The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Regional Councillors in Berbice have joined the call for embattled Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Dr Veerasammy Ramayya to be removed from his post over his apparent incompetence.
APNU’s lead Councillor at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Samuel Fraser, was very vocal when the Council held its May statutory meeting on Thursday and made no hesitation in joining calls for Ramayya to be removed from the position of REO.
For several months, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Councillors have been lobbying for the REO to be replaced. A no-confidence motion against Ramayya was even tabled last year at the Council’s statutory meeting and was passed in November with a 16-8 majority vote.
Adding fuel to the fire, Ramayya recently imposed a limit on the amount of fuel to be issued to Regional Vice
Chairman, Dennis DeRoop, who also heads the Regional Works Committee.
At Thursday’s meeting, Fraser said “enough is enough” and joined the call for the REO’s removal. The APNU Councillor pointed out that the REO as a public servant should keep his focus on administrative work which he has not been doing.
“The previous REO, I understand used to remain in the office in the afternoon to get his work done and even on weekends. We cannot have our administration on TV discussing politics. The President (David Granger) said that the election period is over. We need the REO to be in his office doing his work… I support all that you have been saying,” Fraser remarked to the Council during the recent statutory meeting.
However, Regional Chairman David Armogan explained to the Council that the utterances from Fraser are meaningless unless he and his collogues take their concerns to the party. “We can talk here all the time but it don’t mean anything. You have to use the mechanisms that your party has to get action, but I am glad that you raised it,” the Chairman stated.
Meanwhile, PPP Councillor Zaman Hoosain had earlier moved a motion to have the cap on fuel for the Vice Chairman’s vehicle removed. According to the motion, the REO has no authority to regulate the use of or to stop the supply of fuel to the vehicles assigned to the Vice Chairman.
“Be it resolved that the decision of the Regional Executive Officer to stop the supply of fuel to motor vehicle PKK 6310 be rescinded and that fuel be supplied forthwith to the said vehicle. And be it further resolved that a cap on fuel for vehicle PKK 6310 and the Vice Chairman’s vehicle be removed immediately,” the motion presented to the Council detailed.
When the motion was voted on, it received full support from the PPP and five of the seven coalition Councillors.
Ramayya was not at the meeting at which he should have been the clerk. Concerns were also raise that Councillors are not being paid their travelling allowances and contractors have been waiting on payments for months. According to Armogan, some of the vouchers have been sitting on the REO’s desk since February to be signed.
Only recently, the Region Two RDC also expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the region’s REO, Rupert Hopkinson.
At the May Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meeting, Councillors from the Government and Opposition sides debated the poor performance of the REO.
The RDC expressed dissatisfaction that the REO had sidelined the Accounts Department by having an inexperienced Accounts Clerk in the office of his confidential secretary to examine vouchers, thus creating delays in processing of vouchers.