Opposition calls out Minister for lying about house lots allocation
…as multimillion-dollar house goes up on large plot of land
Hours after Junior Communities Minister Annette Ferguson denied that she was not the holder of three house lots, the Opposition – People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – has called her out for lying on the issue. In photos and videos shared on social media, the minister’s sprawling mansion sits a huge plot of land. This also led to questions about her meteoric rise in wealth in just a couple years as minister.
Ferguson called a press conference on Tuesday morning, inviting only a selected group of media houses, where she claimed that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was untruthful when he said that in just a few years in Government, she owns several house lots. However, in providing the evidence, the PPP on its social media page on Tuesday, showed that the Junior Minister owning a substantial piece of land and constructing a palatial property on the land just two years after she became Minister.
The posts came complete with video of Ferguson’s old residence and video of her new, two-storey edifice in Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) – a housing scheme that was developed under the PPP Government – that dwarfs the surrounding homes in the area. The party demanded that the Minister account for her sudden change in fortune.
“We urge you to look at the video yourselves which depict the size of Ferguson’s property and land and compare it to the surrounding lots. Ferguson also owns the adjoining lot, which represents the entire semi-circular section,” the Party said in its statement.
Earlier in the day, Ferguson was critical of statements made by Jagdeo at a recent press conference, in which the former President had expressed concern over her unexplained wealth.
According to Ferguson, “Jagdeo claimed that the cronies raked in a big part of (land). The question is who are these cronies. Annette Ferguson has one house lot allocation, which, as a citizen of Guyana, I have a right to.”
“This is my title for that one house lot…I have just pointed you to my title, which is 0.25 of an acre or equivalent to 10,000 square feet, which also is equivalent to a normal house lot, which is 10,000 square feet, except for areas such as re-migrants schemes, where the square feet is more”.
Ferguson insisted in July she only received a “regular lot” of 1/4 acre or equivalent to 10,000 square feet however the photos of the minister’s residence suggested otherwise, with vast yard space on the massive plot.
When Ferguson was appointed Junior Minister, her biography was released. According to that, she previously worked as a Field Support Officer, USAID (Admin). She also collaborated and facilitated coordination with NGOs, FBOs and community-based organisations with a bias for social issues, inclusive of children, education, health and family. According to her bio, she was also a Properties Manager of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) – 2004 to 2008.