in September last year, and her husband had repeatedly told their children that his wife had migrated to the USA. The woman had been last seen by her children on September 3, 2016.At approximately 11:30h on Friday, her remains were found in a four-foot grave about 120 metres behind the family’s house. Relatives had been searching for her since September 6, the day it is believed she was killed. Her 21-year-old daughter, Dharshni Davi Balack, said her father had given them conflicting information about the whereabouts of their mother, telling the three children that she was in the USA and other relatives that she was in living in different parts of the country.Suspicion grew as no phone calls were received from Wilwantie; and her husband, 43-year-old Sunildat Balack, also called “Red Man”, brought the 21-year-old woman to live with him.  The three Balack children soon discovered that their father’s new partner was wearing their mother’s wedding band.Speaking with <> on Sunday, Nathoo said her entire insides began to tingle when she learnt that she was living with a man who had killed and buried his wife and had told no one. “Is like something start cutting up me whole inside when I hear. You know, like when people drink Gramoxone. Ah heavy, heavy burning start come, and I feel upset,” she declared.She explained that her relationship with Balack lasted for three months, during which she had returned to her mother’s home on three occasions because of abuse.Nathoo said Balack had indicated his interest in her while she was still a schoolgirl, but she had never given him a favourable response. She said he would normally visit his mother’s home, which was two houses from where she lived with her parents at Albion, Corentyne.Her father told this publication that in December last year, when he was attending a religious function in the village, Balack asked him for his home telephone number. He said when he got home, his daughter was on the telephone with someone.According to Nathoo, Balack told her that he and his wife had separated and she had migrated and was now working as a cook at a restaurant in Florida. “So we make arrangement that he gon pick me up at 12:30h the next day… I meet he on the road and I tell he that before we go to he family, let us go and eat something because I hungry.”Following that, she was introduced to some of Balack’s relatives, who were very friendly. “They tell me that if I gon live with him as husband and wife, they gon support me; and if he wife come back, they gon back me and don’t let she go back in the house, because is she go away and lef he,” the woman explained.Meanwhile, Nathoo’s father said she had telephoned the family to say that she was happy and was living with a man, and she explained who he was.ClothingThe young woman said that when she entered the Balack house, she was shown around and told that the clothing belonged to Balack’s wife. “He tell me that I could wear whatever I want.”Nathoo had gone to live with Balack without taking much clothing. She had taken only a small bag with her. “I wear some of her sari to go to functions that his family had and he carry me,” she explained.A week after leaving home, Nathoo visited her parents at their Albion home on the company Balack.Balack’s family had by then already indicated that they would arrange a wedding ceremony for the couple.AbuseShe said the first incident of abuse occurred in January, a mere two weeks into the relationship. She was called names and told that his previous wife took care of certain responsibilities. “I tell he that I is not a farm girl and that I frighten snakes and it gon take some time fo me to get use to going in the farm…”Following the abuse, the woman said she returned to her mother’s home, but two days later, she was back in Black Bush Polder. A month later, she received her first slap. “He slap me and I slap he back, and this man whole face change and he run me and I get away from he… Ah tell he that I sorry and I would not do it again, but he was different from then,” she related.“He bring me on the road and he start slap me up again. He asking why me leff and go at me Mummy house; that is he biggest problem,” Uma related.The woman said Balack once threatened to drive his car into a canal with her and jump out, leaving her to perish and then he would report that it was an accident. “Me start to beg and tell am say that me wan live long an that Ah nah go back to me mummy. He said, ‘Alright, Ah hope you stick to that now’…,” she related.According to her, on more than one occasion Balack asked her to leave, claiming that she was not what he wanted. “I tell he that I ain’t leaving, because he done spoil me already and I staying, so we gon live like husband and wife.”She said that on one occasion he had threatened her by saying that he was expecting his wife to return. One neighbour was also told that Wilwantie Balack was returning in time for Phagwah.Nathoo said she stood her ground. “I tell he that I ain’t going back home, because nobody ain’t gon want me now.”The wedding bandThe day after Nathoo moved into the Mibicuri home, she was asked to take the car keys and put them into a bag in which Balack had his licences. “When Ah go in the bag Ah see this ring, is a lady ring and it get a heart, so I ask him who is that ring for. Is a female ring, so Ah start pressuring him: Why he get a ring like that in his bag? He tell me to lef it, that it is not for me. So I start demanding that if he make it for another girl or so, and he say it gon remain there. But I keep pressuring he, and like he just want to satisfy me (so) he give me the ring to wear.”Contrary to rumours, Nathoo denied that she also wore other pieces of jewellery which belonged to the dead woman.Meanwhile, Balack is expected to soon be charged with the murder of his wife.last_img read more

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