Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017


Receive email notices when a commentary is uploaded. Join our mailing list.

E-Mail Address:

View Article

(Aired 24 April 2006)

   For the past three years I have generated my own power, 24 hours a day at Versailles. Since I started broadcasting in 1982 my house and the TV operation were on the same line from the GEC grid. Sometime within the intervening 20 year period I became aware that GEC and then GP&L were charging me commercial rates for my house since they refused to put in two meters one for the house and one for the transmission station located in my yard, every time I asked them to put in a domestic meter for my house and a commercial meter for the transmission hut they said that the did not have meters, but I knew that this had nothing to do with meters, if they can charge me commercial rates for my house then why not, so one day I decided that I will not be paying any further light bills. And I put an injunction against GP&L preventing them from disconnecting me until they put the two meters in place since it was obscene that they should be charging me commercial rates for my house. So since they could not disconnect me nor could they collect money from me it forced them to do what they should have done 20 years before, they came and installed the two meters. Now remember that I was paying commercial rates for my house for over 20 years, I estimate nearly 5-7 million dollars extra by today's yardstick!

   In the process the workmen who came here alleged that I had interfered with the meter i.e. there was evidence of tampering, I told them that there had to be some mistake that I never tampered with the meter, they then went to one of my brothers and told him that they had found evidence of tampering and asked for a raise, I told him to disregard them since I never tampered with the meter and paying them would be tantamount to a confession that I did tamper with it, so he should tell them to go to hell. Since we are on meters let me say this 15-20 years ago they changed the electrical supply in the West Demerara from 50 cycles to 60 cycles but they did not change the meters to 60 cycle ones  those among you who do not understand the significance of using a meter set up for 50 cycles.... to read 60 cycles should find out from an electrician, it is my opinion that everyone in the West Demerara was robbed in this conversion and that robbery continues to this day, you are paying 5/6 more than you should pay according to these old electrical meters!

   Anyway Mc Elory then the ESBI commercial manager and I met and decided that taking damage they did to my equipment into consideration, I owed 1.8 million in electrical fees and that is what I should pay. But they never adjusted my bill to reflect this 1.8 million, they continued to bill me 3 or 4 million dollars outstanding and I decided not to pay until they rectified the account. But ultimately since they were bigger crooks than Blackie, I decided not to buy power from GP&L but to generate my own.      

   So since 2002 I have been generating my own power and I do not use GP&L since I consider them to be a pack of vagabonds out to victimise me.

  We in this country have this high rate for electricity 4 times higher than anywhere else which is due to what are known as technical losses including incompetence, corruption and theft.

    I have in my possession the light bills for the Strand Deluxe cinema in the name of one Ganga Persaud and others, account number 12-016-180-16, meter number 56833 for the period October 2004 to October 2005 these bills for this cinema average a usage of around 1600 units at tariff B around $90,000 a month, the amount owed is G$2,219,927 the bill not having been paid for several months this raises two questions 1. Why were they not disconnected and 2. How can their usage be so low? This cinema has 4 shows a day using high wattage lamps to project the film to the screen, the Cinema is also air-conditioned or at least they have very large fans cooling the place, they also have freezers to keep the drinks cool, now the last light bill I had from GP&L in 2002 was for $350,000 a month, but the Strand Cinema's light bill is less than G$100,000 per month in 2005, and they owed GP&L $2,219,927 as of October 2005 which should have lead to automatic disconnection. But me they are disconnecting for arrears totalling 53 thousand dollars.

   I will now state some facts, you ladies and gentlemen will decide if they have any significance in this matter or any other matter, the owners of the Strand cinema are PPP activists of that there can be no question, Mr. Kresh Nandalall who looks after disconnection and payment at GP&L, is the brother of Anil Nandalall an executive member of the PPP & legal Attorney to Mr. Annand Persaud one of the owners of the Strand Cinema and fellow PPP activists! Are these associations connected? Have people been put in positions at GP&L's billing and disconnection department to execute a political agenda? to ease up those who are activists and loyalist of the PPP and to penalise those who are not? You decide.

    On Friday 21st April 2006 one Mr. Khan from GP&L called my wife at VCT and told her that there was a meter at the VCT office at Quamina street which they thought was inactive and for which they were not submitting any bills, but they now felt that this meter was active so we must pay 4 million dollars for the last two years estimated usage. My wife Jewel has learnt a few things from me so she told Khan that he should be informed that using cocaine was illegal in this country and the discussion ended. Less than 2 hours later a disconnection crew arrived at VCT to disconnect the entire building from the grid, now remember that there was one meter for which we were paying 50 odd thousand dollars every month but they nevertheless disconnected both meters the one we were paying for and the one that we did not know existed, obviously I asked them why not disconnect only the one that was in dispute and leave the other one we were paying for until we determine what exactly the second meter was for since neither we or them knew what was being powered by it, they said that their instruction was to disconnected both, I then called my lawyer since this was the most reprehensible things I ever heard of i.e. they were disconnecting an entire building since electricity was going somewhere which neither them or we knew about and for which we were never billed. I then called this Khan at GP&L and asked him a few questions e.g. 1. why disconnect both since only one is in question, especially since he could not produce a request for payment for the unknown one, Khan's response was that the did not know, all he knew was that his bosses Deosingh and Nandalall  [you hear who are in charge of this billing section?] told Khan to disconnect us. At the trials of Nuremburg after world war two these same questions became issues, do you obey an instruction from Hitler or the Nazi's when you know it to be wrong, when you know that in this case if these two PPP activists were committing human rights violations against me in reprisal for my exercising my god given and constitutional right to tell you that what criminals the PPP are should Khan have carried out this instruction which he himself knew to be wrong! So notwithstanding that the chairman of GP&L himself stands accursed to this day of tampering with his meters and which have not been adequately answered, Khan said that I have to come and discuss with him the usage of this imaginary meter and agree to pay for two years arrears, these morons should be aware that they cannot demand arrears for more than 6 months according to the act setting up the GP&L and GEC, especially for a meter registering power which no one knew about and for which no bill has been submitted, having alerted Khan that my mother did not punish and labour for nine months to bear a fool, I demanded that he reconnect that part of the building which we have been paying for.    

   He apparently agreed since we were reconnected after paying the outstanding balance of 53 thousand dollars and the reconnection fee of $3000, to our utter astonishment they came again at around 4.30 – 5.00 PM and disconnected the building a second time! When asked why, they told us that I was supposed to go into GP&L and discuss this second meter with the CEO, they expect me Tony Vieira to go in hat in hand to GP&L to beg some PPP hack for a favour? Khan, Deowhoever and Nandalall can continue to dream? I know where the law court is.