STATEMENT ON MEDIA SMEAR OF GGDMA NOMINATED DIRECTOR OF GGMC

The GGDMA wishes to address the issue of its Executive, Mr. Hilbert Shields being wickedly and scurrilously attacked, via the media, by a twisted few with a hidden agenda. It is the miners who have nominated its Executive Member [Mr. Hilbert Shields] of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association [GGDMA] to serve on the GGMC Board in 2017.

Mr. Shields serves on the GGMC Board, representing the interest of thousands of miners by fighting the many trials and tribulations that affect miners. One such constant nightmare is the amount of time miners have to wait to get ordinary business done at the GGMC; most of the time they are being pushed around by the staff to stimulate a bribe so that their paper work could be given attention.

Recently Mr. Shields has been spearheading a search, on behalf of the GGMC Board, to situate a modern computerized system to be the foundation on which GGMC can build, in a timely manner, a transparent Mineral Rights Cadastre system. Such a system will track all mineral land applications in the GGMC from start to finish.

The mineral rights registry will be open and publicly available in near real time to be viewed by anyone. The system will be robust, with built-in data integrity safeguards and at its heart will be accountability and transparency and ultimately public access to data via an internet portal. With a system like this, there will be less dependency on the human factor and should allow the GGMC systems to work free of interferences. Obviously, one significant upside is the weeding out lots of corrupt practices at the GGMC. This initiative must have surely upset quite an amount of officers of the Commission who are bent on their corrupt practices which has been a long sick of the Commission.

Thus, the smear campaign based on leaked inaccurate information on Mr. Hilbert Shields, where the Kaieteur News seems to be unwittingly used as a vehicle for disinformation, in its publications of Wednesday’s January 3, 2018 Kaieteur News. While Mr. Shields may be on the Boards of the GGDMA and GGMC, he is still a miner like everyone else; he has had rights to these land via a Prospecting License that he has had since 2015; his application to convert to mining permits, some of which pre-date his call to the Board of the GGMC, is no different in size and process to any other miner. However, the information published in the press is grossly inaccurate and twisted to suit a hidden agenda by some corrupt officers of the GGMC and a couple of corrupt miners who chose to cowardly attack Mr. Shields while he is abroad.

However, the GGDMA will not sit ideally by to have these cowards attack a leader in the Mining Community who has been an advocate for good and fair business practices and an advocate against corruption.

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