HAITI: Corruption in the Coup Government and their own Rice Scandal
January 27, 2005
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HAITI: Corruption in the Coup Government and their own Rice Scandal

Recent AHP articles on The Rice Scandal

The anti-corruption unit set up by the government promises to shed light on the Rice Scandal

Port-au-Prince, January 25, 2005 (AHP)- An official speaking on behalf of the government's Anti-Corruption Unit, Amos Durosier announced Tuesday that an investigation has been opened into the Rice Scandal that cost two high ranking officials of the Office of the Prime Minister their jobs.

The head of Prime Minister Latortue's personal cabinet and his spokesperson were suspended Monday.

The official of the commission set up by the government said that some of the principals concerned in the rice affair, including the deputy mayor of Port-au-Prince, Jean Philippe Sassine, the Haiti director of the NGO Food For the Poor, Raymonde Pun, and interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue, have already met with the commission.

According to Mr. Durosier, the Prime Minister's collaboration in this matter has been exemplary.

Mr. Durosier promised to make public the findings of the commission's investigation by the end of the week and indicated that thus far nothing has been discovered that suggests that there was in fact any corrupt behavior with respect to the rice affair.

Amos Durosier described what appears to have happened as essentially a question of administrative error.

AHP January 25, 2005 11:35 AM

The Association of Merchants of the Informal Sector threatens to take action if the interim government tries to find scapegoats to respond to the Rice Scandal


Port-au-Prince, January 25, 2005 (AHP)- The Association of Merchants of the Informal Sector (ACSI) asked the provisional government Tuesday to deal calmly with the Rice Scandal that has tarnished the reputation of the administration at the Port-au-Prince city hall and is making waves inside the office of the Prime Minister. the Association fears that its own representative on the city council, Yanick Mézile, might become a victim.

ACSI spokesperson, Ms. Gixlaine Oreste, asked the interim authorities to intervene rapidly so as to establish order within the municipal administration of Port-au-Prince.

Small shopkeepers in the informal sector who are members of ASCI denounced the threats they say they have received from the chief mayor of the city, Carline Simon, who has been trying to prevent them from holding a sit-in at the Place d'Italie to make their demands heard.

These small-scale merchants said they are prepared to shut down all activities at the Port market if one tries to implicate Yanick Mézile in the corruption scandal that is festering at the Port-au-Prince city hall.

For their part, employees of the capital city administration working in different departments of city hall continue to ask for the payment of 15 months in back wages.

These employees have accused principal Mayor Carline Simon of functioning in administrative chaos.

They asked the interim government to dismiss this cartel running city hall as it never stops creating problems, they said.

"If Carline Simon tries to pass herself off as an honest person in the context of this Rice Scandal, it's because she has not had her share", they added.

AHP attempted unsuccessfully to get in touch with Mayor Carline Simon regarding this matter, but she was unavailable.

AHP January 25, 2005 1:20 PM

The first victims of the Rice Scandal: the head of the Prime Minister's cabinet and the director of his press office have been suspended


Port-au-Prince, January 24, 2005 (AHP)- Interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue took punitive action Monday against some members of his personal cabinet following the Rice Scandal that erupted last week at the office of the mayor of Port-au-Prince.

Gérard Latortue threatened last week to act against members of his staff who authorized the NGO Food for the Poor to turn over 15 containers of rice to the deputy mayor of Port-au-Prince, Jean Philippe Sassine, without consulting him.

The director of Mr. Latortue's cabinet, Raymond Lafontant, and his spokesperson, Michel Joseph, were suspended for having taken this heavy responsibility upon themselves alone.

However in a letter dated December 23, 2004, addressed to the Prime Minister, the director of Food for the Poor, Raymonde Pun, wrote to inform Mr. Latortue of the positive outcome he had received to his request from members of his the Prime Minister's staff.

One of the first two victims of the Rice Scandal, Mr. Lafontant was injured around the same time, January 16 in the Pouplard district where he was going to visit his mother.

Many observers feel that the trail of rice should be followed with respect to the ongoing investigation to find the authors of this attack. The police announced recently that this investigation is making good progress.

The Council of the Wise demanded Monday that the city council led by Mayor Carline Simon be dismissed.

A spokesperson for the Council of the Wise, Anne Marie Issa, indicated that after investigating the Rice Scandal, the Council came to the conclusion that the current government council for greater Port-au-Prince is no longer competent to administer city hall.

Anne Marie Issa said she was shocked at the corruption festering in the municipal government of Port-au-Prince, and is seeking an audit of the Council's performance.

Port-au-Prince Mayor Carline Simon had clearly stated last week that whoever might have the idea of causing her to lose her job unjustly would themselves be gone the next day.

AHP January 24, 2005 11:00 AM
The political organization named the Operation to Support the December 15, 2003 Resolution denounces escalating corruption in Haiti

Port-au-Prince, January 21, 2005 -(AHP)- The Operation to Support the Resolution of December 15, 2002, an organization affiliated with the former opposition to Aristide, on Friday again denounced the corruption in which, it says, the interim government is immersed.

One of the members of the committee, Fednel Monchéry, considered it absurd that this government, which is composed, it said, exclusively of corrupters, has set up a commission to investigate the previous administration.

According to Mr. Monchery, during the first ten months of the transition government, the number of cases of misappropriation of funds discovered in the civil service is considerably higher than under previous governments.

What is worse, he said, is that the sources of corruption are being sustained from the office of the Prime Minister and the personal staff of the President of the Republic, Boniface Alexandre.

Concerning the Rice Scandal that broke out at the Port-au-Prince city hall, Mr. Fednel indicated, without naming any names, that some well known members of the committee on follow-up set up by the government, are involved.

"Faced with this evidence of decay, our organization has no choice but to call for the departure of the interim government that is encouraging corruption", indicated Mr. Monchéry. At the same time he is supporting the formation of a national unity government to investigate and punish all who are guilty of serious cases of corruption over the past 10 months.

AHP January 21, 2005 1:30 PM

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