Parking meter systems… Director assures validity, says company is internationalBy Devina Samaroo And Ramona LuthiEven after being told he has no right to speak on behalf of the Mayor and City Council, Deputy Mayor SherodDeputy Mayor Sherod DuncanDirector of NPS Kamau CushDuncan refused to be muzzled and is now raising some grave concerns over the legitimacy of the companies awarded with the multimillion-dollar contract to install parking meter systems across Georgetown.In a Facebook post on Saturday, Duncan disclosed that he was provided with little information by the National Parking Systems (NPS)/Smart City Solutions; the two companies contracted to execute the project in a joint venture.The Deputy Mayor is questioning the companies’ capacity to execute the scope of the project to be undertaken, given that he is without concrete evidence that these companies exist and have undertaken similar projects like they claimed to have done.With suspicions high, Duncan said he resorted to his own research on the companies, but nothing substantial was found.“In my research I have not found any company by the name ‘Smart City Solutions’ associated with parking meter systems, in any of the places the company is purporting to have done business like Panama,” Duncan highlighted.Research on one of the Directors of Smart City Solutions Simon Moshevilli also revealed nothing. “There is no evidence that such a company actually exists,” the Deputy Mayor stated.However, Duncan said research shows that a “Simon D Mosheshvili” is a Director of a company called ‘Movilot’ which operates in places like Panama and Haiti. Its website says, “Movilot is a leading “DBO” (Design-Build-Operate) Technology firm providing turnkey solutions to the mobile lottery and mobile gaming markets.”Movilot’s other products and services include “Street Vending and POS”. “The Movilot vending platform is a boon to existing street vendors and shops as it creates new income streams based on the commissions that can be earned on various services from lottery sales, to cash in – cash out, to airtime sales, and other services.”InconsistenciesDuring a recent interview with the Director of NPS Kamau Cush, many inconsistencies arose over the operations of Smart City Solutions.Cush, who is also a Director of Smart City Solutions, claimed it is headquartered in Mexico City and has been operating in most of Latin America, and South America, including Argentina, Lima, Peru, Panama and Mexico City.He boasted that the company has, for the past five years, operating and managing about 20,000 spaces in Mexico City.He also claimed that the company has been involved in parking meters consultancy in Chicago, USA.Later in the interview with this publication however, he disclosed that Smart City Solutions was specifically established for the purpose of installing parking meter systems in Guyana.“Smart City Solutions is a locally formed company, it’s a locally registered company, corporation. It was established specifically for this project, a special purpose vehicle,” he stated.The other company, NPS was established sometime in the 1900’s, according to Cush. He explained that a proposal for the parking meter system project was made since 1995, when Hamilton Green was Mayor.He said the proposal was accepted in 1996.“For the past 20 something years, the company has been in the bands, but it’s been around, it’s been in the bands, we work in collaboration with other companies… In the global scheme of things, companies merge and demerge and come together so that’s how we work,” he stated.However, Cush was unable to say why the proposal was never acted upon after all these years.“I’m not going to presume, this is how I respond to that question, and I’m not going to presume to get into the minds of decisionmakers of the time. As to why they didn’t sign off on it. Had they done that, we would not have been in a position that we’re in today in terms of our city being afflicted with filth and gridlock and over crowdedness and the type of dysfunction that one finds in other cities of the world where there is this shanty town mentality, but it wasn’t done but you know, given the fullness of time, I think you know, we now have a new Administration with the type of vision,” he stated.He explained that in 1994, he observed that the city of Georgetown was crowded and there was total chaos and that something needed to be done to address the situation.“So I went to new York and I placed a call to one of my colleagues and I said listen here, there is an opportunity here to install and operate parking meters in the city of Georgetown and I sat down and with them, we put our heads together and we came up with a proposal, and so in 1995 we submitted the proposal, and in 1996 it was approved. But I’m an entrepreneur at heart, I always seek out opportunities and figure out ways that I can add value to those opportunities and that’s precisely what I did here, I did then but unfortunately there was no buy in from the previous Administration,” he said.Cush explained that shortly after elections in May 2015, he resubmitted the proposal to the M&CC and it was accepted in November.Moreover, he said the two companies will be sourcing the parking meters from a company called Parkeon, a company based in France.