…in local government

At long last, after a wait of 22 years, we had local government elections in Guyana. But in the tradition of “you can take the boy out of the gutter, but you can’t take the gutter out of the boy” it’s clear for a lot of the “new” officials they’ve been playing gutter politics too long. This Eyewitness has pointed out the continued high-handedness of the Mandarins of City Hall.

As was just mentioned by the PPP, they’d tried long and hard to move the vendors from Stabroek Square. Had to back down because of their fear of “blowback”. But now City Hall figures because the vendors they’re now knocking down like tenpins are PNC supporters they can “do wha’ deh want wid dem”. But time longer than twine – and as sure as tides rise and fall, they’ll have their fall. And it won’t be pretty… because those vending women are a special breed.

Then there’s the more serious nonsense going on at the RDC in Region Five. Now even though the RDCs are elected at the same time as national MPs, they ARE part of local government. And the LGEs should’ve reminded them of their duties. What’re the facts?

Back in January, President Granger went to the Region to hand over two buses as part of his “3Bs” initiative – “boats, bicycles and buses” for schoolchildren to get to school. The RDC Chairman, who just happens to’ve been elected from the PPP slate, didn’t show up at the ceremony.

From then on, all hell broke loose from the APNU/AFC councillors on the RDC. They’ve refused to participate in meetings when the Chairman is present. Then they started to picket him and finally this month, squatted on his seat in the boardroom – as they sang-prayed loudly! They not only refused to move, but prevented him from conducting the meeting that had drawn several other officials from central government.

So the business of Region Five has been disrupted for five months because the APNU/AFC councillors believe an apology to President Granger trumps whatever their duties to those who elected them in the RDC. To make matters worse, the Region Five Chairman has denied he stayed away deliberately from the ceremony and that he wanted to diss the President.

Now we all know the President of a country is one of the symbols of the country and deserves nuff respect and all of that. But wasn’t the raison d’être of local government that local problems must be given the highest priority of all by the local officials?

In Guyana, however, politics trumps all!

…of interest

Old folks say, “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck”, then it’s a duck. Especially if water rolls off its back! And so it’s been with that fearless protector of public morality “I is” Broomes. Ever since her transfer to the Ministry of Natural Resources – to assist Minister Trotman – who’s a city slicker if there ever was one! – she’s been dogged by accusations of conflict of interest. With her being a miner and all, that shouldn’t have surprised anyone, least of all, herself.

In every jurisdiction once a person in Government’s overseeing an activity in which they have an interest, they’d put their business in a “blind trust” – in which they have absolutely no connection. Caught with a gold dredge registered to a “Simona Broomes”, the goodly minister said it’s been transferred to her daughter with the same name. No conflict of interest, she intoned.

Now shown a newly issued mining licence in her name AND national ID number, isn’t that the smoking gun, Mr President?

…over law books

Guyana’s Attorney Generals earn more than the PM – plus its tax free. And the previous President STILL had the state pay $3 million for law books for his AG?

Isn’t this a tad too petty for a rising leader?