An assistant overseer attached to the Port Mourant/John’s Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) has accused NDC Chairman Imran Khan of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, threats of dismissal and a ban on speaking to the media.Most of those accusations were admitted by Khan.Assistant Overseer Akeisha Walters, who has been with the NDC since March this year, alleged that Khan’s attacks started last month and intensified as she brought it to the attention of councillors.She said the chairman told her he needed to know all of her whereabouts, including when she goes to the toilet, eats and have sex.Both Walters and Market Clerk Raveena Anadeo met with Regional Representative of the Prime Minister, Gobin Harabjan and Technical Assistant attached to the Office of the President, William Moore to lodge complaints and then met with the media.“He told me that I have to seek his permission to speak with the media so that why I can’t talk with the media, I am sorry,” Anadeo said.Meanwhile, Walters is accusing the NDC chairman of sexual harassment.She said he told her that she must tell him of her every move including sexual activity.In an invited comment, Khan said he was using an analogy when he made the statement but denied that he used the word “sex”.“The way I have been administering and the way I know it, it is quite within my rights and within the legal framework to refer and for emphasis purposes can make analogies. In an effort to let this office understand that her every movement, every action, every decision as regards the council, I want to know,” Khan statedThe NDC chairman previously held the post as Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO) for Region Six but was sacked when the Coalition Government took office last year.According to the NDC chairman, a misconception would have triggered the allegations. He explained that Walters might not have been properly informed as to from whom her directives come and added that the particular officer seldom adheres to directives given by him.“There is a reluctance to take the necessary guidance and directives. I had to be very blunt; eat, p*ss and s**t I have to know because this affects the council but I did not use the word sex,” he explained.Walters is also accusing the chairman of victimisation, alleging that in one day she received three warning letters from Khan.“He give me a warning letter for a chairman stamp, I get a warning letter for not preparing financial statement where I did and he give me a warning letter for the minutes, he say I did not prepare the minutes,” she noted.In response, the chairman said the letters were because of reluctance to adhere to lawful instructions, chief among which was forgery.“Yes, this individual was in fact written to. As a veteran administrator, I am in the habit of writing people but that government officers have to confirm and subscribe to the rules and regulations of not only the Public Service but there are rules which are captured in the by-laws of the NDC that also need adherence and conformity. So having recognised that there were breaches in these regards, as the Chairman of the NDC I have not much of an alternative but to take the appropriate and requisite action,” Khan explained.According to him, as stipulated under the Public Service Act, he addressed the issues verbally with Walters before the letters were issued.Khan added that if the employee continues to violate or flout the rules, then the act stipulates that a second letter is issued and if need be a third letter will be issued which is a dismissal letter.“The dismissal is recommended. We don’t arbitrarily dismiss, we recommend first and I am just following the principals here.”According to the Chairman, both the Assistant Overseer Akeisha Walters and the Market Clerk Raveena Anadeo had been in the habit of leaving the office without giving notice or indicating where they were going and closing the office at odd times.However, in commenting on the statement made by Anadeo, that she was forbidden to speak to the media, Khan said it was only a part of the statement which he made to her. “I said; ‘don’t speak to the media unless you would have gotten the permission to do so. You are an employee’. You cannot be the employee of an organisation and you are speaking on organisational issues that you cannot explain or give a proper account for.”The matter as it relates to sexual harassment has since been reported to the police.
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