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Sep 25, 2013

Social Investment Fund officially take over the Dangriga Market project

There is another scandal that has remained in the headlines since it first broke. We are referring to the million dollar Dangriga Municipal Market Project which was being rehabilitated through the Social Investment Fund. This morning, SIF went back to Dangriga to officially take over the project which was abruptly stopped on September twelfth because of the corruption associated with the project contractor, Kenard Smart and SIF employees. Businesswoman and investor, Emy Gilharry was on hand this morning, but to her dismay, she could not get in a word nor was there an assessment of the project or the construction material. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This morning in Dangriga, Project Coordinator Ernest Raymond, of the Social Investment Fund, was on hand to receive the failed market project from investor Emy Gilharry Ramirez.  The assumption succeeds the termination of four employees of the organization, as well as the forced resignation of Executive Director Daniel Cano a week ago, amid allegations of financial misconduct.  The takeover proceeded quietly, despite failure to conduct an appraisal of the work thus far and an audit of the material on the site.  Ramirez was hoping for a word with the project coordinator.

 

Emy Gilharry Ramirez

Emy Gilharry Ramirez, Investor

“I thought he would have said something to me because he was one of the main persons who had been assuring also, he and Mr. Cano, and Mr. Raymond had been behind [me encouraging me to] “keep putting money, keep putting money.  Yo wahn get paid” blah, blah, blah.  And I’ve been asking him that this morning but he hasn’t answered, he doesn’t say anything.”

 

According to attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, requests have been made repeatedly with SIF, on behalf of her client, to discuss the state of affairs concerning the assets on the site.  Those requests have been completely ignored.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Emy Gilharry Ramirez

“I had written a letter to SIF saying to them, you know, “it’s been a week, we asked you all for a meeting and you have not responded.”  They finally responded Friday evening saying that there would be no meeting and basically they are saying you all don’t even exist.  That was their approach.  I subsequently wrote them back early Monday morning saying, “well whether you all want to acknowledge that my client exists or not the reality on the ground is that my client has her investment there.  The material on the ground belongs to her and at minimum you all have two obligations to fill.  One, someone has to take over the site and be responsible for the site.  So that means someone has to go and certify the extent of the work that has been done.  Two, there is material on the site and my client will not leave her material on the site.  So someone has to go certify what is there and what is being removed.  SIF, regrettably, has refused to do that.”

 

SIF’s unwillingness to conduct the appraisal will result in Emy Ramirez, Lyndon Bailey and residents from Dangriga to picket the house meeting this Friday.

 

Lyndon Bailey

Lyndon Bailey, Investor

“We are trying to see if the government could get us, to engage us.  If government can engage us then we don’t have to have this long, legal battle where we are willing to get our money.  We might not get all but if they give us some of our money we would be satisfied and then we can go home because going through the courts is a long process.  So, we are saying [to the] government we are ready to negotiate, please have a meeting with us and let us finish this thing and crash everything and finish the market and we can get out of here and everybody’s happy.”

 

Thus far, there has been no word coming out of government granting the investors an audience. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “Social Investment Fund officially take over the Dangriga Market project”

  1. sickntired says:

    Common sense woulda tell theya investas govt no di talk to dem cause they have no case. They need fi sue kennard smart cause da him swindle them outta deh money. Di next one Raymond him shouldda get ask fi resign too cause he play wah role inna di mess too. Kennard smart a di troublemaker inna dis whole ting and everybody else get burn except him. Him smart fi true.

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